The Story Of...Holland-Dozier-Holland

I started this radio piece from 2014 with a question: who was the most successful songwriting partnership of the 1960s? I referenced Lennon & McCartney and then said that "not far behind them" was the songwriting partnership of Lamont Dozier and the Holland brothers, Brian and Eddie, architects of what became known as the 'sound of Motown.'

In hindsight, I wish I hadn't used the qualifier. Lennon and McCartney may be pillars of 1960s popular culture, but you can make a solid argument that HDH were every bit as influential. They weren't Motown's only significant songwriters - Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield were hugely important, as were Smokey Robinson, Syreeta Wright, Harvey Fuqua, Stevie Wonder and the trio known as The Corporation: Alphonso Mizell, Freddie Perren and Deke Richards, who wrote all of the early hits for The Jackson Five. 

But Holland Dozier Holland both shaped the Motown sound, which in turn defined 1960s soul and r'n'b for millions of fans - the driving bass lines, quick-tempo beats, tambourines and gospel-influenced vocal harmonies. 

 

And of course they fell out with Berry Gordy. Everyone did.  

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