Music promoter and manager Mark Ede pays tribute to Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier, who died at the age of 81
” src=”https://www.nationalworld.com/jpim-static/image/2022/08/09/14/newFile-7.jpg?width=640&quality=65&smart&enable=upscale” data-hero=”” fetchpriority=”high”/> Lamont Dozier was one of the architects of the Motown sound (Getty Images)
Lamont Dozier was one of the architects of the Motown sound (Getty Images)
It is with some personal sadness that I learned of the death of Motown songwriting legend Lamont Dozier.
Though through bad fate I never met the man, I did negotiate a deal with V2 Records for a European release of the last full album he ever recorded: the 2018 release Reimagination, produced by Fred Mollin.
As the album title suggests, this was a repeat of just a small percentage of the dozens of hits Lamont wrote as part of Motown’s famed Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team. Songs like “Baby Love”, “How Sweet It Is”, “Heatwave”, “This Old Heart Of Mine” and “You Just Keep Me Hanging On”.
The album featured a slew of music A-listers such as Gregory Porter, Todd Rundgren, Graham Nash, Rumer, Sir Cliff Richard and more, all more than pleased to pay homage to a songwriter whose songs became the soundtrack of Not Only of a specific generation, but of all generations, that was the timeless craftsmanship that was associated with it. Songs that are of course still performed and covered by many artists today.
Lamont’s interest in music began, like so many of his contemporaries, in the Church, and in 1962 he was signed to Motown Records as a singer, producer and songwriter.
After a slow start, he coaxed/tricked the reluctant Supremes into singing a song that was rejected by another group on the label, “Where Did Our Love Go,” which became a smash hit.
There was no turning back from that point and a streak of 10 number ones for the group began. Aside from providing songs for the likes of Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Four Tops and other Motown greats, Dozier has also found time to release a couple of successful records of his own, and more recently he’s worked with the likes of Black Eyed Peas , Kanye West and Phil Collins.
A huge personal regret is that a 2018 UK tour which I helped organize was stymied, as was a string of invited BBC appearances and national press interest in the songwriting giant.
One artist I manage, Devon singer Jo Harman, was honored to sing a duet with the man himself on the album and what an honor it would have been to have seen that live.
RIP Lamont – truly one of the greatest songwriters in the business, his legacy will surely live on.