Dozier in 2009
|Birth name||Lamont Herbert Dozier|
June 16, 1941|
|Genres||Rhythm and blues, funk, soul|
|Occupation(s)||Producer, arranger, songwriter|
|Labels||Motown, Invictus/Hot Wax, Warner Bros., ABC Records|
|Oral History, Lamont Dozier talks about how being on Nixon's enemy list sent his dying song soaring in the charts.” Interview date June 20, 2012, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Oral History Library|
Lamont Herbert Dozier (born June 16, 1941) is an American songwriter and record producer, born in Detroit, Michigan. Dozier has co-written and produced 14 US Billboard #1 hits and 4 number ones in the UK.
Dozier is best known as a member of Holland–Dozier–Holland, the songwriting and production team responsible for much of the Motown sound and numerous hit records by artists such as Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes, The Four Tops, and The Isley Brothers. Along with Brian Holland, Dozier served as the team's musical arranger and producer, whilst Eddie Holland concentrated mainly on lyrics and vocal production.
Dozier recorded a few unsuccessful records for various Detroit labels before the trio started working together as a writing and production team for Motown in 1962. They first made their mark the following year with Martha and The Vandellas' early hits, including "Come And Get These Memories" (#6 R&B), "Heatwave" (#1 R&B, #4 pop), and "Quicksand" (#8 pop). In 1964, "Where Did Our Love Go" became the first of ten #1 pop hits which Holland–Dozier–Holland would write and produce for the Supremes over the next three years or so.
After Holland–Dozier–Holland left Motown in 1968 to form the Invictus/Hot Wax labels, Dozier began recording as an artist on their labels. The most successful song was "Why Can't We Be Lovers" (#9 Billboard R&B). Dozier departed from H-D-H in the mid-1970s and was replaced by new arranger/producer Harold Beatty.
Dozier went on to record a number of albums as a performer in his own right, also writing much of the material. The 1977 album, Peddlin' Music On The Side (Warner Bros. Records) contained the epic "Going Back to My Roots", which was later recorded by Odyssey. The earlier "Black Bach" (ABC Records) featured the country-flavored "All Cried Out" (#4 R&B, #26 pop). He had his biggest hit with 1974's "Trying to Hold On to My Woman" (ABC), which reached #15 pop, #4 R&B. In 1981, he scored a beach music hit with "Cool Me Out."
Dozier had another #1 hit as a songwriter in the 1980s, joining with Phil Collins to write the song "Two Hearts" for the movie soundtrack for Buster. "Two Hearts" received a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, tying with "Let the River Run" from Working Girl by Carly Simon, an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song and a Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television. Collins and Dozier also co-wrote "Loco in Acapulco" for The Four Tops, which is also featured on the Buster Soundtrack.
In 1984, Essex-born singer Alison Moyet scored a U.S.Top 40 hit with the Dozier-penned "Invisible." Three years later, Dozier cowrote "Infidelity" and "Suffer" with Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall for the British pop-soul band's second album, Men and Women. In 1989, they teamed up again to write "You've Got It" and "Turn It Up" for Simply Red's follow-up LP, A New Flame.
It wasn't until 2004 that Dozier chose to revisit his catalog of Motown hits, rather than recording only new material. His album Reflections Of..., that he released that year revealed Dozier's new arrangements frequently providing an interesting counterpoint to the upbeat pop sound of the 1960s originals.
Hall of Fame
Dozier and the Holland brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
In 2009, he worked on the music for the musical stage version of the movie "First Wives Club." He is also teaching a course of popular music at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.
Lamont Dozier lives in Encino, California with his wife of thirty plus years, and their three musically talented children; sons, Beau Alexandre (born November 26, 1979), Paris Ray (born September 12, 1984), and daughter, Desiree Starr (born August 1, 1988). He is also related to stand-up comedian/actor John Witherspoon, of The Wayans Bros. and the Friday film series fame.
Discography (USA only)
As featured performer
As a member of The Romeos
- “Gone, Gone, Get Away” (1957); Fox 749
- “Moments To Remember You By” (1957); Fox 846
As a member of The Voice Masters:
- “Hope And Pray” (1959); Anna 101
- “Needed” (1959); Anna 102
- “In Love In Vain” (1960); Frisco 15235
As a member of Ty Hunter and The Voice Masters:
- “Orphan Boy” (1960); Anna 1114
- “Free” (1960); Anna 1123
As La Mont Anthony:
- “Popeye (The Sailor Man)” (1961) withdrawn, and replaced by "Benny The Skinny Man" (same backing track, new vocal); Anna 1125
- “Benny The Skinny Man” (1961); Anna 1125
- “Just To Be Loved” / “I Didn't Know (What A Good Thing I Had)” (1961); Checkmate 1001
As Lamont Dozier:
- “Dearest One” (1962); Mel-o-dy 102
As a member of Holland-Dozier (Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland):
- “What Goes Up Must Come Down” (1963); Motown 1045
- “Don't Leave Me” (1972); Invictus 9110
- “Why Can't We Be Lovers” (1972); Invictus 9125
- “Don't Leave Me Starvin' For Your Love” (1972); Invictus 9133
- “Slipping Away” (1973); Invictus 1253
- “If You Don't Wanta Be In My Life” (1973); Invictus 1254
- “You Took Me From A World Outside” (1973); Invictus 1258
As Lamont Dozier:
- “Trying To Hold On To My Woman” (1973); ABC 11407
- “Fish Ain't Bitin'” (1974); ABC 11438
- “Let Me Start Tonite” (1974); ABC 12044
- “All Cried Out” (1975); ABC 12076
- “Out Here On My Own” (1976); ABC 12234
- “Sight For Sore Eyes” (1977); Warner Brothers 8432
- “Boogie Business” (1979); Warner Brothers 8792
- “Cool Me Out” (1981); Columbia 02035
- “Too Little Too Long” (1981); Columbia 02238
- “Shout About It” (1982); M & M 502
- “Inside Seduction” (1991); Atlantic / Wea
- “Close The Door” & “Me & Mrs Jones”; (2006) Soul Renaissance (from A Soulful Tale Of Two Cities -various artists CD)
- Out Here on My Own (1973); ABC 804
- Black Bach (1974); ABC 839
- Love & Beauty (1974); Invictus 33134
- Right There (1976); WB 2929
- Peddlin' Music on the Side (1977); WB 3039
- Bittersweet (1979); WB 3282
- Working on You (1981); Columbia 37129
- Lamont (1981); M&M 104
- Bigger Than Life (1983); UK Demon FIEND12
- Inside Seduction (1991); Atlantic 82228
- Reflections of Lamont Dozier (2004); Jam Right/Zebra 54633
- "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees by Year 1990". Official website of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. 2013. pp. Induction category: Non–Performer for Holland–Dozier–Holland. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- "The Old Globe". The Old Globe. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
- "The Film Strip: John Witherspoon Talks 'A Thousand Words'". eurweb.com. Lee Bailey's Electronic Urban Report. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
- Official website
- Audio interview with Lamont Dozier on the Sodajerker On Songwriting podcast
- Oral History, Lamont Dozier shares moments of his life story and career. Interview date June 20, 2012, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Oral History Library