The Story and Music of Lamont Dozier


Introduction to Lamont Dozier

Lamont Dozier (born in 1941 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American songwriter, record producer and a sometime singer, famously known as one of the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting and production team, with brothers Brian and Eddie Holland. The trio defined the 1960s Motown sound, penning and producing hits for the label’s stars such as The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Martha and the Vandellas, The Four Tops, The Miracles and The Isley Brothes: “Come And Get These Memories,” “Heatwave,” “Mickey’s Monkey,” “Quicksand,” “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come And See About Me,” “How Sweet It Is,” “Stop! In The Name Of Love,” “Nowhere To Run,” “I Can’t Help Myself,” “It’s the Same Old Song,” etc. After the trio disassociated themselves from Motown in 1968, they formed the Invictus and Hot Wax labels. During the 70s music era Dozier also released his own solo singles as well as singles as part of the Holland-Dozier act. His most successful single on Hot Wax was 1972’s “Why Can’t We Be Lovers.” Dozier departed from the team in the 1970s and began striking out on his own. As a solo recording artist out of the trio was “Trying to Hold to My Woman” which reached the Billboard Top 20 pop in late 1973. Dozier also teamed up with Phil Collins to write a song titled “Two Hearts” as a soundtrack for the the 1988 film Buster, sung by Collins and eventually winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Dozier and Collins penned another song also featured for the Buster film soundtrack, “Loco in Acapulco” which was performed by the Four Tops. In 1990, Dozier and the Holland were honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with an induction. In 2004, Dozier’s albums Reflections Of… featured him revisiting his Motown back catalog, whilst treating them with updated arrangements.

Early life and career

American songwriter and record producer Lamont Herbert Dozier was born on June 16, 1941 in Detroit, Michigan. The 13-year old Dozier formed the group The Romeos who recorded the R&B hit single “Fine Fine Baby.”  The Romeos later disbanded and Dozier joined the doo-wop band The Voicemasters. In 1962, he was signed to Motown Records not just a recording artist, but a producer and songwriter as well.


Now in Motown Records, Dozier teamed up with the Holland Brothers Brian and Eddie and formed a group collectively known as Holland-Dozier-Holland. The songwriting/production team went on to write and produce numerous hits for artists like The Supremes (“Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” Back In My Arms Again,” “Stop! In The Name of Love”), The Four Tops (“I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch,”It’s the Same Old Song” ), Martha and The Vandellas (“Heatwave,” “Quicksand,” “Nowhere To Run”), and Marvin Gaye (“How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”) among others.

In 1968, Holland-Dozier-Holland left Motown and founded the labels Invictus/Hot Wax. There, they created their own circle of artists including Freda Payne and Chairmen of the Board to name a few. Dozier also launched his own recording career on his own labels, and released the most successful song for Invictus called “Why Can’t We Be Lovers” in 1972. The song peaked at #9 on the Billboard R&B chart that same year. He also released the single “Don’t Leave Me Starving for Your Love” which peaked at #13 on R&B chart.

Post Holland-Dozier-Holland career

In the mid 70’s, Dozier left the Holland brothers and relocated to California. He was quickly signed to ABC Dunhill Records as a solo artist and released a couple of singles: “Trying to Hold on to My Woman” and “Fish Ain’t Bitin.” These songs entered on the pop charts at #15 and #26 respectively. In the late 70’s, Dozier was a successful producer and songwriter for Warner Bros., Arista Records and Columbia Records.

Working with British artists and his later years

In 1980 he relocated to England with his wife and family and worked with British artists Alison Moyet, Simply Red and Phil Collins; Dozier wrote Collin’s breakthrough hit “Two Hearts” which was included in the Buster film soundtrack. It became a chart topper on the Billboard Hot 100 in the same year. In 1984, Moyet released the single”Invisible” which was written by Dozier and entered the Top 40 hit in the U.S. In 1987 Dozier wrote the songs “Infidelity” and “Suffer” with Simply Red’s frontman Mick Hucknall for the band’s second album. Two years later they worked together again for Simply Red’s album A New Flame.

Dozier, along with the Holland brothers, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 as Holland-Dozier-Holland. Dozier is teaching a course of popular music at the University of Southern California Thorton School of Music.

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