Holland Dozier Holland Biography

The biggest secret behind Motown’s success?


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H-D-H reunion


At the Motown hit factory you’d find a house band, artists, engineers and perhaps the biggest secret behind Motown’s success; the songwriters working for the label.

In the 60s, the main team was Lamont Dozier and Brothers Eddie and Brian Holland.

During 1962 to 1967, Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote and produced all Motown songs. Following the immense success during these years, H-D-H sued Motown which left them writing under pseudonyms.

Dozier later said in 2008, “The lawsuit was just our way of taking care of business that needed to be taken care of—just like Berry Gordy had to take care of his business which resulted in the lawsuit. Business is business, love is love.”

This would turn into one of the longest running lawsuit, starting in 1967 it ended in 1977. In the subsequent decades, H-D-H has been inducted to most hall of fames.

During their glory years they wrote an immense amount of songs for Motown’s artists, including:

Also worth considering is how much the team must have influenced all other artists around Motown’s headquarters during those days.

Perhaps it is impossible to estimate how important Holland-Dozier-Holland has been to the modern pop song.

Related Pages

Can I Get A Witness – Guitar Lesson

‘Can I Get A Witness’ is a fast blues format song in the key of Eb.

Over each chord in a blues, you quickly switch between three chords, creating an energetic riff.

In the course, we practice each riff over loops as we learn to play it in every area of the neck.

Finally, you get to play the entire song with a live band!

Preview video lessons: Can I Get A Witness

Can I Get A Witness – Lyrics

Ah listen everybody (everybody), especially you girls (especially you girls)
Is it right to be left alone by the one you love is never home
I love too hard, my friends sometimes say
But I believe, I believe, that a woman should be loved that way
But it hurts me so inside, to see how you treat me so unkind

For complete lyrics, go to Can I Get A Witness lyrics.

Jimmy Mack – Guitar Lesson

Jimmy Mack is a song written by Motown’s main song writing team, Holland-Dozier-Holland.

Commisioned especially for Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, this is a classic Motown hit that often appear on a Motown/Soul repertoire.

As you learn this in the course, we discuss how you can extend the chords to create a more interesting sound. We also play the horn section solo on the guitar.

Preview video lessons: Jimmy Mack

Jimmy Mack – Lyrics

Jimmy Mack, Jimmy. Oh, Jimmy Mack, when are you comin’ back
Jimmy Mack, Jimmy. Oh, Jimmy Mack, when are you comin’ back
My arms are missing you, my lips feel the same way too
I tried so hard to be true, like I promised I’d do
But this guy keeps comin’ around, he’s tryin’ to wear my resistance down

For complete lyrics, go to Jimmy Mack lyrics.

You Can’t Hurry Love – Guitar Lesson

‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ has a great chord progression using only chords from the key of Bb. By starting some of the chords earlier than expected, ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ gets its famous bouncy feel.

In the course, you’ll get step by step instructions on how to play each section of the song using members-only video lessons, loops, and TAB.

Finally, you get to play the entire song with a live band!

Preview video lessons: You Can’t Hurry Love

You Can’t Hurry Love – Lyrics

I need love, love, to ease my mind
I need to find, find, someone to call mine
But mama said
You can’t hurry love, no you just have to wait
She said love don’t come easy, it’s a game of give and take

For complete lyrics, go to You Can’t Hurry Love lyrics.

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Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

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