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Lamont Dozier Shares Storied Career Of Writing Motown Classics

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Despite no Tony Awards for "Motown: The Musical," audiences are flocking to the show to hear performers sing the tunes of Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops and the Supremes, many of which were penned by the famous songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. NY1's Stephanie Simon sat down with Lamont Dozier to hear more about his long and storied career writing Motown hits.

Lamont Dozier, a producer and solo performer in his own right, came of age writing chart-busting songs with the team of Brian and Eddie Holland. More than 50 years later, those songs are being appreciated by a whole new generation.

"This music I've achieved, worked on and shared with the people around the world has been something that make them better people," says Dozier. "Our people have come together, white and black."

Great lyrics would not be quite the same without great musicians providing a driving backbone. Lamont was especially close to the Funk Brothers, the session men at Motown’s studio, "Hitsville USA."

"They were the best ever, man," Dozier says. "They made me look good. And the Hollands as well."

Motown did attempt, and was greatly successful at, bringing black music to more of a crossover audience, while at the same time, stepping away from music like the blues.

"My grandmother, she didn't particularly like what we called 'gutbucket blues,'" Dozier says. "So, in my household growing up, I got a lot of church music."

A generation later, musical members of the British invasion would make hits of early Lamont Dozier songs.

"Thanks to people like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, they saw the essence. And the same thing with rap. We were looking at that and trying to figure out, you know what I mean, what's going on here? But then, as you start looking closely, you start hearing a message in the music," Dozier says. "I was able to grow from the blues to the rap, and all of it became signature sounds and things that made me grow up and made me a better person."

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