Friday, 15 April 2011

It's like a heatwave burning in my heart I can't keep from crying tearing me apart

Fun Fact of the Week

(Love is Like a) Heat Wave, Martha and the Vandellas, 1963

Martha Reeves was a secretary at Motown who got her break when the famed Mary Wells (‘My Guy’, ‘You Beat Me to the Punch’) did not show up for work at Motown and her group got a chance to record. Barry Gordy was so impressed he offered them a contract in 1962. Martha lived on Van Dyke Street in Detroit and loved the singer Della Reese, so putting the two together named her group the ‘Vandellas’.

Their second single with the true ‘Motown sound’ was” (Love is Like a) Heat Wave” which sold a million copies, won them a Grammy and put them on the rock and roll map forever. This was one of many for the fabulous writing team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, who also wrote songs like ‘Baby Love’,’ (How Sweet it is) to be Loved by you’, ‘Stop in the Name of Love’, and ‘Please Mr. Postman’ (one of my favourites).  Linda Ronstadt paid homage to ‘Heat Wave’ on her 1975 ‘Prisoner in Disguise’ album”, with a worthy version that also charted.

In 1969 the Vandellas also release one of the most played singles of all time: “Dancing in the Streets, which has been covered by Van Halen and Mike Jagger/David Bowie.  I also like their song “Jimmy Mack”, 1967.

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