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  1. #51
    It gets a lot better

    Brian dated Diana and Lamont dated Mary; Florence might have been interested in Eddie but he has his iron in too many fires already

    Some of the most complimentary writing Iíve seen about Diana

    Nothing much about Mary

    A good section on Baby Love and how Brian said to go for the feel of a song; everyone agreed Brian was a genius who musical abilities were beyond everyone else; Eddie says it again and again

    A good section on how much trouble they initially had teaching Levi Baby I Need Your Loving

    And Where Did Our Love Go never was intended for anyone but the Supremes, but Eddie did think Mary should sing lead - which lead to lowering Dianaís voice for the tune and dropping some of that early high pitched sound

    Get the book

  2. #52
    I've not read the book and I'm no expert on HDH but these were young people and many of the guys fancied Diana by all accounts so maybe the fallout was to do with that since Brian Holland was keen on her and Berry got "the prize" as it were.

    Maybe the split wasn't all about money but about personal relationships generally. I'm sure I read somewhere that once when "I Hear A Symphony" came on the car radio, Brian pulled over and cried. Plus, potentially, the DRATS career could have been harmed the most by the departure of HDH. Are there any clues to that in the songs - "Reflections" seems quite deep?

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    I have not bought the book yet, so I know this is premature, but some of the comments so far struck a chord with me about some of these books. I've bought quite a few books on Motown and the thing I've found is that there are a couple that call to mind the term "Vanity Press". These are books that seem to be written completely by someone who doesn't really have a grasp for how to write in detail, depth and with no real sense of narrative. These books are nothing more than very, VERY short sentences strung together as opposed to paragraphs that give context, detail and a sense of some kind of drama that makes us want to read on. The major publishing houses would pass on them in a second, but it's fairly easy to get anything published- if you pay them enough.

    I don't know if the person(s) writing these types of books are working with professional editors or not. Someone who could prod the subject to really get into something with "meat on its bones" to grip the reader's attention. Instead, we get not much more than heavily sanitized anecdotes that give no real background or motive for why this or that happened, why this or that turned out as it did. Some of these books read like nothing short of Dear Diary entries strung together.

    I'd have to say, for better or worse, Mary Wilson's books were very involving and interesting reading. I'm not talking about accuracy here or whether or not you like the woman, but I'm dealing with the art of writing in a way that draws someone in. If the book angers you, fine. At least it elicited some kind of emotional response. Some of the books I've purchased from former Motowners are so poorly written and short on detail, they don't even get me mad or happy. Just yawning with the sense of not learning anything new.

    If Lamont was astute enough to get an editor who was smart enough to encourage him not to try to make himself out a flawless, saintly human, maybe we'll get something that will make us jump up and down.
    I love Mary Wilson and I loved her books.

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    I've not read the book and I'm no expert on HDH but these were young people and many of the guys fancied Diana by all accounts so maybe the fallout was to do with that since Brian Holland was keen on her and Berry got "the prize" as it were.

    Maybe the split wasn't all about money but about personal relationships generally. I'm sure I read somewhere that once when "I Hear A Symphony" came on the car radio, Brian pulled over and cried. Plus, potentially, the DRATS career could have been harmed the most by the departure of HDH. Are there any clues to that in the songs - "Reflections" seems quite deep?
    The Diana Brian relationship ended before Diana and Berry were an item; Brian enlisted Berry to help Diana through the breakup. Brian stayed because of his children and in the end, he left. His wife is said to have been one of the meanest people who was physically violent on impulse and who eventually committed suicide.

    There is a section on I Hear A Symphony and it definitely was regarded as special.

    Iím halfway through and havenít reached Reflections or the split.

    Itís about $25 for a digital copy; it starts slowly but itís a decent read.

    All Motown fans should read it; it does change your view and debunks some widely held ideas.

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    And Where Did Our Love Go never was intended for anyone but the Supremes, but Eddie did think Mary should sing lead - which lead to lowering Diana’s voice for the tune and dropping some of that early high pitched sound
    This is not the story Lamont tells in his book. He says that they wrote the songs for The Marvelettes who didn't think it fit them. Wanting to make sure they didn't get stuck for the recording costs of the track, he pitched it to Mary as having been written for The Supremes but she knew they had already pitched it to The Marvelettes.

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by thommg View Post
    This is not the story Lamont tells in his book. He says that they wrote the songs for The Marvelettes who didn't think it fit them. Wanting to make sure they didn't get stuck for the recording costs of the track, he pitched it to Mary as having been written for The Supremes but she knew they had already pitched it to The Marvelettes.
    I've heard varying stories too thommg.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by thommg View Post
    This is not the story Lamont tells in his book. He says that they wrote the songs for The Marvelettes who didn't think it fit them. Wanting to make sure they didn't get stuck for the recording costs of the track, he pitched it to Mary as having been written for The Supremes but she knew they had already pitched it to The Marvelettes.
    Totally different coming from the Hollands who say it had no connection to the Marvelettes but Lamont did think it needed a lower softer sound like Maryís - but he was told she wasnít the lead singer - which led to the pitch being lowered

  8. #58
    Marv 2, I agree with you. Eddie and Brian's book must have been a "vanity Press", because it really is a mess. I certainly felt betrayed and "taken", because they could have offered so much more, but they gave the minimum to get the money. Nothing really new, and what might have been new, is refuted in Lamon't book. I didn't buy his book, in honesty, but didn't like his re-take on his music, and the Dozier's book came out first, so I didn't want to be taken twice.
    Do you think we'll ever know the real ins and out of the Supreme's music and the HDH catalogue?

  9. Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I love Mary Wilson and I loved her books.
    I only bought the first book -I kept saying I was going to buy the 2nd book, but I think I was afraid that the first one was a hard act to follow!- but I did really enjoy it. The writing felt "thorough", not as if she was just hurriedly dropping one incomplete story after another.

    I say that, because I know, myself, if I'm sending an email (or DECADES ago, when I wrote letters), I have a tendency to get a bit lazy and just drop a few quick blurbs instead of actually writing in depth about things going on with me. I've read many books where it felt like I was only getting a few quickly tossed off recollections along the lines of "I felt very deeply that my song would be a hit and when it was, I was very happy!" Mary gave you something to seriously chew on, detailed recollections of this or that which made for engaging reading.

    I love that woman. She kept her wits about her she knew that this thing called "celebrity" is a game you needed to learn quickly to endure, especially at Motown.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Totally different coming from the Hollands who say it had no connection to the Marvelettes but Lamont did think it needed a lower softer sound like Maryís - but he was told she wasnít the lead singer - which led to the pitch being lowered
    On the left is his story, on the right is his story and somewhere in the middle is the truth. In an episode of the old "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" there was an auto accident that had been viewed by several people. Each had a different recollection of the accident. When the truth of what actually happened is revealed you see bits and pieces of everyone's story. There was a kernel of truth in everyone's recollection.

    I tend to go with Lamont's story of "Where Did Our Love Go." Doesn't mean I'm right, but I believe it. One thing I appreciate about the Holland brothers' book is that for once, someone from Motown is giving The Marvelettes some serious props. I was pleasantly surprised to read in quite a few places how important the group was to Motown and to the Hollands in the early days. In fact, you gain a perspective on just how solid The Marvelettes were performing compared to even Martha & The Vandellas. I always took it that The Marvelettes were hot for a moment, the fairly quickly faded to a distant second place once Martha & The Vandellas hit. The Hollands' book seems to give a bit more perspective on that.

    Years ago, I recall reading, maybe from Lamont, that when "Where" was being pitched, the feeling was to place it with The Marvelettes because they were the sure bet. I believe that as The Supremes still weren't really selling with any consistency and hadn't become fan favorites across the board yet. Also, when you listen to what HDH had been doing with The Marvelettes, songs like "He Won't Be True (Little Girl Blue)", "Tie A String Around Your Finger", "A Little Bit Of Sympathy, A Little Bit Of Love", "A Need For Love", you can hear a definite sound being developed. HDH's work with The Marvelettes was much closer in sound to "Where" than what the trio had been doing with The Supremes up to that point. And the song was also in Gladys Horton's key, something either Lamont or one of the Hollands had recalled some years ago. Also, "Come And Get These Memories" shows that at this point, "Where" wasn't seen as an automatic hit that would instantly sell millions and catapult The Supremes into instant stardom. At this point, it was still Martha & The Vandellas' and The Marvelettes' ballpark and someone thought "Where" would have a chance of working with The Marvelettes.

    So one thing about this book is that Eddie and to some degree Brian, have a tendency to kinda blow right past any really deep detailing of how some of these songs took place. I was a bummed when I read about "Reach Out", everyone thought it was certainly strange. That's about all that is said about that earth-shaking song. Then, toward the end of the book, when discussing the Invictus years, there are passages where not much context is given and I would read something and think, "what?" (There was a story about a box of expensive wine given and it was a bit murky as to why it meant anything). I did enjoy the book, but it would have been nice to have a few more details about some things here and there.

    In the end, I think this story about "Where" is just one of those things where he has his side of the story, the other guys have their side of the story and the truth lies somewhere in between.
    Last edited by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance; 03-28-2020 at 10:57 PM.

  11. #61
    Whatís the relationship of the Hollandís and Lamont these days? Is there still some contact?

    I wondered if this book was a framework for something else? Another Broadway play?

    I once did a rough calculation of what Motown the Musical made and it was staggering.

  12. #62
    They do talk about Reflections, the move to album sales and the use of the synthesizer - which Brian disliked. But it worked very well and they were happy they used it.

    They say this was a tough time because Florence had started to drink and she and Diana were not getting along. Mary stayed out of it all but Florence was replaced and the group was renamed.

    And they say Diana is the only Supreme on Reflections.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    I once did a rough calculation of what Motown the Musical made and it was staggering.
    Berry made a fatal mistake to close the Broadway show while it was still hot with the hope of reopening it many months later. When the show did reopen, it was considered yesterday’s mashed potatoes and closed quickly.

  14. #64
    I have both books. It's been a few months since I've read them but here are my initial thoughts. I will have to reread them both to see if I have the same or different reactions to each.

    Brian and Eddie's book seemed like a series of interviews that were transcribed for publication. More like an in-depth Goldmine Magazine article for record collectors and music fans. I don't care for this type of "book". I would still recommend it for collectors and fans.

    Lamont's book seemed more professionally executed. His book had a goal of guiding future songwriters with tips based on personal experiences in his life and career. It seems Lamont has had an interesting career beyond Motown, Invictus and his early solo career. It was an informative read. It seemed to have a soft and relaxed tone. I would recommend this book to casual music fans, in addition to the collector and avid Motown fan.

    I enjoyed reading about their lives before Motown. It seemed that the three of them were fans of Popular music, through the influence of older relatives. Although Gospel, R&B and the Blues had a presence in their young lives, it was Pop music of the day that caught their ears. That would certainly explain the success they had at Motown in merging R&B and Pop, to some degree.

    It seems all three of them were constantly working on music, whether together or alone. It sounded like a frenetic pace. This might explain the discrepancies in some of their stories, especially WDOLG. I wonder if individually they may have presented the song to one of the girls from both groups to gauge a reaction or get feedback to see if their hunch or approach made sense. And besides who can really remember some details from so long ago.

    Both books are definitely must reads for Motown music collectors and fans. Most of the Motown books I have read have fallen short on some level or another but all of them have given me something valuable regarding the music and artist.

  15. #65
    And that fact was rebuked. You know we discussed that a month ago and George confirmed that Mary was on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    They do talk about Reflections, the move to album sales and the use of the synthesizer - which Brian disliked. But it worked very well and they were happy they used it.

    They say this was a tough time because Florence had started to drink and she and Diana were not getting along. Mary stayed out of it all but Florence was replaced and the group was renamed.

    And they say Diana is the only Supreme on Reflections.

  16. #66
    Sorry typo I meant debunked
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    And that fact was rebuked. You know we discussed that a month ago and George confirmed that Mary was on it.

  17. #67
    They sure have some differing views just like everything else

    As others have mentioned, there could be some truth in the middle

    They donít say who they used in the background - just a one liner that there was only one Supreme on Reflections

  18. #68
    And as George said before he can confirm that Mary did sing on it. Plus if I’m correct Eddie and Brian never worked with the background vocals. Lamont handled that.
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    They sure have some differing views just like everything else

    As others have mentioned, there could be some truth in the middle

    They don’t say who they used in the background - just a one liner that there was only one Supreme on Reflections

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    And as George said before he can confirm that Mary did sing on it. Plus if I’m correct Eddie and Brian never worked with the background vocals. Lamont handled that.
    Mary is singing on "Reflections". You can hear her. George Soloman even confirmed it for the people that just like to argue like Jobeterob. If you listen to him, he was on it! LOL!

  20. #70
    Not sure about the end of this book

    Of course, nothing HDH did after Motown had anywhere near the impact of 1964 to 1968

    Eddie seems convinced of his importance; he was consumed in more than one legal fight with Berry Gordy but he doesnít spell out any really detail at all. He wants to convince everyone and maybe himself that he loved Berry and Berry loved him but they are too strong willed and had to fight to the end

    I wasnít impressed by the argument

    He seemed like an aggressive litigant wasting a lot of money with lawyers

    There was a lot more that could have filled out the book

  21. #71
    He "walked out" in about 1962....it seems it was all about money as far as EH was concerned.
    It seems to me that he saw how MGM headhunted William Stevenson, presumably for a salary Gordy wouldn't match, and he used his new found status to "try it on" with the Boss.
    He was clearly sounding out other companies for more money.

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    He "walked out" in about 1962....it seems it was all about money as far as EH was concerned.
    It seems to me that he saw how MGM headhunted William Stevenson, presumably for a salary Gordy wouldn't match, and he used his new found status to "try it on" with the Boss.
    He was clearly sounding out other companies for more money.
    Brian seemed so mellow and kind and Eddie pretty aggressive and willing to draw lines in the sand and fight to the death

  23. #73
    Yes...EH left Motown , initially leaving BH and LD behind.
    The vast majority of the HDH towards the end were recycled productions of earlier songs, and I'd guess that was BH and LD work. EH had stopped writing some time earlier and he left on his own
    The others followed him later.
    Seems he had the upper hand.
    Last edited by snakepit; 04-02-2020 at 03:52 AM.

  24. #74
    Eddie got 50% and the others got 25% each.

    And it seems to me the most talented one was Brian. That's what Eddie seems to keep saying all the time. And I think there's an implication Lamont was a notch below; at least he keeps saying that's how Lamont felt.

    I don't really understand why Eddie got 50%.

  25. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Eddie got 50% and the others got 25% each.

    And it seems to me the most talented one was Brian. That's what Eddie seems to keep saying all the time. And I think there's an implication Lamont was a notch below; at least he keeps saying that's how Lamont felt.

    I don't really understand why Eddie got 50%.
    Seems (from your posts) like a poorly written yet interesting book. I'll wait until my library reopens and get it on an inter-library loan.

  26. #76
    Interesting but disappointing and not well written; worth reading ; 3 out of 5

  27. #77
    Maybe both narratives are correct. In releasing this single, Motown was emphatic in letting us know that now there were two entities: "The Supremes" and "Diana Ross."

    So Mary Wilson, a Supreme, and Diana Ross, a singular superstar, may each be on this recording, and Messrs. Holland and Mr. Dozier are each providing accurate information, despite the seeming contradiction.

  28. #78
    I wonder what Georgeís thought are on what the Hollandís say

  29. #79
    The problem with many of these recent memoirs that are being released is that these accounts are finally being recalled and put to paper, nearly 60 years after these events occurred. This is sadly something that should have been done 20 or 30 years ago, while memories were far more clear than they are now. With that being said, I am not surprised that Lamont's book contains stories that conflict with Eddie and Brian's book. I am also not surprised that neither of their books offer up more details than what we wanted and expected. The time to do this would have been in the 80's or early 90's, when other Motown stars were releasing their books. I also do not believe that Diana is the only Supreme on Reflections. If you are a long-time fan with an attuned ear, you will clearly hear Mary on there. I am certain that the memories and recounts of such events have significantly faded, so to hear one claim, "I remember that only so-and-so sang on this record" does not really carry a lot of weight after 50 years, in my opinion. Jobeterob, you yourself are a retired lawyer, if I am not mistaken? This argument I am making goes in line with why the legal concept of statute of limitations exists. I am certain that they were mistaking their memories of the Reflections sessions with the sessions for a different song.

  30. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by carlo View Post
    The problem with many of these recent memoirs that are being released is that these accounts are finally being recalled and put to paper, nearly 60 years after these events occurred. This is sadly something that should have been done 20 or 30 years ago, while memories were far more clear than they are now. With that being said, I am not surprised that Lamont's book contains stories that conflict with Eddie and Brian's book. I am also not surprised that neither of their books offer up more details than what we wanted and expected. The time to do this would have been in the 80's or early 90's, when other Motown stars were releasing their books. I also do not believe that Diana is the only Supreme on Reflections. If you are a long-time fan with an attuned ear, you will clearly hear Mary on there. I am certain that the memories and recounts of such events have significantly faded, so to hear one claim, "I remember that only so-and-so sang on this record" does not really carry a lot of weight after 50 years, in my opinion. Jobeterob, you yourself are a retired lawyer, if I am not mistaken? This argument I am making goes in line with why the legal concept of statute of limitations exists. I am certain that they were mistaking their memories of the Reflections sessions with the sessions for a different song.
    Great synopsis Carlo!

  31. #81
    Not retired but a lawyer

    Yes memories from years ago are certainly questionable and would often need corroboration in other ways

    The question of what is in what is compounded by producing having multiple versions and lots of fluffing up, picking and choosing pieces

    If the Supremes had not been so massively successful, no one would care

  32. #82
    One of the greatest joys in life is listening to Eddie Holland on "Little Miss Ruby". I just love that. Does that period get a mention in the book?

  33. #83
    Not in the Hollandís book but maybe Lamontís which I will buy.

    One thing I donít really understand about many of these books is how amateur they seem. Itís easy to understand why Maxine Powell would be on a shoe string but even in the era of paltry royalties, you would think HDH would have good incomes and do a better quality book.

  34. #84
    My guess is that the amateur quality has largely to do with projected sales figures, budgeting by the publisher and lack of writing and editing skills on the part of the subject. Fact is outside of these forums, public awareness of HDH is near zero. Probably best would be for a skilled biographer to have interviewed each separately (in addition to their contemporaries) then composed a trio-biography, in the vein of Sheila Weller's Girls Like Us. Add into the mix the fact that memories are selective and subjective, even minutes after an event: compound that by years, decades, and a demi-century, then leaven with readers' tendency to interpret a subject's statements to their own preconceived notions and essentially we are left with entertaining stories that may or may not be factual. True historians and serious biographers can also be subject to their own preconceived notions but will at least make the attempt to refrain from publishing statements unless there are multiple corroborative memories.

  35. #85
    I think you are write on, Peace!

  36. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    My guess is that the amateur quality has largely to do with projected sales figures, budgeting by the publisher and lack of writing and editing skills on the part of the subject. Fact is outside of these forums, public awareness of HDH is near zero. Probably best would be for a skilled biographer to have interviewed each separately (in addition to their contemporaries) then composed a trio-biography, in the vein of Sheila Weller's Girls Like Us. Add into the mix the fact that memories are selective and subjective, even minutes after an event: compound that by years, decades, and a demi-century, then leaven with readers' tendency to interpret a subject's statements to their own preconceived notions and essentially we are left with entertaining stories that may or may not be factual. True historians and serious biographers can also be subject to their own preconceived notions but will at least make the attempt to refrain from publishing statements unless there are multiple corroborative memories.
    Well written; makes sense

  37. Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    If the Supremes had not been so massively successful, no one would care
    That kinda says it all.

  38. #88

    Enjoying the early days

    At about 60 pages and I really enjoy reading about their upbringing with Grand Ma Ola and Uncle James.
    They disciplined, something that is sorely missing this day and age, very refreshing to read. Like how they mentioned that it was a village and all of the neighbors kept an eye on the Holland boys.

  39. #89

    The Creator

    Love how they describe Berry Gordy, good chapter so far so good. Did not know Brian was the first paid employee at Motown. Also how the both of them were among the first employees with Motown.

  40. #90

    Baby I need Your Loving

    Whenever someone has asked me about when classic Motown started, always refer to Baby I Need Your Loving. I believed the strings added is what made this song special. An lo and behold Brian confirmed in the book, wow did that make me feel good that I was spot on. Something I was not aware of is that it is the number one played Motown song in history. Loving this book.

  41. #91

    Ending a bit weak

    Mostly a very good book, enjoyed most of it, I did like reading about post Motown, it appears that it was really Eddie who was driving Invictus and Hot Wax, since Brian and Lamont were still with Motown, at least for their big hits early on.
    3 stars out of 4 stars

  42. #92
    Interesting how Brian & Eddie still deny that they pitched WDOLG to the Marvelettes. Only Lamont said it was because of how the song was pitched. I don't think Wanda was the designated lead singer then and they hadn't tried her low pitch (like Smokey eventually would). But even today, I can't hear Gladys sing it. The fact Eddie discovered that Diana could sing low changed music history.

    Did they discuss Marvin to any length in this book? I know Lamont did.

  43. There is a section at the back with all the songs written by HDH along with the artists who did covers. One in particular stands, REALLY stands out: "Love Is Like A Bitching In My Heart." The only connection I can tell is in the copping of the title.

  44. Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Interesting how Brian & Eddie still deny that they pitched WDOLG to the Marvelettes. Only Lamont said it was because of how the song was pitched. I don't think Wanda was the designated lead singer then and they hadn't tried her low pitch (like Smokey eventually would). But even today, I can't hear Gladys sing it. The fact Eddie discovered that Diana could sing low changed music history.

    Did they discuss Marvin to any length in this book? I know Lamont did.
    Listen to "Tie A String Around Your Finger", "A Little Bit Of Sympathy, A Little Bit Of Love" and "Need For Love". They are all in the same key as WDOLG and more or less a progression of those tunes/style. The only reason you can hear Gladys singing it is because you've got Diana's performance seared onto your psyche. Gladys could have easily sung WDOLG. Would she have performed it like Diana? No. Gladys was already developing a smoother delivery by this time but she would have put her spin on the song. Lamont had remarked that the song was being viewed as maybe an album track at the time, there was really no serious stock being put into it as a hit. "Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers" I always thought was an amped up version of WDOLG, so yeah, the song very well could have been done with The Marvelettes in mind.

    And Marvin is discussed, but not in any greater detail than anyone else.

  45. #95
    I started Lamont's book - and he says the Marvelettes sang Come and Get These Memories...………..ho hum, don't know what to make of that.

  46. #96
    Iím sure others could have sung Where did our love go. But no one could have pulled off what Diana did. She sounded cool, edgy, and sexy.

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