The Holland brothers owned the Marathon label.
Joe Hunter arranged the first sides on
Marathon - the sweet ballad, “Too Many Times” backed with the
bouncy dancer “I’m So Glad” – both featuring Jimmy on lead.
These two Holidays’ – sorry, The Fabulous Holidays’ - songs are
embellished with strings and horns, and the sessions must have
cost the Holland brothers quite a bit to record. With decent
airplay the 45 would have sold, but that didn’t happen and it’s
doubtful if the recording costs were ever recouped.
The Holidays were back down to three members after ex-Contour
Joe Billingslea left. It was another ex-Contour, Sylvester
Potts, who co-wrote both songs and The Holidays – with Joe and
Sylvester - gigged as Contours for a short while.
The advert for Inter/Soul Distributors, which was handling The
Holidays’ “Lazy Day”, is on a WJLB survey printed in June 1974 – the record was
released in ‘73.
The 1970s wasn’t
just a new decade, it ushered in a new era. By now suits and
ties were out and Afros and dashikis were in. It was also a
period when Detroit gained the reputation as being the murder
capital on the USA.
Jimmy and Jack Holland started to collaborate with a group that
had gone by various names during The 60s: The Fabulous Impacs
who had the only 45 on the Bomb label and who playing on Gwen
Owens’ early 45s on REM and Oncore. They then became Soul Agents
on Atac before transforming into Black Merda - a Hendrix-style
psychedelic rock band – on Chess.
“Getting Kind of Serious”
Who in the world do you think you are
running around like a super star
I knew you when you had no dough
You were too darn poor to have an ego
The group’s experimental funk-rock phase
began with a cover of Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” for Gino’s Atac
label around 1969 and they also backed Fuji on his local hit,
“Mary, Don’t Take Me On No Bad Trip”. The lineup included
drummer Tyrone Hite, bassist VC L. Veasey, and guitarist Anthony
"Wolf" Hawkins, whose younger brother Charles teamed up as the
fourth member and second guitarist in the late 60s. By the time
they backed The Holidays they had mellowed out and the Marathon
sides have a Delfonics’ quality, with Maurice Wise singing the
Most of the latter Holidays’ songs were co-written by Anthony
and VC, with the band playing on the United Sound sessions. The
partnership was named HHH Productions, for
The soulful “Too Many Times” was the first disc on the Marathon
label and its flip - “I’m So Glad” - is now a popular dancer.
The follow-up in 1973 involved Jimmy Holland’s cousin, James
Reed and “Getting Kind of Serious” is an impassioned song with
Jimmy in great form. Later in ’73 the funky “Ego Tripping” was
released, but this was another 45 that didn’t really take off.
Researched and written by Graham Finch
This website is dedicated to Detroit, Soul Music, 45 RPM, Northern
Soul and the great Motown era of Detroit Musics. It covers the Holidays, Golden
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