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.

James Holland
“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
(Ego Tripping)

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 delicate notes.

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 Holland-Hawkins-Holland.

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 World, Tamla, Wheelsville, Robert West, Darrell Banks, Johnnie Mae Matthews, Rose Battiste, Tera Shirma, Fred Bridges, Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Edwin Starr, Funk Brothers, Dennis Coffey, Bob Babbitt, James Jamerson, Twisted Wheel, Wiggan Casino and many more Detroit Souls topics.