The extraordinary Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier who co-wrote such iconic songs "You Can't Hurry Love" and "My World Is Empty Without You" for The Supremes, "Heat Wave" for Martha and the Vandellas, and "How Sweet It Is" for Marvin Gaye, has died at age 81. In collaboration with Brian and Eddie Holland, Dozier penned 15 number one singles and more than 80 that made the Top 40.
"It was as if we were playing the lottery and winning every time," Dozier wrote in his autobiography How Sweet It Is.
From the New York Times:
In his memoir, Mr. Dozier summed it up: "Brian was all music, Eddie was all lyrics, and I was the idea man who bridged both."
Sometimes he would have an idea for a song's feel: He wrote the Four Tops' "Reach Out I'll Be There" thinking about Bob Dylan's phrasing on "Like a Rolling Stone." Sometimes he concocted an attention-grabbing gimmick, like the staccato guitars at the beginning of the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On" that evoked a radio news bulletin.
And sometimes Mr. Dozier uttered a real-life sentence that worked in song, as he did one night when he was in a Detroit motel with a girlfriend and a different girlfriend started pounding on the door. He pleaded with the interloper, "Stop, in the name of love" — and then realized the potency of what he had said. The Holland-Dozier-Holland team quickly hammered the sentence into a three-minute single, the Supremes' "Stop! In the Name of Love."