Master Class moderator Nelson George and Lamont Dozier
Photo credit: Shawn Ehlers
Last night, the sold out crowd at the Kaufman Center for the Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Class was treated to a very special, intimate evening of stories about the wonder years of Motown Records and the origination of some of the many hits written by Lamont Dozier and the powerhouse songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland(H-D-H). H-D-H were credited with creating the Motown Sound and had 13 #1 consecutive hits with The Supremes alone!. Some of their classics include “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” “Stop! In The Name of Love,” and “Where Did Our Love Go.” Moderator and cultural commentator Nelson George coaxed fascinating and entertaining tales out of the songwriting icon about working with Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Temptations, The Marvelettes, Phil Collins and, most recently, Solange Knowles, but also shared songwriting tips that helped propel his career, making him a living legend in the industry. At the end of the Master Class, the crowd helped Dozier celebrate his 68th birthday, singing “Happy Birthday” in unison as a big candlelit cake was brought out onstage.
On Thursday, June 18, Lamont Dozier will receive the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award along with Brian Holland and Eddie Holland, Jr. at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 40th Anniversary Gala.
SHOF Chairman/CEO and songwriting icon Hal David, Lamont Dozier and Nelson George
Following the Master Class, SHOF presented the 2009 Abe Olman Scholarships for Excellence in Songwriting, which is given annually to five promising young songwriters who have risen to an exemplary standard. This year’s Abe Olman Scholarship recipients are: Madi Diaz (SHOF), Michael Grubbs (SESAC), April Lynn Smith (BMI) , Kirsten Thien (SGA) and Natalie Warner (ASCAP).