The Star of Eddie grew out of a visit Shirley Anderson made to the Hollywood Walk of Fame recently. As she chatted about how excited she was to find the star that represented Eddie, I leaned into the phone to hear more. I knew at that moment; an article would emerge. Writing about world-renowned Detroit musicians is an honor!
Finding The Star of Eddie was easy for Shirley Anderson because “the Eddie” I’m speaking of . . .is Eddie Holland, legendary singer/songwriter of Motown! Starship lasted decades for this man. Wait! Slow down, don’t get ahead of the story! Let’s start near the beginning.
In 1958, the world was introduced to Eddie Holland with the Mercury Single “You,” one of Berry Gordy’s earliest productions. But Eddie didn’t make the Holland name a household word by himself, Brother Brian shared the spotlight. In 1961 while Eddie was scoring a “hit” with Motown’s “Jamie” as a recording artist, Brian was co-composing with Motown’s “Please Mr. Postman,” by the Marvelettes. Both men were destined to reshape the history of music.
The Journey of Stardom
From 1962 to 1967, one of American Music’s greatest teams was formed: Holland-Dozier-Holland of Motown. Who was Dozier? Lamont Dozier had been a recording artist for Anna, a record label owned by Berry Gordy’s sister . . .but later became part of the Motown Family. Holland-Dozier-Holland was the songwriting and production team for Motown. Their skills and talents aided in defining the “Motown Sound,” a sound that soon would rock the world! Eddie wrote the lyrics and Brian and Lamont composed and produced.
Hits Penned by The Star of Eddie
Eddie Holland penned numerous songs that aided in making “the star of Eddie.” Most were in collaboration with Brian and Lamont, however later, he worked with Motown Songwriter Norman Whitfield. As I read the long list, it was quickly decided that space did not allow me to print them all, so, my favorite twelve (12) were selected.
What motivated Eddie to write an ever-expanding list of songs? Hopefully one day I will get a chance to ask him, but now, I can only use my humble knowledge as a writer and author to speculate.
Inspiration is a key ingredient, but there will be times when “the words don’t come.” Then . . . what keeps the writer plugging along? I choose consistency, passion, observation and being able to relate other things to the task at hand. I hope Eddie agrees.
Songs of Eddie
- Ain’t to Proud to Beg – The Temptations
- Baby I Need Your Loving – Four Tops
- Baby Love – The Supremes
- Beauty is Only Skin Deep – The Miracles
- Come See About Me – The Supremes
- Heat Wave – Martha and The Vandellas
- Heaven Must Have Sent You – The Elgins
- Standing in the Shadows of Love – Four Tops
- Stop in the Name of Love – The Supremes
- There’s No Stopping You Now – The Supremes
- The Girl’s Alright with Me – The Temptations
- You Can’t Hurry Love – The Supremes
Who Gets the Star?
In 2015, The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored Holland-Dozier-Holland with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Recording. “We are so happy to honor these musical geniuses with their well-deserved star on the Walk of Fame very fittingly during Black History Month,” stated Walk of Fame Producer Ana Martinez. “Their music has and will continue for decades to be a part of American music history.”
Those historic moments of creation produced the “Motown Sound”– a sound with an up-tempo style, combined with captivating lyrics motivated by Gospel, “the groove of R&B” and “the polish of pop.” It was a sound that reverberated around the world.
Eddie Stands in Front of The Star of Eddie
Editor To Eddie: Now that you are standing in front of one of the most celebrated honors an entertainer in America can receive . . . how does it feel to claim “the Star of Eddie?”