Lyricist for Motown's Holland-Dozier-Holland
Gave us HDH style "symphonic soul"; wrote early Motown hit "Jamie" (1962)
* Brian Holland, Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier were also the 2009 recipients of The Johnny Mercer Award, the SHOF’s highest honor
As part of the Holland/Dozier/Holland (HDH) production and songwriting axis, Eddie Holland helped pioneer the classic Motown sound of the 1960s. His songs, including “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Baby I Need Your Loving” and “Come See About Me” became hit recordings for the Supremes, the Four Tops and Martha & the Vandellas.
Eddie was born in Detroit, MI on October 30, 1939. In 1958, he met Berry Gordy, founder of Motwon Records and Eddie subsequently dropped out of college to work for him. Holland had one of Motown's first hits "Jamie" in 1962. By the next year, Eddie had teamed up with his younger brother Brian and Lamont Dozier. The team made their debut with the hit song "Locking Up My Heart”, performed by the Marvelletes.
With HDH, Motown grew to become a hit machine virtually unparalleled in its productivity and consistency. Marvin Gaye recorded several early hits from the HDH catalog, including "Can I Get a Witness?," "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" and "Little Darling" while Martha and the Vandellas recorded "Heat Wave," "Nowhere to Run" and "Jimmy Mack." However, the trio found their greatest successes with the Supremes’ recordings of "Where Did Our Love Go?," "Baby Love," "Come See About Me," "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "Back in My Arms Again."
By the middle of the decade, the HDH "symphonic soul" sound was setting the pace for pop music everywhere. The Four Tops recorded "Baby I Need Your Loving," "I Can't Help Myself," "(It's The) Same Old Song" and the chart-topping perennial "Reach Out I'll Be There," while the Supremes released "You Can't Hurry Love," "You Keep Me Hanging On," "Love Is Here and Now You're Gone," and "The Happening."
In 1967, HDH split from Motown and due to legal restraints were barred from writing and producing for several years. In 1970, however, they were able to form their own labels, Invictus and Hot Wax where they wrote and produced hits for the Chairmen of the Board and Freda Payne. In 1972, Brian Holland even scored a minor solo hit with "Don't Leave Me Starvin' for Your Love." A year later Dozier left the trio for a solo recording career and eventually, the Holland brothers dissolved both labels in the mid-1970’s.
In 1990, HDH was inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame.