1960sComediansComedyFunk musicHoward HessmanLionel RichieMartha ReevesMary WEllsMoTownMoTown 25 Anniversary ShowMusicMusic ConcertsPop MusicR & B MusicRhythm & Blues MusicRichard PryorThe Commodores

Music – 1983 – Martha Reeves + Mary Wells + Commodores – Live On Motown 25th Anniversary TV Special

Heat Wave is a 1963 song written by the Holland–Dozier–Holland songwriting team….which was first made popular by the Motown vocal group Martha and the Vandellas….and released as a 45 rpm single on July 9, 1963, on the Motown subsidiary Gordy label….as the song hit # 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B chart ….where it stayed for four weeks running….while peaking at # 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.  It was recorded 12 years later by rock vocalist Linda Ronstadt on her Platinum-selling 1975 album Prisoner in Disguise. Ronstadt’s version of the song was released as a single in September 1975….while reaching # 5 in  Billboard….reaching # 4 in Cash Box….and # 6 in Record World.  In 2010, British musician Phil Collins spent a single week at # 28 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart with his retooling of the song….which became a smooth combination of both versions.  

My Guy is a 1964 hit single recorded by Mary Wells for the Motown label….which was written and produced by Smokey Robinson….as the song is a woman’s rejection of a sexual advance and affirmation of her fidelity to her boyfriend….who is her ideal and with whom she is happy….despite his ordinary physique and looks…..cuz “There’s not a man today who could take me away from my guy”

Brick House is a song from the Commodores’ 1977 self-titled album….which was released as Zoom in the UK…..as the single peaked at # 5 in the U.S. and # 32 in the UK Singles Chart.  

In 1977, the Commodores were in the studio recording when there was a problem with the equipment…. and while the equipment was being repaired and replaced, the group took a break….and that’s when Ronald LaPread, the group’s bass player, began jamming….when all of a sudden the rest of the band joined in until they came up with a track and bass line…..then upon returning, James Carmichael, the Commodores’ producer, heard and recognized that this could be a song worth recording….so, he asked everyone to see if they could use the riff to come up with a song. Taking the tapes home, William King played them for his wife, Shirley Hanna-King….and while he slept, she was inspired to write lyrics for the riff….after modifying the expression “built like a brick shithouse” for the song.

The following day King sang the lyrics to “Brick House” to the band….as they loved it and decided that drummer Walter “Clyde” Orange had the funky voice to sing lead vocals….which was a divergence from Lionel Richie….who usually sang lead, and the song went on the new album.

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