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The Thing About Lamont Dozier

One of the things about living in California is it’s easy to meet someone “famous.” A month ago I met Motown legend Lamont Dozier. He’s responsible for writing some of the greatest songs that you’ve ever sung in the shower. According to his website, he’s written songs recorded by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, and The Who. He has written 54 Number 1 hits. That’s the thing about Lamont Dozier: He knows how to write a hit song.

I happened to be in a bar in the East Bay and sat next to him. He took a shine to me, so I got to hang out with him for a while. It turns out it was his birthday. Wait, Mr. Bay Area Brit, you were hanging out with Motown legend, rock and roll hall of famer, Lamont Dozier, on his birthday? Yes I was, and he was smoother than marble and cooler than, well, marble again, I guess. Anyway my point is that he was both cool and smooth.

He had some great stories about growing up in Detroit and working with musicians who are now household names. He seemed apologetic and even hesitant to tell some of the more gossipy tales of life working with Berry Gordy and the other stars at Detroit’s famous music factory. He told me of his love for his wife, Gertie. They’ve been married for almost 50 years; he broke out into a soppy smile as he talked about her, and how much he misses her when he’s on the road. Lamont oozed charm and personality. I ate it up. Seriously, how often do you get to meet someone who helped change the course of history, musical or otherwise? That’s the thing about Lamont Dozier: he helped change musical history.

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