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Famous Like Me > Singer > R > Martha Reeves

Profile of Martha Reeves on Famous Like Me

Name: Martha Reeves  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 18th July 1941
Place of Birth: Eufaula, Alabama, USA
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Martha Rose Reeves (born July 18, 1941), was the lead singer of the American Motown Records group Martha & the Vandellas. She was born in Eufaula, Alabama to Elijah Joshua & Ruby Lee Gilmore Reeves. The Reeves family moved to Detroit right after Martha's birth. Martha was brought up in church, for her grandfather Elijah Reeves was a minister at Detroit's Metropolitan Church. Generally considered Motown's most authentic female soul singer, Reeves is best-known for uptempo soul classics such as "Heat Wave," "Dancing in the Street," and "Jimmy Mack," but is arguably best at ballads such as "My Baby Loves Me" (backed by The Four Tops and The Andantes) and "Love Makes Me Do Foolish Thing" (normally a show-stopper in her live performances). She is a Grammy nominee and has been inducted to the Soul, Rhythm n' Blues, Rock n' Hall, and Alabama Music halls of fame. She was also honored by the Black Women in Publishing organization for her journalistic efforts (an early contributor to Soul newspaper) and her 1995 autobiography.

It was while listening to Reeves' first hit single, "Come and Get These Memories" that Motown founder Berry Gordy coined his "Sound of Young America" slogan. Her "Nowhere to Run" was named one of the top ten R&B singles of all time. She backed Marvin Gaye on tour and on his first three hits, "Stubborn Kind of Fellow," "Pride & Joy" and "Hitch Hike." She was the first Motown artist to record a Stevie Wonder composition, "Nobody Cares" on her Dance Party album in 1965. Wonder's frequent writing companion Sylvia Moy picked up on Reeves' Southern roots for her 1967 hit, "Honey Chile." A fearless performer respected by her fellow musicians for her versatility, Reeves' stage show during her Motown heydays included songs as diverse as Wilson Pickett's "I Found a Love," to the French art song, "Les Bicyclettes," and from Frank Sinatra's classic "All the Way" to the gospel "Oh Happy Day." Her singing partners have been as diverse as Dusty Springfield, Beverly Sills, James Brown, Ringo Starr, John Mellencamp, and Bruce Springsteen.

Reeves left Motown in the early 1970s, and later released albums on MCA (where her star-studded 1974 solo debut was the most expensive album recorded to that date), Arista, and Fantasy. In the early 1990s, she and other Motown veterans recorded updated versions of their hits and new material for London-based MotorCity Records.

The 1990s saw Reeves out of the studio, but making numerous television appearances, and constantly on the road, appearing as a solo artist, with original Vandellas Annette Beard Sterling Helton, and Rosalind Ashford Holmes. She toured the UK in a special Motown review called Dancing in the Street, and the US in a production of Ain't Misbehavin'. Today, she is usually backed by her sisters Lois (who debuted as a Vandella in 1967, on "Honey Chile" and later sang with Al Green's backup group, Quiet Elegance) and Delphine, who has been with the group since the early 1990s.

Reeves is an accomplished pianist, producer and songwriter. Her latest CD is Home to You (True Life Entertainment, 2004), which she produced and wrote all cuts except an updated "Jimmy Mack" and the Billie Holiday classic, "God Bless the Child."

Martha Reeves, still a resident of Detroit, Michigan, is currently running for city council. On August 2, 2005, out of a field of 120 candidates, Reeves placed ninth, with over 25,000 votes. The top 18-vote getters advance to the November general election, and the top 9 vote-getters in that election win seats on the Council. Reeves said she was running for the "youths of the city" and for adequate policing of the neighborhoods. One of her ideas to boost Detroit's economy was a series of downtown statues of such Motown figures as Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Martha Reeves