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Martha Reeves Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (14) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 18 July 1941Eufaula, Alabama, USA
Birth NameMartha Rose Reeves
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Martha Reeves was born on July 18, 1941 in Eufaula, Alabama, USA as Martha Rose Reeves.

Trivia (14)

Lead singer of 1960s group Martha & The Vandellas.
Originally the A&R secretary at Hitsville USA, (Motown's offices/studio), Martha was called in to do "I'll Have To Let Him Go" when Mary Wells proved too ill to appear for the recording session.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of Martha & The Vandellas) in 1995.
Martha & The Vandellas ranked #56 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll.
In 1963k she began work on a song called "Spellbound", which was written specifically for her by legendary singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson, and was to be a follow-up to Martha & The Vandellas' #1 hit "Heatwave". Part of the backing track and full vocals were completed in mid-'63, then the rest of the music finished and mixed in late December of 1965. The song, however, was vaulted as a result of Motown founder Berry Gordy's fixation on new sensation, The Supremes, and his interest in fast-tracking their growing career. The song has been widely talked about for years, and has even bootlegged on various European CDs, but the quality is poor. When she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Reeves specifically requested this song be issued. As of March 2005 Hip-O Select released the song on a double-CD anthology called "Spellbound" that contains completely unreleased material.
Shares a birthday with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dion DiMucci.
Has one son, Eric (b. 1970)
Aside from the recordings which were released by Martha & The Vandellas, 148 plus two of her own Motown solo recordings remained vaulted. In recent years, Reeves' two solo songs, plus 50 of the unreleased "Vandellas" tracks have surfaced. Only 95 remain in the vaults.
Wrote a song called "Love Blind" about her abusive relationship with Gerard, the father of her son, Eric. The song is considered a collectors item and was released as a promotional single in 1975 to catapult her up-and-coming album "The Rest of My Life." The song--like the album--was not given the push it needed as a result of producer and label owner Clive Davis not liking the fact that Reeves sang in different keys that he had wanted. Nonetheless, "Love Blind" managed to chart in the Hot 100 on both the R&B Billboard and Cashbox charts. On Billboard it charted on May 31, 1975, peaking at #61 and staying on for six weeks. On Cashbox it peaked at #72, charting June 7, 1975; staying on for four weeks.
Her first solo endeavor, the self-tiled album "Martha Reeves" for MCA, is now considered a collectible classic by avid fans. The album took all of 1973 and part of 1974 to be completed, intending to be "the" piece that was to launch Reeves as a superstar;. It was produced by legendary songwriter/producer Richard Perry for a record (at the time) $250,000. However, it received insufficient promotion from the label sank into obscurity, despite good critical reviews. One song in particular, "I've Got to Use My Imagination," was to have been the first single pressed, but MCA executives pulled the song before its debut, leaving Gladys Knight & The Pips able to record their now famous cover. Another poignant song is Reeves' infamous cover of Van Morrison's "Wild Night" which, though peaking at a mere #74 when released, has become a classic. It was not only used as the theme to Thelma & Louise (1991) but but has since become the signature opener to Reeves' live performances. On Christmas Eve of 1997, See for Miles released the long-out-of-print record on CD, but soon pulled its distribution. As of July 22, 2005, reissue label Hip-O Select has released a limited edition of the album, with only 5,000 copies being printed. As a bonus, it was remastered and restored to its entirety, adding three songs which were to have been included on the original release.
Recorded another album in 1975, after her 1974 debut for MCA. The album, which is titled "Rainbow," is extremely hard to find; both the original pressings, and the alternately-titled re-issue. The album was not promoted well, and it did not help that the label (which only a few who own the album know by name) folded shortly after its release. In 1982 Phonorama acquired the licensing for the tracks, and re-titled the album "Dancin' in the Street" based on the fact that Martha re-recorded her famous hit for the project. The 1982 re-issue copies go for anywhere as high as $600, while the rare original pressings go $1,000 or more. Those who are avid fans of Reeves have debated it to be her best album ever.
Ran for a won a seat on the Detroit City Council. Began serving her four-year term in January 2006. [November 2005]
Still lives in Detroit. Is a candidate for the Detroit City Council. [May 2005]
Her brother Benny Reeves was an original member of The Contours.

Personal Quotes (1)

Nobody could sing like David Ruffin.

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