22 August 2013 12:47 PM, PDT | Huffington Post | See recent Huffington Post news »

Summer's here, and the time is right..

When Martha Reeves joined Motown Records, it wasn't because owner Berry Gordy thought she had the chops to become one of the label's biggest stars. In fact, she was originally hired in as a secretary.

But Reeves pushed for a chance to sing on demos Motown produced in the tiny recording studio built within a home on Detroit's Grand Boulevard. They didn't call themselves the Vandellas yet, but Reeves, Rosalind Ashford, Annette Beard and Gloria Williams (who later dropped out) all began to sing backup for a Motown up-and-comer named Marvin Gaye. Gordy was so impressed, he eventually offered the women a recording deal -- and dubbed them Martha and the Vandellas.

Their early singles caught the ears of American listeners -- tracks like "Come And Get These Memories" and "(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave" burned up the charts. Then, another Motown singer, »


- Ashley Woods

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