Eddie Holland Biography

30 October 1939, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Like his brother Brian Holland, Eddie was active in the Detroit music scene from the mid-50s onwards, leading the Fidelatones vocal group, and producing demo recordings for Jackie Wilson. In 1958, he met Berry Gordy, who produced a series of solo singles for Holland on Mercury Records and United Artists Records. Gordy signed Holland to his fledgling Motown Records concern in 1961, and was rewarded when Holland’s ‘Jamie’, an affectionate parody of Jackie Wilson, became a US Top 30 hit. Holland achieved three further chart successes in 1964, among them ‘Leaving Here’, which proved popular among British R&B bands. That year he also helped to inaugurate the Holland/Dozier/Holland partnership, Motown’s most successful writing and production team of all time. Working mostly as the trio’s lyricist, Holland was involved in a chain of hits for artists such as the Supremes and the Four Tops. He also collaborated with writer/producer Norman Whitfield on a series of singles by the Temptations, notably ‘I’m Losing You’ and ‘Beauty Is Only Skin Deep’. The same pairing evolved ‘He Was Really Saying Something’ and ‘Needle In A Haystack’ for the Velvelettes, while Holland also co-wrote Shorty Long’s dancefloor classic, ‘Function At The Junction’. Eddie Holland continued to compose and produce with his brother and Lamont Dozier when the trio formed the Invictus and Hot Wax labels in 1968. Since then he has continued to work periodically with both his former partners.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.