Motown Mastermind Lamont Dozier Makes Music with Chicago Children’s Theatre
As a songwriter, Lamont Dozier hit the ground running in the 1960s as part of the legendary Motown songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland.
Hits like “Reach Out,” “Stop in the Name of Love” and “Heat Wave” were just some of the many hits they wrote for artists including The Supremes, The Four Tops and Marvin Gaye. (See more beloved pop songs co-written by Dozier.)
The latest chapter in Dozier’s legendary career includes the world premiere of the musical “Last Stop on Market Street.” Dozier and his son, Paris Ray Dozier, have written the music for the show, a co-commission between Chicago Children’s Theatre – where it opened this week – and Children’s Theatre Company of Minnapolis.
“Last Stop on Market Street” is based on the 2016 Newberry Award-winning book by author Matt de la Pena and illustrator Christian Robinson. It’s the story of a bus journey in which a young boy learns life lessons about poverty, privilege and discrimination.
The show is directed by Henry Godinez, the artistic associate at Goodman Theatre. It has been adapted by Cheryl L. West, a Chicago-born playwright. The cast includes veteran Chicago actor E. Faye Butler as Nana, and two boys rotating in the role of 7-year-old “CJ” – Alejandro Medina and Kei Rawlins.
As part of the songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland, Lamont Dozier co-wrote some of the most beloved pop songs of the 20th century:
“Stop! In the Name of Love” (The Supremes, 1965)
“You Can’t Hurry Love” (The Supremes, 1966)
“Heat Wave” (Martha and the Vandellas, 1963)
“Baby I need Your Loving” (The Four Tops, 1964)
“How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You” (Marvin Gaye, 1964)
“Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (The Four Tops, 1966)
“Where Did Our Love Go?” (The Supremes, 1964)
“Nowhere to Run” (Martha and the Vandellas, 1965)
“I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” (Four Tops, 1965)
“You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (The Supremes, 1966)
“Baby Love” (The Supremes, 1964)
“I Hear a Symphony” (The Supremes, 1965)
“Give Me Just a Little More Time” (Chairmen of the Board, 1970)
“Bernadette” (Four Tops, 1967)
“Standing in the Shadows of Love” (Four Tops, 1966)
“Jimmy Mack” (Martha and the Vandellas, 1967)
“Band of Gold” (Freda Payne, 1970)
Dozier and his son join us in conversation.