Martha and The Vandellas biography

Marvin Gaye’s Backing Singers + Berry Gordy’s Secretary!

Martha and the Vandellas (later known as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas) were a huge success for the Motown label between 1963 and 1971.

Prior to these years, what was to become The Vandellas had been backup singers for other acts such as Marvin Gaye at the Motown hit factory, where Martha worked as a secretary.

One day, Mary Wells missed a scheduled session that The Vandellas were booked to provide backup singing for. Martha stepped in and impressed Berry Gordy so much that he signed them on the spot.

Backed by Motown’s hit writers Holland-Dozier-Holland, they released super hits like Heat Wave, Nowhere to Run, Jimmy Mack, and Dancing in the Street.

Nowhere To Run was actually one of the world’s first music videos, Dancing In The Street became Motown’s signature song.

In the aftermath of Motown’s heyday, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas have continued doing sporadic concerts around the world and been inducted into the Grammy and Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

Rolling Stone ranked the group at #96 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Martha Reeves is still performing in 2019 at the age of 77.

Jimmy Mack – Chords

Jimmy Mack is a song written by Motown’s main songwriting team, Holland-Dozier-Holland. Penned especially for Martha Reeves and The Vandellas.

This song invites us to discuss how you can substitute instead of extending chords to create more interesting sounds.

Go to Jimmy Mack chords.

Jimmy Mack – Lyrics

Jimmy Mack, Jimmy. Oh, Jimmy Mack, when are you comin’ back.
Jimmy Mack, Jimmy. Oh, Jimmy Mack, when are you comin’ back.
My arms are missing you, my lips feel the same way too.
I tried so hard to be true, like I promised I’d do.

Go to Jimmy Mack lyrics.