Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)


Stories Behind The Music -- An Anthem for an Era

One of the songs that would go on to be a signature song of rock n' roll -- one released by many artists and some of those covers went on to be hits -- was first recorded by a secretary at Motown Records.

Martha Reeves, and her friends who would become the Vandellas, did backup singing at Motown, along with Martha's clerical duties. The girls recorded with Marvin Gaye and, at that session, the owner of Motown, Berry Gordy, was impressed with Martha's voice. He decided to put out a single featuring her girl group.

Martha first heard the song that would make her famous when it was performed by Marvin Gaye. Marvin was a co-writer of the tune and, frankly, she was not impressed with the song. She agreed to record it anyway, and she put her heart into it. The anthem of the era was released in 1964 and it went right up the R&B and the pop charts. On the Billboard pop charts, it peaked at #2. You have to know this one. Baby, this was the Detroit sound.

There were a number of remakes -- the Mamas and Papas, Ramsey Lewis and Van Halen come to mind. However, the next most successful cover, and it still did not top Martha's original hit, was this crazy version by two of rocks most enduring legends. This visually stunning video helped turn a performance from the Live Aid concert into a #7 single back in 1985. Dig the cool outfits.

For more "Stories Behind the Music" click on the guitar

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspections

Steven L. Smith

If you enjoy nostalgia and music of yesteryear, click on Elvis' gold record to visit This Day In History. To explore The Stories Behind The Music blog posts click on the electric guitar. 







Comment balloon 5 commentsSteven L. Smith • April 26 2009 09:44AM


how sweet of you to have Charle's blog posts on your blog - did you mean to add HIS widget?  What great friends! :-)

Posted by Liz Moras Migic, Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor over 10 years ago

Both of these groups are legendary.  The Stones are one of my favorite groups.  I'm glad I got to see them in concert.

Posted by Goodbye Active Rain, Out of Real Estate over 10 years ago

I've never seen that video.  Really is funny.  What a combo.

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) over 10 years ago


If I did not know better, I would think it was Chuckie Bee and Nutsy in zoot suits


We have each other's widgets on our blogs....reciprocal

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 10 years ago

I liked the first one better but I did really like that green shirt that Jagger had on.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) over 10 years ago