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Jamie - Eddie Holland

But back to 1958 and the early days of Motown. When Berry Gordy and the gamg were recording that first string of hits for Jackie Wilson, they used a young guy called Eddie Holland to sing on the demo tapes they sent over to him. In order for them to appeal to Jackie, they had to be sung in his style, and so, once Gordy launched his own label, Eddie was the obvious choice as Motown's answer to Jackie Wilson. The only problem was that, as a live performer, Eddie Holland was a bag of nerves and shyness, the exact opposite of Wilson.

Eddie Holland went on to be part of legendary songwriting production team Holland - Dozier - Holland . In Motown, especially at the beginning, the recording artists were lower down in the executive pecking order, above the musicians that became collectively known as the Funk Brothers, but lower than the senior songwriters who in turn were lower than the producers. So for Eddie Holland, it was a good career move; but not only was he the lyricist in the songwriting team with his brother Brian and Lamont Dozier doing the music, he was also the singing coach, showing by example how the name stars such as Diana Ross or Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops should singing his words, where they should be placing the emphasis, and how the phrasing should work.

When you listen to "Jamie" from 1962 you can hear why. If you didn't know better (but now you do) you'd have thought it was Jackie himself singing here, it's that good -"so-o divine!". And a little cracker of a song too.

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