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DEAL LAmont DoziEr

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By Ruth Adkins Robinson

Adds Broadway Lights to His musical Panoply

Quincy Jones and Lamont Dozier at the 50th Annual Grammy Award Announcement—Photo Courtesy of The Recording Academy® / © 2007
Photographed by Andrea Wyman

Ne yo, Lizzy Moore and Lamont Dozier at 49th Annual Grammy Award Career Day presented by Gibson Foundation—Photo Courtesy of The Recording Academy® / © 2007 Photographed by Rick Diamond

If anybody knows what women should sing to make the audience to Dallas and perhaps one other city,” before heading to its Broadway run fall in love with the music, it would be Lamont Dozier, part of the in 2010. iconic writing/producing team of Holland/Dozier/Holland, who racked The Grammy winning, Oscar-nominated Dozier is busier than up all those hits during Motown’s heyday. ever these days. He’s working on three other Long before Berry Gordy and Motown original musicals for Broadway. They are in came calling, however, Dozier's heart various stages of development, with a variety of belonged to the theatre. But Lamont couldn't Broadway producers. Among them, Dozier says, escape the juggernaut that HDH became as is one with Al Kasher, who did “Seven Brides they wrote and produced dozens and dozens for Seven Brothers” and one is “a Latin play.” of songs including 25 Number 1 hit singles No stranger to success on the big screen such as "(Love is Like a) Heat Wave" for either, Dozier was nominated for his Academy Martha & the Vandellas and "How Sweet It Award for Best Music, Original Score for Is (To Be Loved By You)" for Marvin Gaye. “Buster” which was shared with Phil Collins. Their most celebrated productions were That collaboration also won the duo a Golden probably the singles they created for The Four Globe, a Grammy and a BMI Award for Most Tops and The Supremes, including a string Performed Song from a Film. That song was of five consecutive U.S. #1 singles for The Kanye West and Lamont Dozier at National Grammy “Two Hearts.” Dozier is continuing in that Supremes, beginning with 1964's "Where Did Career Day in Los Angeles—Photo Courtesy of The Recording direction as well, now “working with some of Academy® / © 2006 Photographed by Rick Diamond Our Love Go.” the major studios here on musical films,” he Now he's back with his first love and knee deep in shows bound explains from his Los Angeles valley home. He is “writing the entire song for Broadway. First up, is an original score for the stage production scores,” he adds, and working on a few independent film projects “some of "First Wives Club," the 1996 buddy movie starring Goldie Hawn, extremely talented film producers have brought to me.” Diane Keaton and Bette Midler. An exuberant Dozier confides, On the recording front, he just finished working with Solange Knowles “We actually wrote 30 songs for the play,” but they’ve fine-tuned and Mark Ronson on a great track called “6 0’clock Blues,” which is it down to just 20 for the production. The ‘we’ Dozier is talking featured on Solange’s new album on Geffen Records. Then there’s also a about is, amazingly for the first time in 30 years, the HDH team project with Kanye West and other new artists, including Nikki Jean, who again --Lamont, Brian and Eddie Holland together again. But he sang the hook on Lupe Fiasco’s song “Hip Hop Saved My Life.” Another emphasizes they have come together for “one time only” to do this artist to watch, Hannah Sidbie, was brought to Lamont by Jeremy Geffen show for producers Paul Lambert and Jonas Neilson. The show’s and The Firm. director is Francesca Zambello and the librettist is Rupert Holmes A Trustee for NARAS, where he serves alongside Jimmy Jam, Neil HDH’s collaboration on the musical actually evolved from an idea Portnow, and Tom Sturges of Universal, among others, Dozier was just that producer Lambert had. He’d wanted to do a musical about the appointed Chairman of the Advocacy Committee at NARAS. And every trio, and although the project didn’t work out, a relationship had year, he is at Grammy Career Day and Grammy Camp. sprung up from the many conversations about Broadway. So when A 1990 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and the Songwriter’s Lambert was approached about the “First Wives” project, he was able Hall of Fame in 1988 as part of HDH, Dozier, individually, was the to tap the trio to join him. 2007 recipient of The Thornton Legacy Award, USC Thornton School It’s been a work in progress for four years and will debut at the of Music’s highest award. In fact, USC created The Lamont Dozier venerable Old Globe theatre in San Diego, “probably next July,” Scholarship in perpetuity for each year beginning last year, and he is the Dozier says, adding “some casting” has been done and they had first Artist In Residence Professor of the newly created Major of Popular a reading about four months ago, but now everything is “moving Music at Thornton School of Music. Now teaching too, Lamont says he’s forward” to make the July deadline. He thinks they will “probably go loving it all.