This spring, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas are bringing their iconic sound and style to the CEPA Stage. Originally signed by the famous Motown Record company, Martha has a story unlike any other, and wants to share it here in Pell City.
BUY TICKETS HERE to see her perform hits such as “Dancin’ in the Street” on April 29th at 7pm.
When looking for the perfect presentation of the Motown sound and style, few fit the bill as well as Martha Reeves & the Vandellas. It was 1963 when they moved from being Marvin Gaye’s original backup singers (“Stubborn Kind of Fellow,” “Pride & Joy,” “Hitch Hike”) to stars in their own right with the trifecta of “Come and Get These Memories,” “Heat Wave,” and “Quicksand.” Over the next decade, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas would be a consistent presence on the music charts, as well as on television and top venues across the US and abroad.
With the unmistakable voice that helped define “the sound of young America,” Reeves reigns as one of music’s most beloved and acclaimed female singers. Reeves and her Vandellas – her sisters, Lois (who joined the group in 1967) and Delphine (who came aboard in 1980) – remain in high demand, heating up clubs, casinos, concert stages, colleges and music festivals across the globe.
Their hits are a thing of legend: In addition to the aforementioned, they include the gospel-tinged “Nowhere to Run,” the classic soul favorite “My Baby Loves Me,” the pop anthem “Jimmy Mack,” and the signature, “Dancing In The Street.” While best known for up-tempo, hard driving tunes, Reeves’ shows are often highlighted by jazzy renderings of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?”, her driving original blues “Watch Your Back” (from her self-produced CD “Home to You”), and the soulful, country-influenced “A Love Like Yours (Don’t Come Knocking Every Day).”
Martha’s story is a familiar one to legions of fans.
Soon after graduating from high school, she performed in clubs as “Martha Lavaille.” One night, Motown A&R director Mickey Stevenson heard her and invited her to audition for the then-fledgling label. The highly-motivated Reeves arrived the next morning. Upon learning that auditions had to be scheduled, she made herself valuable by answering phones and taking messages. When people say she started at Motown as a secretary, Reeves corrects them, laughing, “I was never a secretary. I was a singer who could type.”
Reeves soon become an invaluable administrator, interacting with musicians and performers, scheduling sessions, and making sure that business was taken care of. And she waited her turn to sing. One day, when Mary Wells was unavailable for a session, Martha stepped up to the mic, got notice and a contract. She left the A/R department to become one of Motown’s most enduring and beloved stars.
As classics never fade, new and diverse audiences are constantly being introduced to the Martha Reeves songbook.
Reeves is the recipient of the Dinah Washington Award, a Rhythm n’ Blues Foundation Pioneer Award, a Black Woman in Publishing Legends Award, and has been inducted in the Alabama, Soul, Rock and Roll, and Vocal Group halls of fame. “Dancing in the Street” has been entered into the Library of Congress Registry of Historical Recordings and into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Martha Reeves and the Vandellas are listed among Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Immortal Artists.”
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas are consistently on the road, making sure that you “don’t forget the Motor City.” In 2017, they celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of their last Holland-Dozier-Holland hit, “Jimmy Mack,” with a worldwide tour with dates throughout the US, the UK and Europe.
Their show on April 29th is going to be a night for the books, so be sure not to miss it and buy tickets today!
You can also learn about the rest of the upcoming Spring 2017 season here.