Dancing in the Street: Confessions of a Motown Diva

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She belted out big hits, including "Heat Wave" and "Dancing in the Street," for Motown Records during its golden years. However, behind the scenes, Martha Reeves took a beating from her once supportive mentor, Berry Gordy, Jr., and her arch rival Diana Ross. As bold and passionate a storyteller as a singer, Reeves tells it all in this fascinating biography. Three 8-page photo inserts.

In anecdotes as bold and passionate as her famous vocals, the leader of the popular...

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Overview

She belted out big hits, including "Heat Wave" and "Dancing in the Street," for Motown Records during its golden years. However, behind the scenes, Martha Reeves took a beating from her once supportive mentor, Berry Gordy, Jr., and her arch rival Diana Ross. As bold and passionate a storyteller as a singer, Reeves tells it all in this fascinating biography. Three 8-page photo inserts.

In anecdotes as bold and passionate as her famous vocals, the leader of the popular group Martha and the Vandellas tells it like it was about her financial battles and career clashes with her unscruplous mentor Berry Gordy, Jr., her down-and-dirty war with her ruthlessly ambition rival Diana Ross, and her outrageous adventures on the road with James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and others. 16 pages of photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the early '60s Martha and the Vandellas were among the most successful female pop acts in the world; by the end of the decade they had largely been upstaged by Motown labelmates Diana Ross and the Supremes. Writing with Bego ( Madonna: Blonde Ambition ), Reeves here recounts both the excitement and energy of Motown in its heyday and her frustrations in making a comeback after she was abandoned by music industry moguls. Although she proclaims to set the record straight about her alleged feuds with Diana Ross and Motown president Berry Gordy, Reeves tends to soft-pedal these issues, and her feelings about Gordy are so obviously conflicted as to leave readers befuddled about their true relationship. Consequently, the book is of interest more as an account of a career in the entertainment industry than as an expose of the Motown scene. Reeves's story of her exploitation by her managers, her ongoing drug addiction and a string of relationships gone sour is poignant, and she emerges as a stoic and likable survivor. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Aug.)
Library Journal
The Motown group Martha and the Vandellas hit it big in the 1960s with songs like "Dancing in the Street" and "Heat Wave," but they never achieved the superstardom of the Supremes. So it's interesting to hear head Reeves's perspective in this candid and touching reminiscence. After moving to Detroit at an early age, Reeves pursued her driving desire to be a singer and soon found herself at Hitsville U.S.A. with the likes of Smokey Robinson, James Brown, and Diana Ross, all young and dreaming of stardom. She attained her dream but paid the price of many who start so young: drug addiction, financial problems, and mental illness. Reeves openly relates all this as well as her rivalry with Ross, reigning Motown diva. She gets in her digs, but there is a compelling honesty about this book that transports the reader. Her autobiography is much less self-serving than Mary Wilson's Dreamgirl (LJ 12/86) or Ross's puff piece Secrets of a Sparrow (Random, 1993). Recommended.-Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Bay Area Cooperative Lib. System, Cal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786880942
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 8/28/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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