Motown songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland – that’s Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland – will receive the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award at the 2009 Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards dinner on June 18 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel.
Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote numerous hits for the Supremes and the Four Tops, and as producers were often credited with creating and defining the Motown sound. Their songs remain popular today, many years after their creation because of the role their sides played in helping to shape popular culture.
“Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland’s massive stream of classic songs changed the face of popular music in a way that has endured, creating a style that is highly influential and relevant today,” the Songwriters Hall of Fame chairman/CEO Hal David said in a statement. “The Songwriters Hall of Fame is proud to bestow our prestigious Johnny Mercer Award upon this groundbreaking team.”
Among the songs that Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote and produced are “Where Did Our Love Go?” “Baby, I Need Your Loving,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” Stop In The Name Of Love,” “Baby Love,” “Can’t Hurry Love,” “Reflections,” “You Keep Me Hanging On” “Nowhere To Run,” “Same Old Song,” “Can’t Help Myself,” “Heatwave,” “Quicksand,” and “Jimmy Mack”
In total, the team wrote 70 Top 10 songs from 1962-1967 including 50 #1 hits, at one point hitting the top of the charts 13 times in a row, according to the press release announcing the award.
The team also won 79 BMI Pop Songwriter Achievement Awards and in 1988, Holland-Dozier-Holland were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2003 they were honored with the BMI Icon Award.
The Johnny Mercer Award is exclusively reserved for a songwriter who has already been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in a prior year, and whose body of work is of such high quality and impact, that it upholds the gold standard set by the legendary Johnny Mercer.
Past Johnny Mercer Award recipients have included Paul Anka, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Billy Joel, Jimmy Webb, Hal David, Burt Bacharach, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller and Paul Simon, among others.