Martha and the Vandellas
Calgary International Blues Festival (2013)
Celebrating fifty years since she boarded that chartered Greyhound bus for that first legendary Motown tour, Martha Reeves continues to be one of the world's most beloved performers. In constant demand, whether performing solo or with her current Vandellas (sisters Lois and Delphine Reeves), Motown's ultimate soul diva heats up clubs, concert stages and music festivals, thrilling audiences across the globe, and always leaving them dancing. In 2012, she proved her staying power by returning to the charts with the Top 25 dance hit, the defiant "I'm Not Leaving."
Her hits are the thing of legend: the Grammy-nominated "Heat Wave," the gospel-tinged "Nowhere to Run," the anthem "Jimmy Mack," the classic soul favorite "My Baby Loves Me," and her signature, "Dancing In The Street." While best known for up-tempo, hard driving tunes, Reeves' shows are often highlighted by jazzy renderings of Billie Holidayœs "God Bless The Child," her original blues song, "Watch Your Back," an acoustic "A Love Like Yours" and perennial showstopper, "Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things."
With her group, the Vandellas, Martha Reeves established an enviable legacy. They backed Marvin Gaye on his first three hits ("Stubborn Kinda Fellow,"e; "Pride and Joy," and "Hitch Hike') and gave Holland-Dozier-Holland their first big hit with "Come and Get These Memories." In fact, it was while listening to Martha sing "Memories" that Berry Gordy came up with Motown tag line, "the sound of young America." While the roster of Vandellas changed frequently, Reeves' soaring soprano was the constant.
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