The music of the Motown record label continues to inspire people across the world as the nostalgia of the 1960s elicits feelings of glee for many. A variety of popular African American artists contributed to the impact of Motown’s reach across America as its explosive sounds initiated a new era for Western music, feeding off of the public’s desire for soulful lyrics and beats. Fans of Motown including Tunde Folawiyo and millions of others with an appreciation for music of times past may look back fondly upon The Four Tops, an American quartet whose music remains some of the most popular to ever grace the Motown music label.
The Four Tops, founded as The Four Aims, was established in Detroit, Michigan – the birthplace of Motown music. Group mates Levi Stubbs, Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Lawrence Payton and Renaldo “Obie” Benson stayed together for over 40 years without a chance in members. The group was among the record label’s first era of artists, demonstrating their influence on the R&B and soul musical genres. Whilst the Motown label moved to Los Angeles from its home base of Detroit, the Tops remained in their hometown, signing a new deal with ABC Records’ Dunhill imprint. Recording tracks in Los Angeles, several of the group’s singles made the charts during the late 1070s, with “Ain’t No Woman” among them.
Much of the Four Tops’ early success is attributed to their songwriting team, Holland, Dozier & Holland. The group included Lamont Dozier with two brothers, Eddie Holland and Brian Holland. The three produced a variety of songs for the era’s top artists, contributing an immeasurable amount to the success of the Motown during the 60s. Their time with Motown say Brian Holland and Dozier as composers while Eddie Holland was responsible for lyrics and vocal arrangements. Upon their departure from Motown, the trio remained a strong songwriting team. In 1988, they were inducted to the esteemed Songwriter Hall of Fame before a milestone induction to Rock and Roll’s Hall of Fame during 1990. Additionally, further proving their star power and influence on the soul musical genre, the team were admitted into Soul Music’s Hall of Fame during 2012.
Through powerful vocals and touching melodies, the soulful music of Motown continues to bring great joy to music lovers throughout the world. Fans of the Motown musical genre including Tunde Folawiyo may forever look to the music of The Four Tops and other Motown artists for an instant dose of nostalgia.