Although their names may not be known in every household, their songs provided the soundtrack for a generation and became synonymous with the "Motown Sound."
Working alongside Motown founder Berry Gordy, Eddie Holland began his stint at the label as a recording artist, hitting the U.S. charts in 1961 with "Jamie." Meanwhile, his brother Brian was a Motown staff songwriter who co-penned the Marvelettes' No. 1 hit "Please Mr. Postman" that same year. The brotherly duo soon joined forces with Dozier, who had experience with several Detroit-area labels, including the Motown subsidiary Mel-o-dy.
Commonly referred to as H-D-H, the prolific trio spent the larger part of the ‘60s writing, arranging and producing scores of songs for such Motown hit makers as the Supremes, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye and Martha and the Vandellas.
Some of their most recognizable tunes include "Baby I Need Your Loving"; "Baby Love"; "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" ; "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)"; "I Hear a Symphony"; "(It's the) Same Old Song"; "Nowhere to Run"; "Reach Out I'll Be There"; "Stop! In the Name of Love"; "You Can't Hurry Love"; and "You Keep Me Hangin' On."
All in all, the trio scored 25 No. 1 hit singles in the United States. Among the noted acts who have covered songs from H-D-H’s Motown output are the Rolling Stones, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Grateful Dead, the Who, Dusty Springfield, Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson and Pearl Jam.
"We had a spiritual relationship and an emotional one when we worked together," Brian Holland explained to the L.A. Times in 2003. "It wasn't just two guys working together, and I think, somehow, you can hear that in the songs."
After falling out with Gordy in the late '60s over royalties, H-D-H launched their own record labels, Invictus Records and Hot Wax Records, but never equaled the success of Motown. Among the hits they wrote and released through Invictus were "Band of Gold" for Freda Payne and "Give Me Just a Little More Time," the debut single by Chairmen of the Board, both released in 1970. The label also released Parliament's debut album, "Osmium."
Because of the continued legal trouble with Gordy and Motown, the trio were forced to write under the pseudonym "Edythe Wayne" from 1969 through 1972.
Dozier exited the collective in the mid-1970s in order to pursue a solo career. The Holland brothers drafted Harold Beatty as a replacement. Together the newfound trio wrote and produced a number of songs, even collaborating with Motown artists such as Diana Ross and the Supremes and Michael Jackson.
The original trio of Holland-Dozier-Holland was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two years later. They were inducted into the Soul Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
H-D-H reunited in 2009 to compose the score for a staged musical version of the film "The First Wives Club," based on the novel by Olivia Goldsmith. It premiered at The Old Globe Theater in San Diego in 2009, and later opened in Chicago, with plans for a Broadway run in the fall of 2015.
"Through the years, there have been so many wonderful things; we are all very grateful," Dozier told the L.A. Times in 2003. "The body of work speaks for itself. I know I never had any idea that the songs would still be around today, still be in movies and on the radio and played when I'm walking through a supermarket. It still takes me by surprise."