Martha Reeves was a secretary at Motown when she got the opportunity of a lifetime – she was given the chance to record a demo. RS500 The song, “Dancing in the Street,” was originally offered to Kim Weston, who would later marry William Stevenson, RS500 one of the writers, but she turned it down. NRR As Stevenson says, though, “When Martha got into the song…that was the end of the conversation!” RS500
Stevenson says the inspiration for the song came from riding through Detroit during the summer with Marvin Gaye, another of the song’s writers. To let the kids cool off, the city would open up the fire hydrants to release the water into the streets. Stevenson says, “They appeared to be dancing in the water.” SF
Resources and Related Links:
- the DMDB page for “Dancing in the Street”
- Martha Reeves & the Vandellas’ DMDB Encyclopedia entry
- AMG All Music Guide
- MA Dave Marsh. (1989). The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. New York, NY; New American Library. Page 83.
- NRR National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress The Full National Recording Registry
- RS500 Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” (12/04).
- SF Songfacts.com
- WI Paul Williams (1993). Rock and Roll: The Best 100 Singles. New York, NY: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc. Page 67.