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Martha Reeves' Soul Christmas

Singer and Motown star Martha Reeves hosts a Christmas soul special, playing her favourite festive music and sharing memories from Christmases past.

Singer and Motown star Martha Reeves hosts a Christmas soul special, playing her favourite festive music and sharing memories from Christmases past.

Martha rose to stardom in the early 1960s as the lead singer of Motown girl group 'Martha Reeves And The Vandellas'. Arriving to audition at Motown's headquarters but without an appointment, Martha began answering phones and worked as an admin assistant in the label's A&R department until her big break came. Then, when Mary Wells didn't turn up to a session, Martha stepped in, calling her friends to join her and 'Martha Reeves and The Vandellas' was born. They provided backing vocals to Marvin Gaye and other Motown acts before having their own international hits including '(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave', 'Nowhere To Run' and 'Jimmy Mack'.

In her Christmas special for BBC Radio 2, Martha unwraps her soundtrack to the festive season; a selection of festive Motown hits from her former label-mates including Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye and The Supremes, plus soulful Christmas classics, carols and seasonal r'n'b treats. With music from Otis Redding, The Ronettes, Mahalia Jackson, James Brown and many more.

Martha also shares her memories of childhood Christmases in Detroit, of the Motown Christmas parties thrown by label-boss Berry Gordy and of her own festive performances on TV, on tour and at The White House.

As well as her Motown career and TV, film and theatre appearances, Martha also served as a councillor in Detroit from 2005 to 2009.

Martha was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame last year and continues to perform both solo and with The Vandellas.

Producer:Lorna Skingley.

1 hour, 57 minutes

Last on

Tue 27 Dec 2016 03:00

Music Played

  • Stevie Wonder

    What Christmas Means To Me

    • 20 Motown Christmas Classics (Variou.
    • Hitsville.
  • James Brown

    Soulful Christmas

    • King Records.
  • The Ronettes

    Frosty The Snowman

    • Phil Spector Int.
  • Marvin Gaye

    I Want To Come Home For Christmas

  • Mahalia Jackson

    Sweet Little Jesus Boy

  • Donny Hathaway

    This Christmas (Hang All The Mistletoe)

    • ATCO Records.
  • Al Green

    What Christmas Means to Me

  • The Jackson 5

    Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town

    • Virgin.
  • The Temptations

    White Christmas

  • Carla Thomas

    Gee Whiz, It's Christmas

  • Martha Reeves

    Oh Holy Night

  • Wilson Pickett

    Jingle Bells

  • The Miracles

    It's Christmas Time

  • Bob B. Soxx and The Blue Jeans

    Here Comes Santa Claus

    • Phil Spector Int.
  • Sharon Jones & The Dap‐Kings

    Silver Bells

  • Otis Redding

    Merry Christmas Baby

    • Stax.
  • Mariah Carey

    All I Want For Christmas Is You

    • Mariah Carey - Merry Christmas.
    • Columbia.
  • The Supremes

    Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

  • Martha Reeves and The Vandellas

    Heat Wave

    • Motown.
  • Ella Fitzgerald

    Away In A Manger

  • Luther Vandross

    Every Year, Every Christmas

  • Shirley Alston

    Winter Wonderland

  • Love Unlimited

    It May Be Winter Outside

    • Mercury.
  • Four Tops

    Silent Night (feat. Aretha Franklin)

  • William Bell

    Every Day Will Be Like A Holiday

  • The O’Jays

    Christmas Ain't Christmas (Without The One You Love)

    • Philadelphia International.
  • Nat King Cole

    The Christmas Song

    • EMI.
  • Whitney Houston & The Georgia Mass Choir

    Joy To The World

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