Known for movies

Short Info

Date Of BirthJuly 18, 1941
FactAside from the recordings which were released by Martha & The Vandellas, 148 plus two of her own Motown solo recordings remained vaulted. In recent years, Reeves' two solo songs, plus 50 of the unreleased "Vandellas" tracks have surfaced. Only 95 remain in the vaults.

Martha Reeves was born on July 18, 1941, in Eufaula, Alabama, USA. Her parents were Ruby and Elijah Reeves. She has four siblings: sisters Lois, Delores, and Rosemary, and brother Mervyn. Martha Reeves was educated at Northeastern High School in Detroit.

Martha Reeves began her singing career with The Fascinations, a local Detroit group. In 1962, they recorded the song “I’ll Let You Know”, which was written by Reeves and produced by Berry Gordy. The song was a minor hit, but it was enough to get the attention of Motown Records.

In 1963, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas released their first single, “Come and Get These Memories”. The song was a hit, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The group followed up with a string of hits, including “Heat Wave”, “Quicksand”, “Nowhere to Run”, and “Dancing in the Street”.

In 1968, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas released the album “Dancing in the Street”. The title track became an international hit, reaching #1 in the UK and #2 in the US.

In the 1970s, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas continued to release music, but they were unable to match the success of their earlier work. In 1982, the group disbanded.

In the 1990s, Martha Reeves embarked on a solo career. She released the album “The Voice of Martha Reeves” in 1994. The album was a critical and commercial success.

In recent years, Martha Reeves has continued to perform and record music. She has also been active in politics, serving on the Detroit City Council from 2005 to 2009.

Martha Reeves has a net worth of $5 million. She has earned her wealth from her singing career with The Vandellas and as a solo artist.

General Info

Full NameMartha Reeves
Date Of BirthJuly 18, 1941
Height1.7 m
ProfessionAuthor, Actor, Singer, Jimmy Mack, Dancing in the Street, Come and Get These Memories


ChildrenEric Reeves
ParentsRuby Lee Gilmore, Elijah Joshua Reeves, Jimmy Mack, Dancing in the Street, Come and Get These Memories
SiblingsLois Reeves


AwardsGrammy Hall of Fame, Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award, Heat Wave, Nowhere to Run, Jimmy Mack
MoviesFairy Tales, Standing in the Shadows of Motown, Motown: The Early Years, Martha Reeves: In Concert, R&B Jukebox: 20 Classic Hits, Cruisin' Hits of the 60's, Dancin' in the Street, R&B Classics
TV ShowsBrown Sugar

Social profile links


1Nobody could sing like David Ruffin.


1Her brother Benny Reeves was an original member of The Contours.
2Still lives in Detroit. Is a candidate for the Detroit City Council. [May 2005]
3Ran for a won a seat on the Detroit City Council. Began serving her four-year term in January 2006. [November 2005]
4Recorded another album in 1975, after her 1974 debut for MCA. The album, which is titled "Rainbow," is extremely hard to find; both the original pressings, and the alternately-titled re-issue. The album was not promoted well, and it did not help that the label (which only a few who own the album know by name) folded shortly after its release. In 1982 Phonorama acquired the licensing for the tracks, and re-titled the album "Dancin' in the Street" based on the fact that Martha re-recorded her famous hit for the project. The 1982 re-issue copies go for anywhere as high as $600, while the rare original pressings go $1,000 or more. Those who are avid fans of Reeves have debated it to be her best album ever.
5Her first solo endeavor, the self-tiled album "Martha Reeves" for MCA, is now considered a collectible classic by avid fans. The album took all of 1973 and part of 1974 to be completed, intending to be "the" piece that was to launch Reeves as a superstar;. It was produced by legendary songwriter/producer Richard Perry for a record (at the time) $250,000. However, it received insufficient promotion from the label sank into obscurity, despite good critical reviews. One song in particular, "I've Got to Use My Imagination," was to have been the first single pressed, but MCA executives pulled the song before its debut, leaving Gladys Knight & The Pips able to record their now famous cover. Another poignant song is Reeves' infamous cover of Van Morrison's "Wild Night" which, though peaking at a mere #74 when released, has become a classic. It was not only used as the theme to Thelma & Louise (1991) but but has since become the signature opener to Reeves' live performances. On Christmas Eve of 1997, See for Miles released the long-out-of-print record on CD, but soon pulled its distribution. As of July 22, 2005, reissue label Hip-O Select has released a limited edition of the album, with only 5,000 copies being printed. As a bonus, it was remastered and restored to its entirety, adding three songs which were to have been included on the original release.
6Wrote a song called "Love Blind" about her abusive relationship with Gerard, the father of her son, Eric. The song is considered a collectors item and was released as a promotional single in 1975 to catapult her up-and-coming album "The Rest of My Life." The song--like the album--was not given the push it needed as a result of producer and label owner Clive Davis not liking the fact that Reeves sang in different keys that he had wanted. Nonetheless, "Love Blind" managed to chart in the Hot 100 on both the R&B Billboard and Cashbox charts. On Billboard it charted on May 31, 1975, peaking at #61 and staying on for six weeks. On Cashbox it peaked at #72, charting June 7, 1975; staying on for four weeks.
7Aside from the recordings which were released by Martha & The Vandellas, 148 plus two of her own Motown solo recordings remained vaulted. In recent years, Reeves' two solo songs, plus 50 of the unreleased "Vandellas" tracks have surfaced. Only 95 remain in the vaults.
8Has one son, Eric (b. 1970)
9Shares a birthday with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dion DiMucci.
10In 1963k she began work on a song called "Spellbound", which was written specifically for her by legendary singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson, and was to be a follow-up to Martha & The Vandellas' #1 hit "Heatwave". Part of the backing track and full vocals were completed in mid-'63, then the rest of the music finished and mixed in late December of 1965. The song, however, was vaulted as a result of Motown founder Berry Gordy's fixation on new sensation, The Supremes, and his interest in fast-tracking their growing career. The song has been widely talked about for years, and has even bootlegged on various European CDs, but the quality is poor. When she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Reeves specifically requested this song be issued. As of March 2005 Hip-O Select released the song on a double-CD anthology called "Spellbound" that contains completely unreleased material.
11Martha & The Vandellas ranked #56 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll.
12Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of Martha & The Vandellas) in 1995.
13Originally the A&R secretary at Hitsville USA, (Motown's offices/studio), Martha was called in to do "I'll Have To Let Him Go" when Mary Wells proved too ill to appear for the recording session.
14Lead singer of 1960s group Martha & The Vandellas.




Suits2015TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Theory of Everything2014performer: "Love Is Like a Heat Wave"
Motown: The Early Years2005TV Movie documentary performer: "Dancing in the Street", " Love Is Like a Heat Wave", "Jimmy Mack", "Nowhere to Run"
Frequency2000performer: "Love Is Like A Heatwave"
Thelma & Louise1991performer: "Wild Night"
Fairy Tales1978performer: "You'll Feel the Magic in Me"
Saturday Night Live1975TV Series performer - 1 episode
Willie Dynamite1974performer: "Willie D.", "King Midas", "Keep On Movin' On" - as Martha Reeves & The Sweet Things


Fairy Tales1978Aunt La Voh


Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon2011Documentary with thanks to


An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Smokey Robinson2008TV MovieHerself (pre-taped message)
Be My Baby: The Girl Group Story2006TV Movie documentaryHerself
Jimmy Kimmel Live!2006TV SeriesHerself
Motown: The Early Years2005TV Movie documentaryHerself
Soul Deep: The Story of Black Popular Music2005TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
Motown 452004TV SpecialHerself (segment "deleted")
Never Mind the Buzzcocks2004TV SeriesHerself
E! True Hollywood Story1998-2003TV Series documentaryHerself
A City on Fire: The Story of the '68 Detroit Tigers2002TV Movie documentaryHerself (Martha and the Vandellas 1962-1972)
V Graham Norton2002TV SeriesHerself
Standing in the Shadows of Motown2002DocumentaryHerself
Hollywood Squares2002TV SeriesHerself
There's Only One Elvis2002TV Movie documentaryHerself - Singer
100 Greatest Dance Songs of Rock & Roll2000TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
Definitely Dusty1999TV Movie documentaryHerself
Band of Gold: The Invictus Story1999TV Movie documentaryHerself
Super Bowl XXXII1998TV MovieHerself - Halftime Performer
Rock & Roll1995TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
Motorworld1995TV Series documentaryHerself
The Original Leads of the Temptations1992Video documentaryHerself
Legendary Ladies of Rock & Roll1988TV SpecialHerself
Dancin' in the Street1987Video documentaryHerself
Àngel Casas Show1987TV SeriesHerself
Ebony/Jet Showcase1986TV SeriesHerself
Brown Sugar1986TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
Motown Returns to the Apollo1985TV SpecialHerself
Super Night of Rock 'n' Roll1984TV MovieHerself
Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever1983TV Movie documentaryHerself
Good Old Days1977TV SpecialHerself
Sha Na Na1977TV SeriesThemselves
The Midnight Special1976TV SeriesHerself
Musikladen1976TV Series
Saturday Night Live1975TV SeriesHerself - Musical Guest
In Concert1975TV SeriesHerself
Flip Wilson... Of Course1974TV MovieHerself
Soul Train1971-1974TV Series documentaryGuests / Herself
Rock Concert1974TV SeriesHerself
Get It Together1970TV SeriesHerself
The Mike Douglas Show1968TV SeriesHerself
Soul1968TV MovieHerself
Operation: Entertainment1968TV SeriesThemselves
The Joey Bishop Show1967TV SeriesHerself
Dream Girl of '671967TV SeriesHerself - Fashion Hostess
Where the Action Is1966TV SeriesHerself / Herself - Martha and The Vandellas
New American Bandstand 19651966TV SeriesHerself - Musical Guest
Ready, Steady, Go!1964-1966TV SeriesHerself
The Ed Sullivan Show1965TV SeriesHerself - Singer
It's What's Happening, Baby!1965TV SpecialHerself (as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas)
Hullabaloo1965TV SeriesHerself
Thank Your Lucky Stars1964TV SeriesHerself
Boblo Boats: A Tale of Two Sisters2018Documentary filmingNarrator
Bopper & Me2017Documentary post-productionHerself
Allee Willis Loves DetroitDocumentary filmingHerself
The Artists Music Guild Presents: The 2015 AMG Heritage Awards 5th Year Spectacular2016TV MovieHerself - Peformer
Unsung2013TV Series documentaryHerself
Soul Power!2013TV Series documentaryHerself, vocalist, Martha & the Vandellas
My Brother Marvin2012DocumentaryHerself
VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul2011TV MovieHerself - Performer
Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon2011DocumentaryHerself
Requiem for Detroit?2010TV Movie documentaryHerself - Motown Star and Detroit City Councilwoman
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live: I'll Take You There2009VideoHerself
Loose Women2009TV SeriesHerself
Queens of British Pop2009TV SeriesHerself
Legends2009TV Series documentaryHerself

Archive Footage

American Bandstand's 50th Anniversary Celebration2002TV MovieHerself
The Temptations1998TV Series
Motown 40: The Music Is Forever1998TV Movie documentaryHerself

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

Write A Comment

Pin It