Martha Reeves' Soul Christmas

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2016122220161227 (R2)

Seasonal soul music with legendary Motown singer Martha Reeves.

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.

2016122220161227 (R2)

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.

Seasonal soul music with legendary Motown singer Martha Reeves.