Motown legend Lamont Dozier returned to USC on Friday, February 26, to partake in a Master Session for the Songwriters Hall of Fame. No stranger to the campus, as Dozier previously acted as an Artist in Residence Professor at USC Thornton, playing a role in the creation of the Popular Music Major Program, the appearance of the singer-songwriter/producer and 1988 SHOF Inductee was both a welcome reunion and a rare opportunity for the students in attendance.
This special event was moderated by USC Thornton’s Vice Dean of Contemporary Music, Chris Sampson, who introduced Dozier and cited the incalculable impact of Motown, the pioneering record company for whom Dozier penned a string of 13 #1 hits for the Supremes, and over 54 #1 hits in total. True to that remarkable track record, Dozier did not disappoint the crowd, graciously recounting stories from his early days as a nascent musician and songwriter, his introduction to Motown and how he came to write such timeless hits as “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Stop in the Name of Love,” “Can’t Help Myself,” “How Sweet It Is,” “Baby Love” and many others.
BMI VP of Writer/Publisher Relations Barbara Cane, who is also a Songwriters Hall of Fame West Coast Projects Committee member, was on hand to welcome Dozier, who encouraged students to persevere in their songwriting endeavors, and to always seek out the elusive “muse in the room.” In gratitude, first year students from USC’s Popular Music Major Program performed a medley of Dozier’s hits, even prompting the songwriter to sing along.