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Dancing in the Street

Dancing in the Street


by Martha and the Vandellas


Influences on Martha and the Vandellas

Martha Reeves names her father Benny Reeves among her most important musical influences: he led a gospel group called the Motor City Travelers. She was also influenced by the music of these artists:

Dinah Washington
Sarah Vaughn
Della Reese (She was the "della" in Vandellas; the "Van" came from Van Dyke Avenue in Detroit.)
Lena Horne
Gloria Lynne
Ella Fitzgerald
Yuma Sumac
Morgana King
Marion Anderson
Billy Holiday
Nina Simone
Nancy Wilson
Betty Carter
Aretha Franklin

Influenced by Martha and the Vandellas

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas' influence on contemporary music is reflected partly in the range of artists that have covered their work. Just this one hit, "Dancing in the Street," was covered by David Bowie and Mick Jagger, The Mamas and the Papas, The Grateful Dead, Van Halen, The Who, The Kinks, and Cilla Black. Bruce Springsteen pays homage to the song in "Racing in the Street."

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