Celebrate the ‘Ladies of Motown’

Concert at South Country Library on Feb. 16


From a recording studio in a tiny house on Detroit’s West Grand Boulevard, Berry Gordy’s Motown record label churned out, assembly line-style, an amazing list of iconic songs like “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “My Girl” and The Marvelettes’ “Please Mr. Postman.”

The Motown sound will be coming to Bellport when singer Rhonda Den`et celebrates some of Motown’s greatest female artists in a free concert at the South Country Library on Feb. 16.

In “Ladies of Motown,” Den`et and her Silver Fox Songs Trio—Michael Bardash on keyboard, Gene Torres on bass and Den`et’s husband Chuck Batton on drums—will perform classics of the 1960s and ‘70s from Motown royalty like The Marvelettes, Diana Ross and the Supremes, and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.

Den`et, who will be making her eighth or ninth South Country Library appearance, will also spotlight songs by lesser-known Motown performers like Kim Weston, whose 1965 song “Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While”) was done years later by the Doobie Brothers.

Along the way, Den`et will share backstage stories about the making of some of Motown’s most beloved hits.

“I call it ‘edu-tainment,’” Den`et said. “I go into detail about the songs and how the groups came together. I love doing the research and when I do a showcase, I get to do a deep dive.”

One of the songs on the setlist is songwriters Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson’s 1967 classic “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” a duet sung by Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye, and which later became a No. 1 hit for Diana Ross.

But as Den`et, who will also perform at the Longwood Library on Feb. 18, will share with her audience, the song was originally intended as a solo for Terrell, and Gaye was brought in later in the recording process.

What makes Motown—what Den`et calls “happy heartbreak songs—so beloved 60 years later?

“I think [the songs] tell stories that are relevant, that show heartbreak and great love,” Den`et said. “They also have a beat. You can’t sit in your seat when you hear these songs.”

And if you come out to the South Country Library on Feb. 16, chances are you won’t be able to resist dancing, either. 


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