The Not-So-Secret Weapon Behind the Chairmen of the Board's Biggest Hit

Chairmen of the Board in 1970
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Echoes/Redferns

You'd be forgiven for hearing a bit of Motown in "Give Me Just a Little More Time," the biggest hit by the Chairmen of the Board. After all, some of the label's biggest hitmakers were involved in its creation.

The No. 3 pop hit was written and produced by the legendary hitmaking team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland, who'd penned countless hits for The Supremes, The Temptations and many more. The trio struck out on their own in 1967, frustrated over what they saw as a lack of artistic and financial control; they in turn formed a pair of labels, Invictus and Hot Wax - but Motown founder Berry Gordy soon pulled Holland-Dozier-Holland into court.

READ MORE: November 1965: "I Hear a Symphony" Sits Supreme on Pop Charts

As a result of the legal proceedings, H-D-H were initially banned from putting their names on new record labels - even if they were responsible for the songs. Thus, the debut single by the Chairmen - a multi-talented vocal group whose members hailed from Detroit as well as Canada - had writing and production by Edythe Wayne and Ron Dunbar. Dunbar was one of Invictus and Hot Wax's top A&R men - but Wayne was a pseudonym that also appeared on the label's other big seller of 1970: Freda Payne's "Band of Gold."

More than 50 years later, there's no mistaking that signature H-D-H sound - or the presence of members of Motown's original house band, The Funk Brothers, on both tracks. "Give Me Just a Little More Time" earned a gold record from the Recording Industry Association of America in the spring of 1970 - and in April 2021, the group (whose signature lead singer General Johnson died in 2010) were named the latest R&B Pioneer of the Soul Music Hall of Fame.

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