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Dancing in the Street: Confessions of a Motown Diva

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Dancing in the Street: Confessions of a Motown Diva Martha Reeves (Hyperion, $22.95) Martha Reeves, whose career has long outlived the Vandellas, says that when she was born again, ”God provided me with an additional octave to my singing range.” This Alabama child’s rise began when she quit her job (”I… didn’t see any growth opportunities for me in the dry-cleaning business”) for session work at Motown Records. She was well into her career when she was beaten by a lover, then chose to have his baby-”the miracle that God gave me.” But two weeks after the birth, she decided to give her mother guardianship of the miracle and went on tour. Though Martha’s career faltered when Motown Records left town without telling her, this prima donna who needs her fur coats, tiffed with Diana Ross, and mistreats hospital nurses is still popular. (Last year, Motown released a two-CD retrospective.) Unfortunately, the book finds no significance in her life’s events except that they happened—which isn’t quite enough unless you’re already a fan who loves her. B-DAB