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Rosalind Ashford Holmes

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Information about Rosalind Ashford Holmes

Profile image of Rosalind Ashford Holmes

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Motown Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Crab Legs
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/2/1943
Birth Location:
Detroit, Michigan

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Motown Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Crab Legs
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/2/1943
Birth Location:
Detroit
See how Rosalind Ashford Holmes is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Motown singer Rosalind Holmes was born on September 2, 1943, to John and Mary Ashford in Detroit, Michigan, although her parents separated when she was very young. As a child, Holmes sang in church choirs and learned how to dance in local centers, and in high school, she sang in her glee club and mixed choir. In 1957, Ashford auditioned for Edward “Pops” Larkins at the local YWCA in Detroit. Larkins was in search of a new girl group to compliment his already established male group. Rosalind, along with Annette Beard, Gloria Williams, and Martha Reeves, became The Del-Phi’s; they performed at the YMCA, YWCA, high school functions, teas, lawn parties and private events. In 1961, The Del-Phi’s released “I’ll Let You Know” on the Chess Records label subsidiary Checkmate. The record was unpopular, and two follow up records also failed to bring attention to the group.

In 1962, Williams left the group, and the remaining trio became Marvin Gaye’s background singers on singles like “Stubborn Kind of Fellow” and “Hitch Hike.” In September of that same year, Motown president Berry Gordy signed Reeves and her background singing partners to the label as Martha and the Vandellas. Just one year later, "Come and Get These Memories" became the Vandellas’ first hit single, reaching number six on the Billboard R&B Singles Chart. A few months later, the Vandellas’ second hit, “(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave,” was released, peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Billboard Hot R&B chart. In 1964, the group continued their success with perhaps their most famous single, "Dancing in the Street," which was soon followed by “Nowhere to Run” in 1965 and “Jimmy Mack” in 1967.

In 1968, Holmes left Martha and the Vandellas, married, and began a career with the Michigan Bell Telephone Company. Ten years later, she joined Reeves and Beard in a reunion performance, and then in 1989, the three original Vandellas recorded "Step Into My Shoes" for Motorcity Records. In 1995, Holmes was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as member of Martha and the Vandellas. Holmes has one son, Damon, two granddaughters, Alana and Kaimen, and one grandson, Damon. She continues to perform today.

Rosalind Holmes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 10, 2010.

See how Rosalind Ashford Holmes is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rosalind Ashford Holmes' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes her mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes talks about her parents' courtship
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes remembers the North End of Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes recalls her early love of popular music
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes talks about the popular musicians of her youth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes her early aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes her experiences in the Detroit Public Schools
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes remembers her music classes at Wilber Wright High School in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes recalls the formation of The Del-Phis
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes remembers The Del-Phis' first record
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes recalls how The Del-Phis joined Motown Records
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes her early experiences of religion
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes talks about her favorites artists
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes remembers The Del-Phis' early hits with Marvin Gaye
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes remembers the first Motortown Revue tour
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes remembers the music venues in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes remembers touring with the Motortown Revue
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes remembers the acts in the Motortown Revue
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes talks about Martha and the Vandellas' first hit single
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes recalls Martha and the Vandellas' performance at the Copacabana in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes talks about Martha and the Vandellas' hit songs
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes recalls her favorite single, 'Jimmy Mack'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes remembers Motown Records' European tour
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes Motown Records' popularity in Europe
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes her departure from Motown Records
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes her lawsuits against Motown Records and the Artists Rights Enforcement Corporation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes her position at the Michigan Bell Telephone Company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes talks about her reunion with Martha and the Vandellas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes the formation of The Original Vandellas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes talks about Martha and the Vandellas' name changes
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes talks about the relationships within singing groups
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes talks about The Original Vandellas and the Motown Legends Gospel Choir
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes reflects upon the legacy of Motown Records
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes reflects upon contemporary music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes shares her advice for aspiring professional musicians
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes talks about her family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Rosalind Ashford Holmes narrates her photographs, pt. 2