Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jan. 15: Martha Davis, lead singer with The Motels - "Suddenly Last Summer," "Only the Lonely" - is 63-years-old today.

The Motels are a New Wave music band from the Los Angeles area best known for "Only the Lonely" and "Suddenly Last Summer", both of which peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982 and 1983, respectively.

Martha Davis began writing songs at the age of 15. Born and raised in Berkeley, CA., she moved to Los Angeles in the early ‘70s, along with the first incarnation of The Motels. Originally the band was called The Warfield Foxes. They hoped by moving to LA they'd receive better exposure and a recording contract.

As the band changed personnel, they also changed its name again - this time to  Angels of Mercy and then to The Motels. The band signed a recording deal with Capitol in 1979. Their song "Total Control" reached #4 on the Australian charts in 1980.

The Motels recorded six records for Capitol. Their self titled debut was greeted with positive critical reviews in 1979, and exploded in Australia on the strength of the #2 Pop single, "Total Control."

In 1981 their sophomore effort, Careful, went Top 50. Then, in 1982, the Motels released All Four One…the smash single "Only The Lonely" rocketed into the Top 10, immediately propelled the album to gold status and truly broke The Motels in the United States. The group was voted Best Performance for "Only The Lonely" at the 1982 American Music Awards.

1983’s Little Robbers album went gold on the Top 10 single "Suddenly Last Summer" and the second Top 40 hit "Remember The Nights." In 1985 the Shock album yielded the Top 20 hit, ‘Shame’, and 1987 saw the release of Martha’s first solo effort, Policy.

(Continued below video and Amazon portals ...)

(Press album cover for direct link to Amazon):

Essential Collection

In 1988, Martha took a sabbatical from the music scene, prompting the question “Where have you been?” “Looking for my sense of humor” she says “I seemed to have lost it somewhere around 1984. It’s not a business that one should be in without a sense of humor.”

Though constantly writing, Martha left center stage to work on various collaborations with artists including Ivan Neville, Arthur Barrow (Frank Zappa), Jeff Daniel, Kiki Dee, Richard Feldman, written songs for a new musical for the Civic Light Opera, and a new musical of her own entitled Rebecca, and is now involved in producing a children’s music project.

Additionally, Martha is back on the scene with her newly formed band,  "The Motels featuring Martha Davis," featuring various line-ups of musicians, that plays regularly to packed houses.


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