Born in Eufaula, Alabama, in 1941, the third of 11 children, Martha Reeves moved with her family to the Motor City -- Detroit, Michigan -- when she was less than a year old. Like so many other R&B and soul singers of the era, she was raised on gospel and started singing in the church, but before long the secular interests of doo-wop and R&B won out, and by the age of 18 she had joined her first vocal group, The Fascinations. In 1960 she joined the group that would eventually become Martha & The Vandellas (named after Martha's childhood street, Van Dyke, and her singing idol, Della Reese). After filling in on back-up vocals for Marvin Gaye's classic "Stubborn Kind of Fellow," the group signed their own recording contract with Motown's Gordy label. By the following year, they were having massive chart success with this album's title-track, "Heat Wave," and "Quicksand" (both of which were written by the new songwriting trio of Holland-Dozier-Holland). Compiling many of those early hit singles in 1963, Heat Wave is a quintessential piece of the Motown Sound that every record collection needs.