It’s December 8th and we’re at the letter H in this years ABC of Motown Christmas Advent calendar. Todays song is another Holland Dozier Holland classic, it’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” from the supremely talented and sadly departed silky voiced Motown crooner Mr Marvin Gaye. As with the majority of Motown hits the music was provided by the Funk Brothers. Backing vocals were provided by the lesser known Andantes who appeared on more Motown hits than anyone except the Funk Brothers. Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow, and Louvain Demps were the ladies who made up the Andantes.
The song reached number 6 in the Billboard charts in the US and sadly only made number 49 in the UK when it came out in 1964. It has been covered by many people, perhaps most famously by James Taylor in 1975. That version reached number 5 in the US and included Carly Simon on backing vocals and David Sanborn on saxophone. Sanborn also provided sax on David Bowie’s “Young Americans” album in the same year.