Best known for the irresistible Northern soul staple "It's Written All Over My Face," singer Marva Holiday was born in San Jose, California and and raised in South Los Angeles and Compton, CA. -- As a teen she sang with her local Baptist church choir, and later began composing songs of her own. In the mid sixties, she briefly joined a touring version of Bonnie & the Treasures, the girl group known for their Phil Spector-soundalike cult classic "Home of the Brave," replacing original member Sherlie Matthews.
Holiday and Matthews nevertheless proved fast friends, and with Matthews' career as a songwriter blossoming, she occasionally employed Holiday on songwriting projects and produced her first demo. When GNP Crescendo exec Gene Norman received a copy of "It's Written All Over My Face," he quickly signed Holiday to a solo deal. Following the record's failure due to non-promotion, she joined Black Magic, co-writing three songs on their Atco LP, "Where Love Is." Holiday's tenure with the group proved brief and within a year she had relocated to Berkeley, CA where she studied music theory at Oakland's Merritt College.
By the early 70s, she had signed with Jobete, the music publishing arm of Motown Records, as a songwriter/lyricist. While there, she contributed lyrics to recordings by The Blackberries (one currently uncredited), The Jackson Five, Stacie Johnson and Martha & The Vandellas (uncredited). In nearly three years with the company, only Stacie Johnson's "Woman in My Eyes" was released. After several years of working with various bands and/or solo club dates, Holiday effectively retired from performing , co-founding Scrunch Music Publishing with the late Tony J. Williams. When she relocated back to the Bay area, she found herself mentoring a few rappers, serving as "ghost writer" on their projects, to protect their street credibility. She later owned and operated gospel record label, Zipporah, while serving as a small event coordinator/promoter and occasional gospel singer.
With "It's Written All Over My Face" finally winning long-deserved attention via Britain's Northern soul club circuit, in the summer of 2005 Holiday made her U.K. debut at the Cleethorpes Mirwood Revue, performing alongside Matthews and singer Jim Gilstrap as "The New Belles." --Since her visit to the UK, "Hang Around" and "Rising Higher", originally recorded for Crescendo, have been released on Kent Records and "Kidnapped," and "Somebody Up There," songs she co-wrote for The Blackberries, have also been released.
In tribute to summer love songs, in 2015 Marva digitally released “To Love Somebody” on her label Marva Jean Enterprises ("MJE"). The song was originally written and recorded by The Bee Gees. --“This release marks my effort to bring such songs back,” says Holiday. “Joining me on the song is Joe Chambers, former lead singer of The Chambers Brothers, who co-wrote and recorded the ‘60s rocker ‘'Time Has Come Today." His soulful voice is tailor-made for this song." Holiday’s remake of “To Love Somebody” heralds a new phase in her music career which she calls “Part Two.” “It’s difficult for female performers who are middle-aged and older to return to the music business once it’s decided that they’re ‘too old,’ she notes. “Many leave due to ageism, but I am pressing on with doing what I love. -- One of my goals is to inspire older women. . My goal is to demonstrate that it IS possible to dust off one’s deferred dreams and ‘go for it.’ Age is nothing but a number. Making music, whether mine or that of others, energizes me. I will write and perform as long as there’s an audience.
Holiday resides in Arizona where she continues to work on new songs, other writing projects and occasionally sits in with local bands. She recently released an original composition, "Reflections" and is working on new material for future release. As a lyricist, she is available to pen lyrics to completed tracks or assist with spoken word projects. Holiday's music is available for download at online music sites, such as Amazon. She thanks you for visiting her site and for your support of indie music.