"Those are true songs," Strong manages a dry chuckle. "That's what makes 'em weird."
In 1973, Strong left Motown for good, scoring a minor hit for Epic with "Stand Up and Cheer for the Preacher" -- a song that bears more than a passing resemblance to the Rose Royce smash "Car Wash," which Norman Whitfield produced three years later. "We were together at Motown, so we think alike to some degree," says Strong.
Strong recorded two mid-'70s albums for Capitol before resurfacing on the 1992 songwriters' compilation In Their Own Words. "I played the Bottom Line a few times with Shawn Colvin and others," Strong recalls. "And I played for 150,000 people at the Stone Soul Picnic that they have in Washington, D.C., every year."
Any songwriting tips? "Keep writing," Strong says flatly. "And don't just write a pop chorus off the top of your head, write something that people can relate to. Try to stay relevant to what's going on in life, and try to see things through the eyes of someone else."