The song was written and produced by Motown's main creative team of Lamont Dozier and the brothers Brian and Eddie Holland. The inspiration for this song came from a 1964 music industry awards dinner, which Dozier attended. At the ceremony the mother of the songwriter Ronnie Mack accepted an award for her son, who had recently died, for his composition "He's So Fine
." Under pressure to come up with a hit for Reeves and the Vandellas, Dozier and the team penned this song in part a tribute to Mack the writer. Dozier told NME
in 1984: "'Jimmy Mack' was about a kid who had written a song that was quite popular. When they called out his name there was something, along with the way his mother picked up the award, that kind of moved me and the name stuck with me. So when a melody came about that name seemed to spring up and fit well with the music we were writing at the time."
Dorothy Sanders, who is Ronnie Mack's sister, contacted us to correct some of Dozier's statements. Ronnie Mack died of cancer at age 23, and Dozier could not have met his folks, since his father died many years before Ronnie wrote "He's So Fine."