Paying Tribute to the Marvelettes
Probably the most pop-oriented of Motown's major female acts, the Marvelettes didn't progect as strong an idenity as the Supremes, Mary Wells, or Martha Reeves, but recorded quite a few hits, including Motown's first number one single, "Please Mr. Postman" in 1961).
The group continued success with songs, "Beechwood 4-5789", "Playboy", and "Twisten Postman". The group went through line-up changes with Juanita Grant and Georgeanna Tillman leaving the group a trio. After a few years, they moved from girl group sounds uptempo and midtempo numbers that were more characteristic of Motown's production line.
The group was formed in the late 50s by five students at Inkster High School in Michigan, USA: Gladys Horton, Georgeanna Marie Tillman (d. 6 January 1980), Wanda Young, Katherine Anderson, and Juanite Grant. They were spotted at a school talent show by Robert Bateman of the Satintones, who introduced them to Berry Gordy, head of the fledging Motown organization. Bateman co-produced their early releases with Brian Holland, and the partnership found immediate success with "Please Mr. Postman" - a number in 1961, and Motown's biggest-selling record up to that point. This effervescent slice of pop-R&B capitivated teenage audiences in the USA, and the song was introduced to an even wider public when the Beatles recorded a faithful cover version on their second album.
Wanda Young and Gladys Horton did most of the leads. They continued to have more hit songs with, "Too Many Fish In The Sea","The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game", and "Don't Mess With Bill". There were also plenty of minor hits and misses like, "I'll Keep Holding On", which is just as memorable as the well-known Motown charts-toppers of the era. The group quietly disbanded in the early 70s after several years without a major hit.