January 27, 2011

Gladys Horton, the lead singer of The Marvelettes...

... has died at the age of 66.
As a student at Inkster High School, Horton helped found the group that would eventually become the Marvelettes, linking up with fellow glee club members Katherine Anderson, Juanita Cowart, Georgeanna Tillman and Georgia Dobbins.

A successful audition for Motown Records was followed in 1961 by the group's debut single, "Please Mr. Postman," with 17-year-old Horton on lead vocals. It became Motown's biggest pop crossover hit to that point, reaching No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100.


The audio is a lot better here. And here are The Beatles covering the song, pretty much adopting The Marvelettes' style. (You know The Beatles took a large component of what they were from the great girl groups of the early 60s.)

My favorite Marvelettes song was always "Beechwood 4-5789." Another really cool one is "Don't Mess With Bill":



Love the bows! We girls used to go to school dressed just like that in the early 60s. Tried to tease our hair that big too. It wasn't easy! It wasn't even possible.

I love looking back at these old styles and this old music. I'm sorry that these days the occasion for celebrating someone from back then is an obituary. I'm sad to hear that Glady Horton has died, but let's talk about how great The Marvelettes were.

15 comments:

shoutingthomas said...

Girl group music is big in Jersey! The old folks will go out to see a girl group revival or even a cover group doing a girl group routine.

I know, because I back up a girl group from time to time.

This stuff is even more popular in Florida, God's waiting room. The Villages runs this stuff non-stop.

And, it's great. No politics. No Big Ideas. Just boys and girls yearning to go steady.

traditionalguy said...

And you a feminist! The MoTown sound included a Male Dominance theme that had not yet been portrayed as a dreaded enemy of women. Those were the golden days.

k*thy said...

I love the bows, too. Takes me back to being my aunt's flower girl - and the old pictures with all the ladies in the wedding party with bows.

PaulV said...

"Don't mess with Meade" is the message girls

Sofa King said...

I love Mr. Whitebread sitting just to their left in the Postman video at 1:42. I think I am going to start dressing like that. I just need some thicker glasses.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You know The Beatles took a large component of what they were from the great girl groups of the early 60s

Which is sort of ironic, because the advent of the Beatles really put the kabosh on the growing and vibrant cross over acceptance of Motown by the general public. They retarded and almost killed Motown for a while.

It is interesting to think what music today might look like and sound like if the Beatles had appeared 10 years later than they did. To think what the emerging Black music scene might have produced. What artists might have been able to make it, without the Beatles and the rest of the British scene groups.

edutcher said...

They were a great part of the sound of the early 60s, before rock 'n' roll went down the tubes.

Ann Althouse said...

You know The Beatles took a large component of what they were from the great girl groups of the early 60s.

Also a lot from people like Chuck Berry.

PS Agree with shout

Ann Althouse said...

On the Beatles point, think about the Shirelles: "Baby It's You" and "Boys," both covered by The Beatles with very little change from the original.

ricpic said...

They had good enunciation. Where the heck did that go? Can't hardly understand lyrics nowadays.

Chip Ahoy said...

The bows could be even better if they were giant realistic butterflies with wings that flapped.

AllenS said...

I'll never tire of the music from back then.

E.M. Davis said...

The Beatles nor the Stones wouldn't have existed had it not been for Buddy Holly.


WV: lomane - Horse-hair noodles?

William said...

The death of a rock singer is rarely an intimation of mortality. They have a different kind of life span. The death of a fitness expert throws a shadow across your grave..... Her music still seems fresh and buoyant, but those moves come from not another era but another dimension.

Rialby said...

Autotune means the death of the West

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