The Marvelettes were one of Motown’s brightest shining stars. In the 1960s, the singers were second to none, and they recorded their songs in their own versions, incl. The Beatles. The sad news has just arrived – one of the singers, Wanda Young, died at the age of 78.
The death of the singer was confirmed by Claudette Robinson from the group The Miracles, and the cause of death has not been disclosed. Wanda Young co-created the group The Marvelettes for almost a decade, i.e. the entire duration of the band (1961-1970). Some people describe the sound of a girl’s vocal group as the essence of the 1960s in American music.
The group’s debut song, “Please Mr. Postman”, released in 1961, opened the door to a great career for the band. Just two years later, the Beatles reached for the song and placed it on their album “With The Beatles” – thanks to this the song “Marvelletek” was remembered by almost the whole world.
The Marvelettes were one of the most influential groups in Detroit’s Motown label. They have recorded for the label, among others Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, or The Jacksons 5. The band consisted of friends from school – Gladys Horton, Katherine Anderson, Georgeanny Tillman, Juanity Cowart, and Georgia Dobbins. The latter was replaced by Wanda Young before the group signed the first contract.
The singers were looking for a way to release the first hit, and a friend of the songwriter William Garretthe offered them a piece about the postman. Soon the text was slightly reworked, but the story about waiting for a postman’s visit, who brings news from her beloved, has become a universal and timeless hit.
In the piece, the drums are played by … 22-year-old Marvin Gaye. One of the most outstanding soul singers wanted to make progress in her career by performing in a song. According to the story, some of the text was written with the help of a real postman who completed the missing threads. It was Freddie Gorman, who delivered mail to the Brewster-Douglass estate, where the singers of another famous band – The Supremes – lived .
The results of “Please Mr. Postman” exceeded the expectations of the label, but it turned out that it was the first and last such big hit of the band. Just two years later, The Beatles made the song a hit again, and in 1973, The Carpenters did it and recorded their own version of the song. The band joined the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Hall of Fame in 1995 and The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. The band’s disbandment took place at the end of 1969. Wanda Young had three children: daughters Meta Young Ventress and Bobbae , and son Robert III.