The Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

Vocal Group Hall of Fame
Inductions Now Available
on iTunes and Amazon!

Amazon MP3 logo


Induction Concert CD's and DVD's Available Now.

Become A VGHF Member. Contacts  
The Marvelettes

Audio PreviewVideo Preview

The MarvelettesThe MarvelettesThe MarvelettesThe MarvelettesThe Marvelettes

The Marvelettes

(Inducted 2004)

Probably the most pop-oriented of Motown's major female acts, the Marvelettes didn't project as strong an identity as the Supremes, Mary Wells, or Martha Reeves, but recorded quite a few hits, including Motown's first number one single, "Please Mr. Postman" (1961).

"Postman," as well as other chirpy early-'60s hits like "Playboy," "Twistin' Postman," and "Beechwood 4-5789," were the label's purest girl group efforts. Featuring two strong lead singers, Gladys Horton and Wanda Young, the Marvelettes went through five different lineups, but maintained a high standard on their recordings.

After a few years, they moved from girl group sounds to up-tempo and mid-tempo numbers that were more characteristic of Motown's production line. They received no small help from Smokey Robinson, who produced and wrote many of their singles; Holland-Dozier-Holland, Berry Gordy, Mickey Stevenson, Marvin Gaye, and Ashford-Simpson also got involved with the songwriting and production at variouspoints.

The Marvelettes display at The Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

The Marvelettes display at
The Vocal Group hall of Fame.

After the mid-'60s Wanda Young assumed most of the lead vocal duties; Gladys Horton departed from the group in the late '60s. While the Marvelettes didn't cut as many monster smashes as most of their Motown peers after the early '60s, they did periodically surface with classic hits like "Too Many Fish in the Sea," "Don't Mess With Bill," and "The Hunter Gets Captured By the Game." There were also plenty of fine minor hits and misses, like 1965's "I'll Keep Holding On," which is just as memorable as the well-known Motown chart-toppers of the era. The group quietly disbanded in the early '70s after several years without a major hit.

- Richie Unterberger

Soundtrack - Filmography

  1. Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002) (performer: "Don't Mess With Bill")
    ... aka Standing in the Shadows of Motown: The Story of the Funk Brothers (USA: promotional title)
  2. Bringing Out the Dead (1999) (performer: "Too Many Fish in the Sea")
  3. That Night (1992) (performer: "Please Mr. Postman ")
    ... aka One Hot Summer
  4. Look Who's Talking Too (1990) (performer: "Please Mr. Postman")
  5. Goodfellas (1990) (performer: "Playboy")
    ... aka GoodFellas (USA: promotional title (video box title) (poster title))
  6. "Moonlighting"
        - Yours, Very Deadly (1986) TV Episode (performer: "Please, Mr. Postman")
  7. Mean Streets (1973) ("Please Mr. Postman ")
  8. Nothing But a Man (1964) ("Way Over There")

    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database.
Discography - A Side / B Side
Label / Cat No.

Copyright Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation. All Rights Reserved.