You Lost the Sweetest Boy

Album: Mary Wells' Greatest Hits (1963)
Charted: 22

Songfacts®:

  • Mary Wells is known for her collaborations with Smokey Robinson, but not all of her hits were penned by the Miracles' crooner. The Motown songwriting trio Holland-Dozier-Holland (Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland Jr.) wrote "You Lost the Sweetest Boy" in 1963. It was one of their first hits on the label; the following year they launched The Supremes to stardom with "Where Did Our Love Go," helping Diana Ross supplant Wells as the "first lady of Motown."
  • The song features backing vocals from The Supremes and The Temptations. Both groups were struggling to find their footing at Motown, but soon became the biggest acts on the label. Wells left Motown in 1964 in a legal dispute.
  • In this song, Wells is addressing the girl who let her man - the "sweetest boy" - go. She snatched him up, and couldn't be happier.

    The Holland-Dozier-Holland team often sketched out scenarios like this one and worked them into songs. They also handled production, which at this point was a challenge for them because of their inexperience; the Motown musicians were seasoned pros with their own ideas on how to get the right sounds. The team of Funk Brothers on this track probably included bass player James Jamerson, drummer Benny Benjamin, and guitarists Robert White, Eddie Willis and Joe Messina. They gelled with the H-D-H team, which used them whenever possible.

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