Georgeanna Tillman Gordon1961-1965
Wanda Young Rogers1961-1969
One of the first girl-group sensations, they evolved from the Casinyets ("Can't Sing Yet"), a female quintet formed while the members attended Inkster High School in Michigan. In 1961, they entered a singing contest in which the top three acts were offered auditions with Motown Records. Although they finished fourth, the Casinyets' teacher arranged for the group to join the three winning acts in Detroit. Motown was impressed with their singing, but told them that the group needed some original material. When the Casinyets signed with Motown, Berry Gordy changed the group's name to the Marvelettes.
Wanda Young replaced Georgia Dobbins in 1961. She eventually shared lead singing duties with Gladys Horton.
In 1962, Cowart left the group due to constant teasing about a silly comment that she made on Dick Clark's show American Bandstand
- she said that that Inkster was "a suburb of Detroit." Motown reported that her departure was caused by a nervous breakdown. The group continued as a quartet.
Jerro - New Alexandria, PA
With "Please Mr. Postman
," they became the first Motown act to hit #1 on the US Pop charts.
Bertrand - Paris, France
In 1964, the Marvelettes passed on a song that later provided the Supremes with their biggest hit: "Baby Love." The group bounced back in 1965, with "Too Many Fish in the Sea" (#25) and "I'll Keep Holding On" (#34).
In 1965, Georgeanna Tillman began to show symptoms of an illness (she was always tired and worn out) and was diagnosed with leukemia and lupus and (under doctor's advice) quit, leaving the group a trio. She later married Billy Gordon of the Contours. She died on January 6, 1980 of sickle cell anemia at age 35.
Jerro - New Alexandria, PA
Smokey Robinson wrote and produced "Don't Mess With Bill" (#7 in 1966), "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game" (#13 in 1967), and "My Baby Must Be a Migician" (#17 in early 1968), all with Wanda Young singing lead. Between the latter two (but having nothing to do with Smokey) was "When You're Young and in Love" (#23 in 1967), but the end of the group was near in 1968.
The original lead singer of the Marvelettes, Gladys Horton, left the group in 1967 to get married. She was replaced by Anne Bogan, who later joined Love, Peace, and Happiness - and afterwards, New Birth. Their last chart record, "Destination: Anywhere" was released in the latter part of the year, eking its way to the #68 position on the Hot 100.
When Motown moved from Detroit to Los Angeles in 1969, Wanda Young decided to stay in the Motor City, which effectively disbanded the group (Marvelettes singles were being released from the vaults until 1971).
In 1989, Gladys Horton and Wanda Young put together a new Marvelettes group. The resulting LP, "The Marvelettes... Now!" was released in 1990 on Motorcity Records.
Brad Wind - Miami, FL, for above 3