Playboy

Album: Playboy (1962)
Charted: 7
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Songfacts®:

  • Marvelette Gladys Horton not only sang lead on this song, but also co-wrote it with Robert Bateman, Brian Holland, and William "Mickey" Stevenson. Bateman and Holland also worked on the first Marvelettes hit, "Please Mr. Postman" - you'll notice the similarities.
  • This song finds the Marvelettes giving the kiss-off to a playboy. They know his type: sweet talking a girl and then leaving her for his next conquest.

    The lyrics are surprisingly hip, with lines like "I can't stand for what you're putting down" and "you ain't saying nothin' in my book." If you swapped out "playboy" for its more modern equivalent, "playa," the lyric could resemble something heard in an '00s R&B song.
  • This was the first Hot 100 hit with the word "playboy" in the title. The word was in the popular lexicon: Playboy magazine launched in 1953, and groups called The Playboys and John Fred And The Playboys were on the chart that decade.
  • This song was The Marvelettes' last hit to feature Juanita Cowart; in 1962, she left the group due to constant teasing about a silly comment that she made on Dick Clark's show American Bandstand. Motown reported that her departure from the group was caused by a nervous breakdown. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA

Comments: 6

  • Colorfuldude from Near Chi TownAs far as the song Playboy is concerned, I could hear all the lyrics from listening to the song except toward the end when they said "he's bringing you false joy"...sounds like they're saying hes bringing them pasta or something..How the heck you figured out the actual saying is beyond me..GREAT JOB!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 10th 1953, Hugh Hefner published the first issue of 'Playboy' magazine, the issued featured a photo of Marilyn Monroe from her 1949 nude calendar shoot...
    Nine years later on April 29th, 1962 the Marvelettes' "Playboy" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #88 {See next post below}...
    In 1968 the duo of Gene and Debbe charted with a different song titled "Playboy"; it reached #17 on the Top 100...
    Three groups have used the name of Playboy; Gary Lewis & the Playboys, John Fred & his Playboy Band, and in 1958 a group simply known as the Playboys, they charted with one record, "Over the Weekend", it peaked at #62.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 29th 1962, "Playboy" by the Marvelettes entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #88; and on June 17th it peaked at #7 (for 2 weeks) and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #4 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1961 and 1969 the group had twenty-three Top 100 records; with three making the Top 10 and one reaching #1, "Please Mr. Postman", for 1 week on December 11th, 1961; the song it replaced at #1 was "Big Bad John" by Jimmy Dean, which had been #1 for 5 weeks.
  • Rotunda from Tulsa, Ok"Playboy" was a big hit on the Tamla label for Motown Corporation in 1962. I was a kid back then, but into rock & roll early because of my older brothers being in a local high school group. I always loved The Marvelettes' sound & most of their hits. In 1962, it was before the recognizable "Motown Sound" that came along later. "Playboy" came in 1962 amidst a variety of things happening in the music scene then, like the emerging girl groups, surf music, hot rod music, folk-rock, the dance-craze hits, bizarre novelty hits, plus some bland pop songs. I loved the drums on early Marvelettes' hits too. It made ya wanna get up and dance, dance, dance. Again, their vocal sound was just solid and so skilled at interpreting even a rock & roll or R&B song. Tough stuff.
  • Bubblesk from Memphis, TnThe choppy-sounding piano & the drums sound so good on this Marvelettes hit. Love it. Wasn't "Beachwood 4-5789" on the flip-side? I can't recall, but it was a big hit too. Dancing the Mashed Potato to both songs was the thing to do back in '62. The Marvelettes had a decent run of hits, but I heard that Motown president Barry Gordy, Jr. unfairly focused Motown's resources toward The Supremes in later Sixties. But I do recall when I was in college in the later Sixties that the Marvelettes had a resurgence of hits like "Don't Mess With Bill," "Too Many Fish In the Sea," and "The Hunter Gets Captured By the Game." Very good R&B hits. But back in the early Sixties, the Marvelettes' early hits were vital to the survival of early Motown, such as "Playboy" which rose as high as #7 on the Billboard charts. Anyone know if it earned a Gold Record award?
  • John from Nashville, TnOne of the earliest examples of girl groups who stand up for themselves when it comes to being pursued by questionable men.
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