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  1. #1

    Marvin Gaye and The Vandellas!

    "Pride and Joy"! - 1963:


  2. #2
    The Vandellas backed Marvin on his first hits, "Stubborn Kind of Fella," "Pride and Joy," and "Hitch Hike." I believe some Raybers were added to the backgrounds on one or two of these but I can't remember where I read that. After that, The Supremes got their turn with "Can I get a Witness" and "You're a wonderful One." On "Witness," some male voices were also in evidence, and I believe those were HDH.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by BigAl View Post
    The Vandellas backed Marvin on his first hits, "Stubborn Kind of Fella," "Pride and Joy," and "Hitch Hike." I believe some Raybers were added to the backgrounds on one or two of these but I can't remember where I read that. After that, The Supremes got their turn with "Can I get a Witness" and "You're a wonderful One." On "Witness," some male voices were also in evidence, and I believe those were HDH.
    That's right BigAl. Martha has said that at the time of the recording of "Stubborn Kind of Fella" and "Pride and Joy" that she and the other Vandellas made up the background right there on the spot!

  4. #4
    IMO, if Martha & The Vandellas hadn’t made it big as an act, they would have been the best background singing group in rock/pop/soul history!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mowest View Post
    IMO, if Martha & The Vandellas hadn’t made it big as an act, they would have been the best background singing group in rock/pop/soul history!
    They were powerful and had the Call and Response style down perfectly!

  6. #6
    Martha Roz & Annette were pictured on the back of Marvins "That Stubborn Kind of Fella" LP. Talk about a rare thing to do.

  7. #7
    This would be the photo.
    They were also credited on the label of the single.

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by BigAl View Post
    This would be the photo.
    They were also credited on the label of the single.

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    Yes, I've seen that picture before. We had a copy or the original print at the Motown Museum years ago. Classic early 60s look . The ladies looked dressed for church and no wigs!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    They were powerful and had the Call and Response style down perfectly!
    Exactly right marv2!

  10. #10
    Interesting look at this pic, shows you how young all of them were. They were all kids...

    I always felt MR&TV's were MG's perfect background vocalists. They really bring it in the background on "Stubborn". Probably my favorite MG song featuring them on bg was Got to Get My Hands on Some Lovin'.

    You can tell they were encouraging the other to vocally "get it" in other words.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Interesting look at this pic, shows you how young all of them were. They were all kids...

    I always felt MR&TV's were MG's perfect background vocalists. They really bring it in the background on "Stubborn". Probably my favorite MG song featuring them on bg was Got to Get My Hands on Some Lovin'.

    You can tell they were encouraging the other to vocally "get it" in other words.
    Hey Midnightman, that is exactly what good background singers should do; encourage the the lead singer to get it or get over with the audience, to in a way power the lead by challenging him or her vocally! Give listen sometime to Aretha Franklin's duet with the Four Tops "I'll Make it Up to You" for a very good example of what I mean.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by mowest View Post
    Exactly right marv2!
    Yep. Martha and her ladies still to this day can bring it! Also, I do not feel that they have been given their proper overall recognition not just in the early success of Motown, but in expanding the success of the "Girl Group" genre. They sang about a wide variety of things, not just about "the boy". LOL!!!!

  13. #13
    Some years ago Martha, Roz and Nettie were headlining an oldies show which also featured Gene Chandler. After the show they asked me if I had heard them singing backup offstage during Chandler's set. I guess they weren't miked up very much because I didn't recall having heard them, but I didn't tell them that. It would have been great if they had been more audible.

  14. #14
    Big Al's picture makes me wonder:

    Diana was a Supreme.
    Smokey was a Miracle.

    Is Martha a Vandella?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Big Al's picture makes me wonder:

    Diana was a Supreme.
    Smokey was a Miracle.

    Is Martha a Vandella?
    I think so, even though none of their records came out under that name. But their first publicity photo just said "The Vandellas."
    Last edited by reese; 03-19-2018 at 09:33 PM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Big Al's picture makes me wonder:

    Diana was a Supreme.
    Smokey was a Miracle.

    Is Martha a Vandella?
    In all respect, if you asked Martha, she'd say yes.

    But that's an interesting title. THEN AGAIN, they were just starting out so I guess they slightly added Martha's name...

    What did Martha say in her book? Anyone know?

  17. #17
    I'm guessing using simply "Vandellas" was probably a space-saving measure for the sake of the label on the single. It would look strange and possibly confusing for the label to read Marvin Gaye" with "Martha and the Vandellas" added underneath. By the time the album came out and the group was pictured and credited on the liner, they were referred to as Martha and the Vandellas.

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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I think so, even though none of their records came out under that name. But their first publicity photo just said "The Vandellas."
    Reese, I think there was a single release that was labeled "Marvin Gaye and the Vandellas" or "featuring the Vandallas".

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by BigAl View Post
    I'm guessing using simply "Vandellas" was probably a space-saving measure for the sake of the label on the single. It would look strange and possibly confusing for the label to read Marvin Gaye" with "Martha and the Vandellas" added underneath. By the time the album came out and the group was pictured and credited on the liner, they were referred to as Martha and the Vandellas.

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    That's it! That's the label I was referring to. Thanks BigAl.

  20. #20
    my 45 I bought new in Miami, was printed on the side under Jobete BMI Vocal Accomp.:The Vandellas. I guess a different pressing plant.My 45 of "Hitch-Hike" does not say their names but my 45 of Pride & Joy does.

  21. #21
    They were very prominent on both records. They really add a lot to them.

  22. #22
    I only read Martha's book the other day and she certainly mentioned 'Marvin Gaye & The Vandellas' without complaining about her name being missing.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    I only read Martha's book the other day and she certainly mentioned 'Marvin Gaye & The Vandellas' without complaining about her name being missing.
    Of course she did lol
    I was asking did she mentione when they started to be named Martha and the Vandellas.

    I didn't ask if she was mad they put Marvin's name in front of them. Who would be mad to have that, as Anna Gordy would say, "gorgeous hunk of man's" name in front of the moniker?

    Also it was HIS song, duh lol

  24. #24
    I just dug mine out as I was curious what my 45 was like as I bought it when it was first released. Sorry I cannot scan a picture as I am not that tech saavy to do so, however, I can offer the following.

    On the left side of the hole
    Jobete
    B.M.I.
    Time: 2:43

    On the right side of the hole

    N8OW 9660
    Vocal Acc. The Vandellas
    T-54068


    I have no idea what the N8OW 9660 means. Does anyone know?

  25. #25
    Is there a list of all the Marvin Gaye songs that the Vandellas sang background on? Did they stop performing background after Come And Get These Memories took off or after Heatwave took off?

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by SatansBlues View Post
    Is there a list of all the Marvin Gaye songs that the Vandellas sang background on? Did they stop performing background after Come And Get These Memories took off or after Heatwave took off?
    In her book, Martha mentions that on the night they recorded the HEAT WAVE album, they also recorded three songs backing Marvin.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I think so, even though none of their records came out under that name. But their first publicity photo just said "The Vandellas."
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    All 3 or 4 [including Gloria) were credited as The Vandellas backing Marvin Gaye on at least 2 records, and backing Saundra Mallett on her Tamla single.

  28. #28
    The Vandellas were also credited as backing singers on the Motown pressing of La Brenda Ben's "Camel Walk" rather than the Beljeans, but that's another story.

  29. #29
    In The Complete Motown Singles description for Stubborn Kind of Fellow, it states ". . . Motown's usual background vocalists, The Andantes, were out of town when these tracks were cut. It fell to Martha Reeves, the new A&R secretary to find replacements. "I got this brilliant idea," she recalls, "to call The Del-Phis!" The group, Gloria Jean Williamson, Rosalind Ashford, Annette Beard and Martha Reeves -- had their own single on Check-Mate in 1961 . . ."

  30. #30
    And speaking of Martha & Co. as background singers, they also did the background vocals on DJ Lee Alan's 1964 fundraising single [for the YMCA Summer Camp Fund] "Set Me Free".

    PS: Martha & The Vandellas were credited as "Vendellas" on the label [tsk].

    Last edited by Motown Eddie; 04-09-2021 at 01:51 PM.

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