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  1. Which group did more songs with The Andantes, Mr&TVīs or The Marvelettes ?

    IMHO itīs an interesting question, because there are different reasons. So The Marvelettes had no high voices after Georganna and Juanita left and the group uses The Andantes. On the other hand Martha & The Vandellas uses The Andantes after her Dance Party album totally, often without The Vandellas, together with Ashford and Simpson or Syretta Wright. IMHO it looks like a solo singer named Martha Reeves, with backround voices The Vandellas, sadly we have not enough live material of MR&TVīs to have an opposite, the only very good live performance of the Group is "At the Copa" and thatīs not released until yet. For me personally The Marvelettes are a group from the beginning to the end. And "The Return of TM" was an open secret with the talented Wanda Young. We have a lot MR albums, which contains no or less Vandellas like "Sugar`n`spice", "Natural rescources" or "Black Magic"
    What you are think about that fact ?

  2. Quote Originally Posted by Fullfillingnessfirstfinale View Post
    IMHO itīs an interesting question, because there are different reasons. So The Marvelettes had no high voices after Georganna and Juanita left and the group uses The Andantes. On the other hand Martha & The Vandellas uses The Andantes after her Dance Party album totally, often without The Vandellas, together with Ashford and Simpson or Syretta Wright. IMHO it looks like a solo singer named Martha Reeves, with backround voices The Vandellas, sadly we have not enough live material of MR&TVīs to have an opposite, the only very good live performance of the Group is "At the Copa" and thatīs not released until yet. For me personally The Marvelettes are a group from the beginning to the end. And "The Return of TM" was an open secret with the talented Wanda Young. We have a lot MR albums, which contains no or less Vandellas like "Sugar`n`spice", "Natural rescources" or "Black Magic"
    What you are think about that fact ?
    SO GLAD you brought this up. For years, decades, we've had it beaten and drummed into our heads that The Marvelettes were the only female group at Motown to be dubbed over by The Andantes. That always bugged me because the more of The Marvelettes' records I collected, the more I noticed it wasn't always The Andantes doing backgrounds. I also noticed that as the group matured, The Marvelettes singing had lost that youthful off-key quality; yet everybody kept howling that the group was being dubbed over because they couldn't sing on-key. Rubbish and hyperbole. I've heard just as many sour notes from other Motown groups, so that whole thing was just always unfair to the group.

    Over the years, collecting more and more albums and records, it sounded to me, like your post highlights, Martha & The Vandellas were dubbed over quite a lot, yet nobody really ever zoned in on that like they did with The Marvelettes. Then, when you compare albums, song-for-song, The Marvelettes actually did a lot more of their own backgrounds than most realize. I'd even venture to say, they got to do more of their own backgrounds than The Vandellas. To my ears, The Marvelettes vocals, even though often they were singing unison lines could blend so well with The Andantes, this is the only group that ends up confusing just who was doing what and when. To this day, I still can't quite tell if it's a blend of The Andantes and Marvelettes on "Don't Make Hurting Me A Habit" and "Only Your Love Can Save Me." If those songs are causing that much confusion, really it says a lot that The Marvelettes were doing their job just fine.

    Check out a song like "Rainy Mourning." That is a masterwork. The backing vocals seem to be the group with Wanda included, and in fact maybe even double-tracked. That is not an easy song to sing, and yet, The Marvelettes sound just fine on it. I'm sure some will say The Andantes are in the mix, yet I just don't hear those operatic tones. If the Andantes are mixed in, then this is again, a very skillful blend. It seems Ivy Jo and Dean/Weatherspoon really liked using the voices of the actual group as often as possible. If The Marvelettes weren't able to sing in tune, there is no way those producers would spend that much time trying to get a performance. They would have gone the easy route and just brought in The Andantes to do it all.

    Ok, that's my say. I'm glad you started this thread.

  3. #3
    Wow, you guys are absolute experts on how you analyze this music. I still often don't know when I'm hearing the Andantes on many songs. But to me the Andantes (when I hear them especially on the Supremes' records) could have a bland, kind of antiseptic, quality which I guess was the point. They could blend in with anyone singing lead.

    But I love the rougher, rawer, whatever you want to call it of really hearing Katherine, Gladys or Wanda, and so on, or Rosalind and Betty, and so on. I love when the background singers are recognizable.

    You guys are very impressive with your knowledge. And I love "Rainy Mourning." Kind of a Phil Spector-ish, little symphony or almost a movie theme.

  4. #4
    Motown began using the Andantes in place of the groups around 1965. For the Supremes, at first the Andantes were used on the specialty material like Merry Christmas and There's A Place For Us. It wouldn't be until 1968 that the Andantes took over the majority of background vocals on their recordings. For the Marvelettes & the Vandellas, the switch-over happened much sooner on singles such as "I'll Keep Holding On" and "My Baby Loves Me." There is a common misconception that the Marvelettes and Vandellas were on all these songs with the Andantes added for additional support. The fact is they were replaced totally by the Andantes. There are a few instances where both were used such as "Now Is The Time For Love" and "This Night Was Made For Love." By 1968, the Marvelettes and Vandellas were hardly ever used on recordings. I can name a few Marvelettes tracks like "Uptown," "Your Love Can Save Me," and "Breakthrough" that had Kat, Wanda or Ann on backgrounds. I would say they were used more than the Vandellas were. Other than "Honey Chile" and "Show Me The Way" with Roz and Lois, I couldn't name a track after that with Roz, Lois or Sandy on it after 1967. Martha stated that "Something" was Sandy's first recording with the Vandellas, but how would we know? I couldn't pick out Lois or Sandy's voice if my life depended on it. For as much as get upset about the Andantes replacing Mary & Cindy on post-1967 Supremes tracks, the fact is that Mary & Cindy recorded much more than the Vandellas & Marvelettes put together.

  5. #5
    This all sounds like more speculation rather than proof of what is being stated

  6. #6
    At the recent show I attended, I had a specific background vocals question that I posed to Lois during the "meet and greet" session but I got the idea that she either did not understand my question or else felt it was best to not give me a direct answer.

    It was about the song "Shoe Leather Expressway." There is a part in that song where Martha sings "pick em up and lay em down now," and someone in the background sings a low, husky "uh uh uh." (I realize that does not translate well in writing but if you know the song, you should be able to understand me.)

    Anyway, I was sure that had to be Lois doing that part and I wanted to ask her about it, mainly because of all this stuff I have heard over the years about the exorbitant amount of use of the Andantes. But as I said I did not get a direct answer and left rather frustrated about it.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    It was about the song "Shoe Leather Expressway." There is a part in that song where Martha sings "pick em up and lay em down now," and someone in the background sings a low, husky "uh uh uh." (I realize that does not translate well in writing but if you know the song, you should be able to understand me.)

    Anyway, I was sure that had to be Lois doing that part and I wanted to ask her about it, mainly because of all this stuff I have heard over the years about the exorbitant amount of use of the Andantes. But as I said I did not get a direct answer and left rather frustrated about it.
    The "uh uh uh" part in "Shoe Leather Expressway" are the Andantes. The lower, husky voice is Jackie Hicks. There are no Vandellas on that song. In fact, I don't there are any Vandellas on the Sugar N' Spice album. I'm pretty sure that's the Marvelettes' background vocals on "I Hope You Have Better Luck Than I Did" and it's Ashford & Simpson doing background on "I Ain't Like That" and "I'm A Winner."
    Last edited by bradsupremes; 11-24-2018 at 01:40 AM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    At the recent show I attended, I had a specific background vocals question that I posed to Lois during the "meet and greet" session but I got the idea that she either did not understand my question or else felt it was best to not give me a direct answer.

    It was about the song "Shoe Leather Expressway." There is a part in that song where Martha sings "pick em up and lay em down now," and someone in the background sings a low, husky "uh uh uh." (I realize that does not translate well in writing but if you know the song, you should be able to understand me.)

    Anyway, I was sure that had to be Lois doing that part and I wanted to ask her about it, mainly because of all this stuff I have heard over the years about the exorbitant amount of use of the Andantes. But as I said I did not get a direct answer and left rather frustrated about it.
    To be fair to Lois, we fans live these 50 year old songs on a daily basis. Lois was probably being evasive simply because she couldn't recall the song. Can any of us recall such detail from half a century ago on our lives?

  9. #9
    I agree that we really can’t recognize Sandy and Lois on MRATV tracks. I’m guessing Something is one because the backgrounds sound totally different from other tracks by then andantes. So I’m just going to guess that’s S and L

  10. #10
    Impressive knowledge by many

    Nice to see this being talked about quite rationally and factually and not about Florence Mary and Cindy

  11. Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    I agree that we really can’t recognize Sandy and Lois on MRATV tracks. I’m guessing Something is one because the backgrounds sound totally different from other tracks by then andantes. So I’m just going to guess that’s S and L
    It reminds me, once I read and I think thatīs Martha said, this group occupation was the most elegant one, but I think only in presentation, not in vocally.

    I am very glad of the fact, that we can hear on The Marvelettes songs the opposite, for example "The stranger" contains only The Marvelettes or on "Now is the time for love" there are both and you hear the differences which part of the song who sing, so the arrangements are perfect.

    I said it again and some of the guys will behead me but IMHO The Andantes are a part of MR&TV, only the first two albums are really MR&TV, IMHO Anette is the one, who give MR&TV her unique stamp

  12. #12
    i'm going to venture that i think it's the Marvelettes AND the Andantes on Too Many Fish in the Sea. obviously the four Marvelettes are doing the lead lines on the chorus and i think the group is singing throughout. But the 3-part harmony on the chorus is too polished for the Marvelettes, especially given this was recorded in early 64. their harmonies just weren't this solid.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    Motown began using the Andantes in place of the groups around 1965. For the Supremes, at first the Andantes were used on the specialty material like Merry Christmas and There's A Place For Us. It wouldn't be until 1968 that the Andantes took over the majority of background vocals on their recordings. For the Marvelettes & the Vandellas, the switch-over happened much sooner on singles such as "I'll Keep Holding On" and "My Baby Loves Me." There is a common misconception that the Marvelettes and Vandellas were on all these songs with the Andantes added for additional support. The fact is they were replaced totally by the Andantes. There are a few instances where both were used such as "Now Is The Time For Love" and "This Night Was Made For Love." By 1968, the Marvelettes and Vandellas were hardly ever used on recordings. I can name a few Marvelettes tracks like "Uptown," "Your Love Can Save Me," and "Breakthrough" that had Kat, Wanda or Ann on backgrounds. I would say they were used more than the Vandellas were. Other than "Honey Chile" and "Show Me The Way" with Roz and Lois, I couldn't name a track after that with Roz, Lois or Sandy on it after 1967. Martha stated that "Something" was Sandy's first recording with the Vandellas, but how would we know? I couldn't pick out Lois or Sandy's voice if my life depended on it. For as much as get upset about the Andantes replacing Mary & Cindy on post-1967 Supremes tracks, the fact is that Mary & Cindy recorded much more than the Vandellas & Marvelettes put together.
    if you listen closely to When You're Young And In Love you can almost hear the Marvelettes singing in unision on the melody of the chorus and then the harmonies are the andantes. I'm thinking for a while they might have done that until it was just easier to skip bothering with the Marvelettes and just do the Andantes

    Katherine states that for Return of the Marvelettes she refused to do the photo shoot because it was a total sham. she hadn't been involved in any of the recordings and so didn't want to play along by just appearing in the picture. but in actuality she HAD been doing that for years along with the live performances.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by lakedistrictlad1 View Post
    To be fair to Lois, we fans live these 50 year old songs on a daily basis. Lois was probably being evasive simply because she couldn't recall the song. Can any of us recall such detail from half a century ago on our lives?
    I would tend to agree with you, except I think the groups were or should be familiar with the songs that ended up on their albums. And I imagine they can easily recognize their own voices in the backgrounds if that is the case. Considering the dozens of songs these groups recorded which never were released (until decades later in some cases), it's easy to understand why they wouldn't remember most of them. But I would think they were pretty familiar with the album tracks.

  15. Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    I would tend to agree with you, except I think the groups were or should be familiar with the songs that ended up on their albums. And I imagine they can easily recognize their own voices in the backgrounds if that is the case. Considering the dozens of songs these groups recorded which never were released (until decades later in some cases), it's easy to understand why they wouldn't remember most of them. But I would think they were pretty familiar with the album tracks.
    I donīt know, if this is really true, because I must think of my greatest Motown dissapointment ever - "Forever came today" ! Mary and Cindy donīt know the vocal lines, so they sang uhs and ahs in The Ed Sullivan Show!

    And exactly this was the key to find out there are no Supremes on the record :-(

    IMHO Martha and The Vandellas are the same thing, there maybe one or two tracks per album with the original line-up, if any

  16. Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i'm going to venture that i think it's the Marvelettes AND the Andantes on Too Many Fish in the Sea. obviously the four Marvelettes are doing the lead lines on the chorus and i think the group is singing throughout. But the 3-part harmony on the chorus is too polished for the Marvelettes, especially given this was recorded in early 64. their harmonies just weren't this solid.
    I thought too that it was a mix of The Marvs and Andantes on Too Many Fish, until I heard it on one of those Motown karaoke CD and really got a huge surprise. While on one channel, you get the music track, on the other channel you get pure vocals without any distraction from the music. It's very revealing. I don't think there are ANY Andantes in the mix. I think there is some fantastic 3-part harmony going on there by the girls.

    I'm sure people will SWEAR the girls couldn't ever sing that well, but I just don't buy that anymore. By this time, the girls had been singing for some years and with three voices doing backgrounds, you can get a much fuller, tighter blend. There are other songs from this period that were shelved initially and I get the feeling you can hear the girls were getting much better and tighter with their singing.

    I'm prepared to be in the minority on this one, but that stripped-down karaoke version is VERY interesting to hear and may change a few minds.

  17. IMHO "Poor little rich girl", "Little girls grow up" and "Love is good" are key tracks for the missing time, where the group no albums recorded. It could be possible that The Marvelettes would sound in this direction.

    Well I donīt know the exactly years, when the above menitoned records are produced.

  18. #18
    The Marvelettes could sing. They would have never been able to perform live if they couldn't. People would have walked out of their shows, booed etc. Many groups did not sound that great when they first started out.

  19. #19
    There were no Andantes on Martha & the Vandellas records prior to 1966, Marvelettes either. On some of those box sets or later CD releases they might have listed that because they didn't want to pay the group members royalties. "Dancing In The Street" was the first of Marthas that used others in conjunction with Roz & Betty(that's Bettys first session as a Vandella). Smokey used the Andantes on "Don't Mess With Bill" because he recorded that and "You're the One" as solos for Wanda but Gladys won that round with Motown.I know for a fact that Lois & Sandy Tilley DID a lot of recording as Vandellas but a lot of tracks were cut while on the road as they worked continually.There is NO question that both groups were GREAT LIVE. I saw the Marvelletes LIVE in 1966 & there were NO Andantes behind the curtain in Orlando, Fl. or Montgomery, Al. "Too Many Fish In The Sea" is the Marvelettes & when I Saw them it was the trio.

  20. #20
    I'm sorry I should have been more clear since "Dancing In The Street" was 1964, I think that's Mickey & Ivy with them. I know "My Baby Loves Me" had a couple of Tops on there because it was gonna be for Kim Weston.The Andantes would be on a lot of the later stuff and some with Lois & Sandy.

  21. #21
    If we're talking singles, prior to 1965 the Vandellas are on all singles. After 1965 is where it gets tricky.

    Vandellas are definitely on:
    - Nowhere To Run
    - You've Been In Love Too Long (w/ Andantes)
    - What Am I Gonna Do Without Your Love
    - Jimmy Mack (w/ Andantes)
    - Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone
    - Honey Chile

    The Andantes alone are on everything else.

    After 1970, I cannot tell you what is Vandellas or not. In addition to the Andantes, there is also the Blackberries, Vincent Sisters w/ Telma Hopkins, as well as various session singers in LA and Detroit. I doubt Lois & Sandy were used at all with the exception of a few recordings and were merely onstage Vandellas.

    As for the Marvelettes, they are on everything prior to 1965. Just like the Vandellas, after 1965 is where things get muddy but they are on less singles, but more album tracks and B-sides.

    Marvelettes are definitely on:
    - I'll Keep Holding On (w/ Andantes)
    - Danger! Heartbreak Dead Ahead
    - When You're Young And In Love (w/ Andantes)

    The rest are Andantes only.
    Last edited by bradsupremes; 11-27-2018 at 03:38 PM.

  22. Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    The Marvelettes could sing. They would have never been able to perform live if they couldn't. People would have walked out of their shows, booed etc. Many groups did not sound that great when they first started out.
    Thank you! A point I always forget that you reminded me of. The Apollo Theater in New York. That. Place. Was. ROUGH. If you weren't good, those Harlem audiences would not show any kind of mercy. If they didn't like you, they let you know in an instant. The Marvelettes did well at the Apollo. I think I recall even The Miracles suffered a bad audience response during their first appearance. The Marvelettes had to have had something going on vocally, otherwise they would never have survived those New York crowds.

  23. #23
    Jack Ashford and Ivy Jo Hunter are singing in the background with Roz and Betty on Nowhere to Run.

    Too Many Fish In the Sea sounds like the Andantes are doing the "oh yeah "s during the verses but the rest is the actual Marvelettes.

    Martha said that Lois and Sandy only did a handful of recordings, that's probably why Lois was stumped when she was asked about the background because she barely was in the studio.

  24. Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    Jack Ashford and Ivy Jo Hunter are singing in the background with Roz and Betty on Nowhere to Run.

    Too Many Fish In the Sea sounds like the Andantes are doing the "oh yeah "s during the verses but the rest is the actual Marvelettes.

    Martha said that Lois and Sandy only did a handful of recordings, that's probably why Lois was stumped when she was asked about the background because she barely was in the studio.
    If you can find the karaoke version of Too Many Fish, give it a listen, just the vocals and see if you still feel the same way. On the single, it sounds like two groups doing the backings, Andnates on some parts, Marvs on others. I got a whole new take on it with the karaoke mix.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    This all sounds like more speculation rather than proof of what is being stated
    I think the proof is in the audio. The Andantes use on Flo era Supremes recordings can sometimes be tricky because IMO the Andantes and Flo and Mary had a similar sound. But that's not the case with the Vandellas and Marvelettes. Listening to Annette/Rosalind and Rosalind/Betty, I hear no similarities between them and the Andantes at all, so I can usually tell when the groups have been switched. ("I'm Ready for Love" is the one that threw me off. I would've sworn the soprano during the "oohs" on the verses was Rosalind, even though it's easy to tell it's the Andantes doing everything else. I'm still not completely convinced that Rosalind isn't there.) And the Marvelettes are very easy IMO because they did not possess the skills that could be confused with any of the other female groups at the label. As harmonizers, they just weren't very good. I don't think I've ever been fooled by a Marvelette/Andante vocal. I said all that to say that I'm with Brad on this one.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by lakedistrictlad1 View Post
    To be fair to Lois, we fans live these 50 year old songs on a daily basis. Lois was probably being evasive simply because she couldn't recall the song. Can any of us recall such detail from half a century ago on our lives?
    That's a fair point, but haven't we heard artists discussing such things on their recordings from so long ago? I can understand Lois not recalling, but I don't think it would be far fetched for her to recall it, if she recorded it. When these autobiographies come out, these folks remember conversations, meals, articles of clothing from way longer than 50 years ago. Lol The mind is a tricky place, that's for sure. I remember my grandmother would forget something I told her the previous week, but she could rattle off my grandfather's military ID number from the 1950s off the top of her head as if it was still relevant.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    Thank you! A point I always forget that you reminded me of. The Apollo Theater in New York. That. Place. Was. ROUGH. If you weren't good, those Harlem audiences would not show any kind of mercy. If they didn't like you, they let you know in an instant. The Marvelettes did well at the Apollo. I think I recall even The Miracles suffered a bad audience response during their first appearance. The Marvelettes had to have had something going on vocally, otherwise they would never have survived those New York crowds.
    The Marvelettes did well at the Apollo because they were great entertainers, not because they were captivating audiences with their vocals. Lol That's my take, anyway. Gladys could clearly sing and I think Wanda could too, although she needed some training (and definitely by 1965 Wanda had really come into her own as a vocalist). But as a group their sound was great for the stuff they were doing at the time (Postman, Playboy, etc) because there wasn't anything complicated about them. But I don't think they would've ever been signed to Motown or promoted if they couldn't sing in the first place.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    If you can find the karaoke version of Too Many Fish, give it a listen, just the vocals and see if you still feel the same way. On the single, it sounds like two groups doing the backings, Andnates on some parts, Marvs on others. I got a whole new take on it with the karaoke mix.
    For the first time I think I have to say that I'm not sure if it's the Andantes or Marvelettes! Sounds like it's possible that Wanda is in on the "oh yeahs" but I also can't rule out that it's the Andantes. The problem is that the "oh yeahs" are considerably buried in the verses in comparison to the rest of the backing vocals which are clearly the Marvelettes. If they were a bit louder...

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