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  1. #1
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    Gladys of the Marvelettes Autobiography

    Gladys' long awaited autobiography is now up for preorder. I remember this being talked about in the Flo Ballard Fan Club several decades ago.

    https://letterfromthepostman.gumroad...fromthepostman

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    Wonderful News! Thanks for sharing Marybrewster!

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    Hi all, this link isn't working for me, is it a USA only release, or publication ???

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    Quote Originally Posted by dickiemint View Post
    Hi all, this link isn't working for me, is it a USA only release, or publication ???
    I just placed my order. Re your question, you might be outside the USA. The company doing the release is in San Francisco, CA. Apparently they must think nobody outside the USA would buy it. I suggest you email them at support@gumroad.com. They should be able to help you obtain it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    I just placed my order. Re your question, you might be outside the USA. The company doing the release is in San Francisco, CA. Apparently they must think nobody outside the USA would buy it. I suggest you email them at support@gumroad.com. They should be able to help you obtain it.
    They need to get rid of that thought quickly.

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    Isn't Vaughn Thornton Glady's son?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SatansBlues View Post
    Isn't Vaughn Thornton Glady's son?
    Yes he is.

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    If memory serves me right, Gladys first talked about writing a book back in the early 90's, via the Flo Ballard Fan Club Newsletter.

    I'm glad to see her son Vaughn is fulfilling her dream.

  9. #9
    Thanks guys, I have just ordered it and I'm in the UK. I assume that it's self funded as it's been turned down more often than I have had hot dinners! The problem is/was that it's alleged that the original manuscript may have been changed many times after Gladys died! It will still be worth a read.

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    Typing in Gladys Horton on Amazon UK leads to a track by The Younger Lover called "Gladys Horton". Well I never.

    It is available on YouTube but I shan't post a link - can't tell what they're singing.

  11. #11
    I have played it before. No idea why it's called 'Gladys Horton', total rubbish!


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    Oh my, I've been longing for this to see the light of day for decades. Copley, may I ask where you ordered it: gumroad? Amazon USA?

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    Does anyone know anything about the book in terms of number of pages, pictures, etc.?

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    Quote Originally Posted by copley View Post
    I have played it before. No idea why it's called 'Gladys Horton', total rubbish!

    WTF was that?? Talk about NO talent. That was punishment. Cruel punishment!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by BritishTony View Post
    Oh my, I've been longing for this to see the light of day for decades. Copley, may I ask where you ordered it: gumroad? Amazon USA?
    Hi, I ordered it direct from the link in the initial post.

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    The book is now advertised on UK Amazon, price 20.30 with free postage on some delivery options, also a Kindle edition if preferred.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter G View Post
    The book is now advertised on UK Amazon, price 20.30 with free postage on some delivery options, also a Kindle edition if preferred.
    Thanks for the heads up, Peter G. It seems to be available on the other Amazon sites as of now as well, which may be a cheaper option for international fans, due to the skyrocketing international shipping costs. The print on demand paperback versions are now shipping via Amazon, which interestingly shows in the product listing as being over 600 pages...woah! The digital Kindle version is being released June 30th. As interested as I am in reading this book, I may wait until I see at least a couple of reviews from other fans, as I've been among the first to purchase some of these self-published book projects during the past few years and I find that the quality sadly tends to suffer from a lack of a formal editor. I'm hoping this will be a good one though. Recalling some of Gladys' interviews, I predict that this book won't be favourable towards Berry, Diana, Smokey, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlo View Post
    Thanks for the heads up, Peter G. It seems to be available on the other Amazon sites as of now as well, which may be a cheaper option for international fans, due to the skyrocketing international shipping costs. The print on demand paperback versions are now shipping via Amazon, which interestingly shows in the product listing as being over 600 pages...woah! The digital Kindle version is being released June 30th. As interested as I am in reading this book, I may wait until I see at least a couple of reviews from other fans, as I've been among the first to purchase some of these self-published book projects during the past few years and I find that the quality sadly tends to suffer from a lack of a formal editor. I'm hoping this will be a good one though. Recalling some of Gladys' interviews, I predict that this book won't be favourable towards Berry, Diana, Smokey, etc.
    Many years ago, Diana's international fan club mentioned this book and said that one section contained letters from Gladys to people like Diana, Berry, etc. Since so many years have passed, I gather the book has possibly gone through several incarnations since then.

    It will be interesting to see just what is in the book. In CALL HER MISS ROSS, Gladys didn't paint the best picture of Diana. But when it came to Marc Taylor's Marvelettes book, her opinions seemed to have softened.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Many years ago, Diana's international fan club mentioned this book and said that one section contained letters from Gladys to people like Diana, Berry, etc. Since so many years have passed, I gather the book has possibly gone through several incarnations since then.

    It will be interesting to see just what is in the book. In CALL HER MISS ROSS, Gladys didn't paint the best picture of Diana. But when it came to Marc Taylor's Marvelettes book, her opinions seemed to have softened.
    Thanks for that info, Reese. It's been many years since I have read Marc Taylor's book, but I do remember there were some parts that she had withheld from contributing too much detail, as she wanted to reserve her insights for her own book. Remembering this now, along with remembering how she struggled financially, for many years, to support her sons, has changed my mind about waiting to buy this book. I have admittedly been skeptical of what this book will be like, since seeing the preorder announcement from her son on social media, but I have placed my order now. I am hoping that if I can come away from it, getting even a little glimpse into her world, it will have been worth it. It appears that my copy should be arriving on Saturday. I will be sure to post a review.
    Last edited by carlo; 06-16-2022 at 01:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlo View Post
    Thanks for that info, Reese. It's been many years since I have read Marc Taylor's book, but I do remember there were some parts that she had withheld from contributing too much detail, as she wanted to reserve her insights for her own book. Remembering this now, along with remembering how she struggled financially, for many years, to support her sons, has changed my mind about waiting to buy this book. I have admittedly been skeptical of what this book will be like, since seeing the preorder announcement from her son on social media, but I have placed my order now. I am hoping that if I can come away from it, getting even a little glimpse into her world, it will have been worth it. It appears that my copy should be arriving on Saturday. I will be sure to post a review.
    I like your approach , & please do [review] !

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    I like your approach , & please do [review] !
    Thanks Boogiedown!

    Surprisingly, my copy was delivered today, ahead of schedule, which worked out nicely since I have had some time this afternoon to start reading it. After only being just over 50 pages in, I am already impressed with how well written this book is. I have no doubts that Gladys was a talented writer, as the narrative is engaging and well balanced, without an abundance of unnecessary details or unrelated tangents, which sometimes tends to be the case for independently published books. It's written clearly and I've only seen one glaring grammar mistake, which is fine. She writes with a lot of personal insight and easily admits her own faults. The insight and tone reminds me a lot of Mary's book, Dreamgirl. Like Mary, Gladys also seems to have had a gift for story telling. The first 50 pages or so were dedicated to discussing her upbringing as a foster child, which is followed by the Marvelettes' early years. The book is indeed quite large, as it is over 600 pages, but it's nice that the font size is a bit larger than usual. Not quite a large print book, but large enough to ensure that baby boomers won't be struggling to read the words on the pages lol. The book is divided into three parts. I'm just getting to the part where she discusses the Marvelettes' audition for Motown, so I am not far along enough yet to comment on whether there are any historical inaccuracies, but I have a feeling this won't be an issue.

    Thus far, I'm already impressed and if the first 50 pages are any indication of how the rest of the book will be, then it will be a very good read! This is the third independently published book I have read in the past year, the first being Nicole Ballard's book, and the second being Freda Payne's book, written with Mark Bego. This book easily surpasses those two, both in quality and overall engagement. There's no superficiality here, nor is there a lack of quality content.
    Last edited by carlo; 06-17-2022 at 06:07 PM.

  22. #22
    ...ok I was definitely premature with a few of my initial comments. I am surprised that her years with The Marvelettes were basically glossed over, within approximately 50 pages. Most of that was dedicated to discussing their start at Motown and how "Please Mr. Postman" came to be. Her Marvelettes years were written about very generically, but she did write that she was very busy recording, touring, etc., which may explain this. However, there was even no formal mention of the group's name change from the Casingyettes to The Marvels and then The Marvelettes. No mention of any of their albums past 1962. No mention of Ann Bogan replacing her. I'm on pg 120 of 600 and she has already left the group. It seems that the majority of the remainder of the book will be covering her life after she left the group, which I am very much interested in learning more about. I was just hoping for much more content on her Marvelettes era, since this was such a big part of her life. I have now arrived at the part where she gets into the difficulties she faced during her marriage.
    Last edited by carlo; 06-18-2022 at 12:04 AM.

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    maybe there will be some flashbacks .....

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    Thanks for the info, Carlo! By chance, were you notified that your book had shipped? I'm curious because I ordered my copy on June 6th, and have gotten no communication from Vaughn or Gumroad since. If it's shipping within the US [isn't it coming from San Francisco?] then the trip to me in the Los Angeles area shouldn't take more than a day or two. It's frustrating to here there are a few things that were glossed over, but at least we have the Marc Taylor book to hopefully supplement what Gladys hasn't shared much about. [Man, it's been at least 10 years or more since I last read that book!] I guess we were sort of "spoiled" by DREAMGIRL because it was a really good book coming directly from a Motowner. Mary may have kept diaries [and maybe even undergone hypnosis to help fill in gaps], but it sounds as though people like Gladys Horton or Duke Fakir weren't exactly running back to their hotel room after each show to detail the day's events. I wish the opportunity had existed back while Gladys was still alive for someone to have reviewed her manuscript and said, "you need to dive a little deeper with the details about your time with The Marvelettes... talk with some Motown historians to help fill in some of your gaps." Alas, that didn't appear to have happened. No one expects to read specific details like how Gladys took a sip from a bottle of Vernor's Ginger Ale to moisten her mouth in between takes of recording "Too Many Fish In The Sea," but a little more recollection about what things were like around Hitsville for her, The Marvelettes, and their label-mates, which writers and/or producers she preferred working with, how she dealt with Wanda's personal issues that affected the group, whether she had any involvement with choosing her successor [Ann Bogan], etc., might have been nice.

    Anyway, I'm hoping my copy arrives soon! Pairing it with Marc Taylor's book should help round things out!

  25. #25
    Hey Dan! Hope you're doing well! Looks like the pre-orders placed directly through Gumroad will start shipping next week, as per the link above. Hope you will get your copy soon. I ended up getting a print-on-demand copy through Amazon Canada, in order to avoid the shipping and any customs charges. Last time I had ordered Nicole Ballard's book directly from her and in the end, it cost me $100 to get it to my door, after adding up all of the various costs. It looked like this one would end up costing me a pretty penny as well to order it direct [$50+ just for the book and shipping]. International shipping costs are no longer what they once were [sigh].

    It's been quite a long time since I've read Marc Taylor's book. Like you said, I remember that book did get into The Marvelettes' era much more, so it will have filled in the gaps, but I also remember it seemed to try and fill up space by discussing the lyrical content of each of the Marvelettes' hit singles. Gladys' book definitely focuses more on her life after the group. I know in that regard, it will still be an engaging read, as I'm already learning a lot about her interesting and challenging life, but it would have been nice to read a little more about even the things that you and I mentioned above. For example, as you already referenced, did she drink Schweppes or Vernors ginger ale in the studio? More seriously, she did spend some pages getting into the creation of "Please Mr. Postman" and their early days as Hitsville, which I enjoyed reading.

    Funny you mentioned under going hypnosis, as that also came to my mind
    Last edited by carlo; 06-18-2022 at 08:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlo View Post
    I ended up getting a print-on-demand copy through Amazon Canada, in order to avoid the shipping and any customs charges. Last time I had ordered Nicole Ballard's book directly from her and in the end, it cost me $100 to get it to my door, after adding up all of the various costs. It looked like this one would end up costing me a pretty penny as well to order it direct [$50+ just for the book and shipping]. International shipping costs are no longer what they once were [sigh].
    Thanks for explaining, Carlo! What's weird is the confirmation e-mail received when you purchase says, "Your order will ship shortly," but I recall seeing something on the selling page that noted books would ship June 22-24. When you mentioned getting yours already, I was a little confused!

    I'm glad you were able to get this book at a reasonable price instead of at an inflated price such as with other, previous books. It's enough of a crapshoot with hoping for the contents to be engaging, but if you pay an inflated amount due to shipping...it better be worth it!
    Last edited by danman869; 06-18-2022 at 10:44 AM. Reason: typo

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    Just wondering, since this is apparently a print-on-demand book released by Amazon, my experience in the past with these types is that they are more often than not devoid of any pictures whatsoever. Are there any pictures or other than text in the book?

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by danman869 View Post
    I'm glad you were able to get this book at a reasonable price instead of at an inflated price such as with other, previous books. It's enough of a crapshoot with hoping for the contents to be engaging, but if you pay an inflated amount due to shipping...it better be worth it!
    Thanks Dan! Yes, exactly!

    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    Just wondering, since this is apparently a print-on-demand book released by Amazon, my experience in the past with these types is that they are more often than not devoid of any pictures whatsoever. Are there any pictures or other than text in the book?
    Not a whole lot of photos. I've seen a few common publicity shots thus far, in the book, which are partially obscured by post-it notes with Gladys' hand writing, which were left on them when they were scanned...I guess for interests' sake.

  29. #29
    Following-up on my earlier comment, Ann Bogan does get mentioned after all...

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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside View Post
    WTF was that?? Talk about NO talent. That was punishment. Cruel punishment!
    Thanks for the warning! I am going to resist the urge to just see how really bad it is!

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    My copy arrived today [[ordered via Amazon). Just read the first chapter. For first few pages I wasn't sure about this book, but I got drawn in. Gladys can tell a story.

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    I could kick myself for not doing more investigating on this one before I placed my order a few weeks ago. Through the Gumroad website [posted above], I paid $25.00 for the book...plus $7.50 shipping. Looking at Amazon US right now, the book is available for $25.00 with FREE shipping using Prime [which I have] and if I were to order it right now [Saturday], it would arrive on Monday. I've just e-mailed Vaughn Horton to cancel my order through Gumroad so hopefully I'll get a response soon. Why pay a 30% shipping fee when I can get it shipped for free by Amazon? In today's economy, saving any amount of money [even $7.50] is worth it!

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    I am in the same boat as danman869. I got my confirming email from Vaughn Horton on the same day 6/6 and will pay $7.50 shipping. I guess I was desirous to be one of the first 100 customers which will entitle me to receive a "customized" Letter to the Editor bag. I just hope it is a decent bag, not a paper bag. Mine is to be starting to ship 6/22 to 6/24.

    When I went into the initial posting that introduced the thread and accessed the link for the book, it now today says there are 31 left. It had been in the 60's way back when.

    So I guess I will have to wait and see.

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    Woodward, I'll let you know whether or not I get a response from Vaughn to my e-mail requesting to cancel my order. If he does respond and it's a smooth process, I'm going to order directly from Amazon--and maybe you'll want to as well. I saw all the exact same things that you did and, to be honest, I don't need a tote bag themed after the book cover. Book, yes--bag, no.

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    I cannot find book on USA amazon. Anyone have link?

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    Thank you!

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    Abut halfway through the book. I'm finding it a very sad and troubling book to read. Gladys comes off as very likable and talented and open hearted and she makes you want to root for her, but she keeps making such poor choices, especially that move to Philadelphia.

  39. #39
    I'm feeling the exact same, Spreadinglove21.

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    I was holding off until I’d read it all but I know how it feels when you’re aching for ANY news. Ordered mine on British Amazon last Thursday for around 20 quid incl shipping [[I’m not a Prime customer) and gobsmacked to receive it last Saturday! Inside it says printed in the UK.

    I’m 2/3 thru and agree with everyone’s comments. Enjoying it but expected much more detail on the Marvelettes years. Plenty of detail on her personal life afterwards. But as Spreadinglove21 says Gladys does come across as likable, talented, open-hearted. Can’t wait to finish reading.

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    I'm 2/3 through the book. It's very readable, but still sad and depressing. The lack of detail in the chapter on the Marvelettes at Motown is coming back to bite in terms of the book's overall narrative arc. We're given no insight whatsoever in terms of the interpersonal dynamics between Gladys, Wanda and Katherine during their time together in the group. So when we get to the late 70s and early 80s and Gladys is writing about her ambition to get the group back together and she's planning her return back to Detroit/Inkster as a surprise, I can't help but think, "shouldn't you check with them as well as with folks back home first before you come back to see if they are interested and/or able to perform and record?" Surely Gladys had some sort of grounds to think she could pull this off. Did Wanda and Katherine fall into line for whatever Gladys decreed or decided during the group's heyday? Who knows as so far in the book there's no details given as to this aspect of the group's history.

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    wondering does Gladys mention when she first moved out to LA in 1981 that she stayed with Mary Wells? Thats when my brother met her when he went to visit Mary. Maybe someone got ahold of her manuscript & took out alot of the Motown & Marvelettes stuff. I don't think she had ever finished the book before she passed away.I think my copy should be mailed this week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motony View Post
    wondering does Gladys mention when she first moved out to LA in 1981 that she stayed with Mary Wells? Thats when my brother met her when he went to visit Mary. Maybe someone got ahold of her manuscript & took out alot of the Motown & Marvelettes stuff. I don't think she had ever finished the book before she passed away.I think my copy should be mailed this week.
    She does. I'm up to that part of the book. Though Gladys writes that she and her kids and dog stayed with Mary Wells in late 1984. A lot of drama went down during her stay there.

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    I just finished Gladys Horton's book. It's a very sad and depressing read. She wrote it in the early 90s and then she added an afterword a couple of years later to discuss the death of her youngest son in a drive by shooting in 1991. Most of the book is focused on her post Motown life and struggles. The chapter on her time at Motown and recording and performing with the Marvelettes is very superficial other than her talking about the last concerts she did with the group while 7 months pregnant and being ordered by Berry Gordy to conceal her pregnancy on stage. The book is full of anger and self pity though she's also resilient. I can understand why the book didn't find a publisher. If it had been picked up I could see some major editing going on and the publisher asking for a re write to have more info about the Motown years and less about life in poverty. The biggest value of the book is that it's a searing and brutal look of what it's like to live in poverty as a single Black mother in mid to late 20th century America. Gladys is a pretty good writer. The book flows well. However the text needed another thorough review by a professional copy editor. Gladys didn't belch any songs in the copy, and there's no repetition of text like in My Dream of Flo Ballard but there are some regrettable typos and grammar errors that should have been picked up. At the end of the book she unleashes fury at Smokey Robinson [[Gladys calls him an evil druglord) and reads Katherine for filth [[even though in the rest of the book Katherine is depicted as being OK). In his afterword Vaughan also piles on Katherine for getting ahold of the Marvelettes name and doing shows in recent years. And at times Gladys comes off as Motown's version of Baby Jane Hudson or Nora Desmond, yearning for that big comeback. It's quite sad. Throughout the last half of the book Gladys laments Motown for not celebrating and honoring the Marvelettes. However she blew her opportunity to celebrate and enhance the legacy of her group as that chapter on the Motown glory years is so rote. So if you want to read one woman's experiences of a life in poverty, then her book is well worth reading. But if you're looking to learn more about The Marvelettes in the 60s at Motown, this book is not much of an addition to the lore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spreadinglove21 View Post
    I just finished Gladys Horton's book. It's a very sad and depressing read. She wrote it in the early 90s and then she added an afterword a couple of years later to discuss the death of her youngest son in a drive by shooting in 1991. Most of the book is focused on her post Motown life and struggles. The chapter on her time at Motown and recording and performing with the Marvelettes is very superficial other than her talking about the last concerts she did with the group while 7 months pregnant and being ordered by Berry Gordy to conceal her pregnancy on stage. The book is full of anger and self pity though she's also resilient. I can understand why the book didn't find a publisher. If it had been picked up I could see some major editing going on and the publisher asking for a re write to have more info about the Motown years and less about life in poverty. The biggest value of the book is that it's a searing and brutal look of what it's like to live in poverty as a single Black mother in mid to late 20th century America. Gladys is a pretty good writer. The book flows well. However the text needed another thorough review by a professional copy editor. Gladys didn't belch any songs in the copy, and there's no repetition of text like in My Dream of Flo Ballard but there are some regrettable typos and grammar errors that should have been picked up. At the end of the book she unleashes fury at Smokey Robinson [[Gladys calls him an evil druglord) and reads Katherine for filth [[even though in the rest of the book Katherine is depicted as being OK). In his afterword Vaughan also piles on Katherine for getting ahold of the Marvelettes name and doing shows in recent years. And at times Gladys comes off as Motown's version of Baby Jane Hudson or Nora Desmond, yearning for that big comeback. It's quite sad. Throughout the last half of the book Gladys laments Motown for not celebrating and honoring the Marvelettes. However she blew her opportunity to celebrate and enhance the legacy of her group as that chapter on the Motown glory years is so rote. So if you want to read one woman's experiences of a life in poverty, then her book is well worth reading. But if you're looking to learn more about The Marvelettes in the 60s at Motown, this book is not much of an addition to the lore.
    Wht did she say about Katherine? Was during time they were in the group or was it after the group disbanded

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    She doesn't say much about Katherine for much of the book. Early on she says when putting together a group for the talent show she asked Katherine to come over to try out. Katherine sang lead at the talent show, not Gladys or Georgia Dobbins. Next prominent discussion of Katherine is for Gladys' final gig as a Marvelette in late 67/early 68 when Katherine and Wanda urged Gladys to follow Berry's orders and wear something on stage to conceal her pregnancy. Then in early 80s when Gladys returned to Inkster she asked Katherine to rejoin the Marvelettes but Katherine said no, she was not interested in singing. Then an occasional mention of a phone call and the like and that's that. There's an afterword by Vaughan in which he talks about Katherine not signing on to a lawsuit Gladys was pursuing against Larry Marshack for Marvelettes trademark and then Vaughan discusses Katherine years later when Gladys was ill trying to get Gladys to join Katherine's suit to get ahold of the trademark. He also says at Gladys' funeral Katherine was there to hustle regarding her suit, which she ultimately won. Then the book closes out with letters Gladys wrote addressed to several people, including Katherine, who she now says just tagged along with Georgeanna to try out for the talent show group and Gladys says that she knew Katherine was always a fake and condemns her for not signing on to Gladys' lawsuit against Marshack in the late 80s or early 90s [[which she doesn't discuss in the proper book--only Vaughan discusses it in his afterword). No doubt something bad went down between the two, but the letter was clearly written in anger. There are other passages where Gladys goes off on people, especially Smokey Robinson.

    AS I said before Gladys has a lot of heart but the book is sad and depressing, and while a lot of wrong was done to her she also made a lot of bad choices in her life and seems to have issues with depression and alcohol and drug use [[weed). She never got as bad as Wanda, but it's clear she had her mental health struggles.

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    I met Glady's Horton on her UK tour along with Jimmy Ruffin on the 1990 tour, and attended when they played at the "Butter Market venue in Shrewsbury. Sadly not a great crowd, but I had quite a long conversation with Glady's at the end of the show around her tour, the records she originally sang lead, on and so on etc. She was a lovely lady and to my surprise she somewhat made a short but kind mention of Ann Bogan. Her accompanying background singers with her on the tour were two sisters, Jackie & Regina Holleman, and they were also friendly and professional, all enjoyed the performance.

    I'm now enjoying reading her book but I have not yet come across any mentions of her later tour[s] and the two sisters that performed with her. That is if she has included anything to do with her later tours and performances? Its a great book about her real life and in more detail.

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    Last edited by Graham Jarvis; 06-23-2022 at 11:03 AM.

  48. #48
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    Jackie and Regina Hollerman who recorded and toured in the UK with Gladys.

    Echo Johnson and Jean McClean also recorded with Gladys. Don't
    know if Gladys ever toured with this grouping?
    Last edited by lakeside; 06-23-2022 at 11:15 AM.

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    Near the end of the book she talks about getting herself back performing on the oldies but goodies circuit. She talks about how the background singers she hired were selfish, unlike the Marvelettes during the 60s, and were craving the spotlight so she was constantly hiring and firing background singers as off stage they were jealous and evil, spoiled and rotten. She even mentions hiring two "fairies" [[her term) as background singers for a short while.

  50. #50
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    Hmm not a fan of her using the term "fairies". Sounds like she wasn't a very happy person and did not get on well with the other Marvelettes. I understand why she wasn't happy though.

    Does she delve much into her friendship with Florence Ballard? I know the two of them were close in the early days.

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