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  1. #1

    Question Marvelettes question

    This subject has been discussed on here often, so I am almost posting the question as a test to myself to see if I can learn to use the new forum. So here goes:

    At what point in their career did the Marvelettes become Wanda and the Andantes as opposed to the actual Marvelettes singing on the records? I thought I had understood once that the "Return" album was all Wanda and was essentially a solo album but they decided to use the Marvelettes name for fear that hers wouldn't be as recognizable. So therefore I was thinking/hoping that all the albums prior to that used the actual group's vocals.

    But now I read on here recently that the Andantes did the background vocals on "When You're Young and in Love," which made me wonder.....just when did we stop having the "real" Marvelettes?

  2. #2
    I've read (from others who have discussed this) that all of the background vocals on The Marvelettes '67 album were the real Marvelettes, with the Andantes added in as well. So unless I'm wrong, I think "When You're Young" is the real Marvelettes, plus the Andantes. I think this was the same case with Sophisticated Soul, but many of the tracks were probably only the Andantes as well. On the In Full Bloom album, you can hear the real Marvelettes (Kat and Ann) on "Uptown"...but then other tracks are clearly the Andantes. The final album is Andantes only. So it was pretty much on and off...but as time went on, I think the recordings became more of Wanda and the Andantes, rather than The Marvelettes.

    I'm sure our Marvelettes experts here can give us some more details.
    Last edited by carlo; 08-05-2010 at 12:43 AM.

  3. #3
    I don't know for sure (no Marvelettes expert) but I agree with Carlo's version.

  4. #4
    David

    The days of "you had to be at the session to be on it" stopped in about 1963 ish. This is one of those "you fill in the gaps" answers!

    I can talk with some authority about the Velvelettes who were on all of their earliest recordings "There He Goes", "Beat Around the Bush", "Selfish Lover" etc. When Motown changed to using pre-recorded tracks for the artists, it meant that when the group was out of state on tour and needed them for a recording session, ONLY the lead singer, Cal, would be brought back to record the lead vocal AND be dubbed onto the background vocal. Cal would not normally know for definite who had recorded the background vocals and would guess. The remaining ladies would not be flown back to be on the recording and they would have to learn their parts only if the song was later performed. In 2005, I helped the ladies to learn some background parts because they had never had to sing the song before. It was thus clear that Motown were concerned with costs.

    Now I'm not wishing to suggest anything conclusive but in those days, Inkster was considered to be NOT close to the Hitsville USA studio.........

    Imagine you're the person putting together the recording session and being tied to a budget, what sort of decisions would you make? Bear in mind that the Andantes had proved themselves, time after time, that they could learn their songs quickly and even be there at the session pretty quickly....

  5. #5
    The only album that is solely Wanda/Andantes (apart from the two 'In Full Bloom' tracks 'Uptown' & 'That's How Heartaches Are Made') is 'Return'. All the others are the girls plus or minus the Andantes. You can clearly hear Gladys & Kat on 'WYYAIL'.

  6. #6
    Copley-That's great. So here is a stereo version

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5avwwayGgKw&feature=fvw

    Can you identify the timings when you can hear Gladys and when you can hear Katherine.

    Thanks

  7. #7
    I agree with the above statements. The pink album is the Marvelettes with the Andantes added on some of the songs. One of the best examples is "This Night Was Made For Love". I haven't listened in a while but I think "Barefooting", "He was Really Saying Something" and "The Day You Take One" are the Marvelettes alone. The Sophisticated Soul album only had a few Marvelette only songs I think they are " The Stranger" and "Only Your Love Can Save Me" there might be one or two more that I cant think of at the moment. The In Full Bloom album featured The Marvelettes alone on "Uptown", "Raining Mourning" and they were blended with the Andantes on "Now Is The Time For Love" (with Katherine really turned up in the background) and "At Last I See Love As It Really Is". I think the rest were the Andantes or whoever was around the studio the day of the recording.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    Copley-That's great. So here is a stereo version

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5avwwayGgKw&feature=fvw

    Can you identify the timings when you can hear Gladys and when you can hear Katherine.

    Thanks
    Katherine and Gladys are doing all of the major respond parts and the Andantes are doing the high ooos and ahhhs in the background. At the the end of the song Kat and Gladys does the low "Young and In love" and the Andantes does the high one.
    In my opinon over the years way too much credit has been taken from the actual Marvelettes and given to the Andantes (this is the case with all of the female groups) In a lot of cases they are not only on the songs (and on some of them prominetly) but they had to perform them live.

  9. #9
    Let me give you this....and it's a shock horror titbit from one of the music papers or fan club magazines that I used to read at the time.

    At the time of the release of "In Full Bloom" in the UK, I read that "Too Many Tears Too Many Times" was a vault track recorded at the same time as "This Night Was Made For Love" which would have been 1965-ish. It was later confirmed by Gladys that it "Tears" was an old (ish) track.

    I suspect the non-lead singers were left out on the road when many of the Marvelettes recordings were taking place. And that kind of spoils it for me....it's like finding out it was Valerie and not Tammi....I think I've been cheated but cos I still love the music, I feel a bit disloyal for actually loving it.

  10. #10
    Soulballad

    Pity you don't live next door to me!

    Spot on with the point about over exposure on the Andantes. But maybe that's probably only amongst those that know...like SDF....and we're getting smaller every day! Nowadays, the general music fan is hard pressed to remember the Marvelettes, let alone knowing about the Andantes. That's very sad.

    I'd love to have seen them live. I only saw them on British TV so thank goodness for those Youtube videos.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    Soulballad

    Pity you don't live next door to me!

    Spot on with the point about over exposure on the Andantes. But maybe that's probably only amongst those that know...like SDF....and we're getting smaller every day! Nowadays, the general music fan is hard pressed to remember the Marvelettes, let alone knowing about the Andantes. That's very sad.

    I'd love to have seen them live. I only saw them on British TV so thank goodness for those Youtube videos.
    It's pretty simple, in the 60's and 70's everyone (the general record buying public) assumed only the group members sang on all of the songs, but those of us that knew how things worked always suspected otherwise. Then the bomb dropped in the 80's and the fans became disillusioned so then EVERYTHING that EVERYBODY did was the Andantes. Most of the people making the claims were not even around and NEVER saw the groups live and really had no clue about how the groups sounded, and then came the internet where anyone could be a '"Star" then mostly a lot of lies and misunderstandings were spread like wildfire. Now the pendulum is swinging to the center where it should be. Sadly our group is getting smaller by the day and a lot the young kids don't know Diana Ross from Martha Reeves.

  12. #12
    I hesitate to step in here for fear of being deluged by questions about individual sessions which I won't have time to reply to, but there IS a kind of generic answer that I can offer. The keepers of the Session Logs and the Tape Filing Cards used sometimes to write either "Voices" or "Group" against particular sessions. "Voices" I take to mean principally the Andantes as far as female backing vocals go; I don't think Motown had a consistent male backing vocal group, though we know from anecdotal evidence that the Spinners, in their pre-hit days, often featured on backing vocals. "Group", I take it, means what it says.

    In compiling the track annotations which show a session-by-session history for each track, on e.g. The Complete Motown Singles, we try to reproduce those details as they are found. So for the Marvelettes, daviddesper, you can check out the recent Forever set, and as and when a follow-up volume appears, you can look at the annos for that, and so get a more-or-less complete answer to your question.

    Hope that helps.

    Keith
    Last edited by keith_hughes; 08-07-2010 at 11:36 AM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    Copley-That's great. So here is a stereo version

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5avwwayGgKw&feature=fvw

    Can you identify the timings when you can hear Gladys and when you can hear Katherine.



    Thanks
    Just as Soulballad said John. As you always say 'use your ears'.

  14. #14
    Would it not be a fair statement to say that replacing "voices" for "andantes" is what earlier posters mean when they talk about the Andantes being over exposed. "......Voices, I take to mean principally the Andantes as far as female backing vocals go......."

    Principally is fine for certain time periods but not all. We all know of many instances when it was not true. History books tells us that it was whoever was around....or who was free at the time...or who was able to turn up at the studio quickly or (put in your reason). The point being that it was not necessarily the three girls individually known as Marlene, Louvaine and Jackie. Where is mention of Pat Lewis, sisters Pam and Joyce Vincent, Telma Hopkins in "voices" for example?

    Joe Shillair was a promotional guy at Motown and it was he that promoted (and knew all the lyrics to) the Velvelettes "There He Goes". Joe passed many years ago but he told me himself that he sung on Mary Wells' "Two Lovers" because a Lovetone simply did not turn up that day and another voice was needed for the harmony. Joe wasn't a Lovetone, he just worked there and was able to sing and did. He's never credited....but maybe he ought to be.

    I listened to a version of Grapevine on youtube the other day where the backing vocals were very clear (probably Midnight Johnny's because I'm always listening to his remixes). (Interestingly, try listening to it and try to identify how many different voices you can hear-you might be surprised) Now those "voices" on MPG's "Grapevine" were not the same as the "voices" on say, "When' I'm Gone" or "My Guy". So any written statement that equates to the Andantes being on both songs will confuse the listener.

    Even "group" can be misleading.....as in the Marvelettes when Rosalind deputised for Wanda or the Vandellas when Betty recorded "Dancing In The Street" as an official Velvelette and not a Vandella until a further 3 months later when she would be of age to sign a new contract.

    With the detailed information that has come out over the years, via TCMS and COM, I suspect the time is right to stick to the written word ie "voices" or "group" in annotations and to let the listener make up their own mind as to who the individuals involved.

    At the end of the day, I guess I'm splitting hairs and there's probably only a few of us who really care.

  15. #15
    Exactly Copley. That's my view definitely...you've hit the nail on the head. My advice is to NOT use what is down in print as the gospel (is that an understood term in the US?), but to use it as a (pretty reliable, I have to say) guide but trust your lug holes first.

    I used to constantly tease Midnight Johnny about using his ears and he now teases reminding me of those times. But I feel really strongly about it. I suspect deep down, we all know it's the best judge.

    Thanks for all the contributions to this thread....you've got me going today!

    Mind you, I've burnt my potatoes on the stove!

  16. #16
    Soulballad

    Me and you need to be told off for calling it "THIS NIGHT Was Made For Love". It's officially "TONIGHT Was Made For Love". Must be cos the song is one of those ear-worms...or cos you and me play the song too much! LOL

  17. #17
    smark21 Guest
    I wonder if there are any Marvelette tracks in the vaults with Katherine on lead?

  18. #18
    I am gonna have to watch what I say with you around Smark21. I've already been scolded once by you this week!

    History suggests the chances are slim and probably few, if any. But it's a nice thought and one that I would not want to reject. But it's generally said that you can never say never with Motown. Who would have thought you would have a pairing of Yvonne Fair with Chuck Jackson, or Sandy Tilley leading a Velvelettes tune.....or even a Vandella with the Marvelettes!!

    I'll be corrected on exact words by the fans for this, but Mary Wilson came out with some really excellent advice that dreams only stop coming true when you stop believing in them. So keep on dreaming mate and I'm with you too

  19. #19
    John,
    .... RE: the pairing of Yvonne Fair with Chuck Jackson.
    HERE'S IS A BIT FROM MY BIO on CHUCK ....
    “Any Day Now” commenced a 5 year spell for Wand during which Chuck would enjoy 13 more national hit singles (“Since I Don’t Have You”, etc.), three of them being duets with Maxine Brown. During that period, Doris Troy and Yvonne Fair also recorded with Chuck. Even before “Any Day Now” had hit, Chuck had been headlining tours across the States. Chuck’s live work was so dynamic that Wand decided to record a few of his live performances. Tracks such as “Stubborn Kind Of Fellow” were cut whilst two dedicated LP’s titled ‘Tribute to Rhythm and Blues’ were also issued in 1966. On these Chuck performed cover versions of popular songs from that period (including “You Don’t Know Like I Know”; “Barefootin'”; “Up Tight” & “Cool Jerk”). In 65, Burt Bacharach was asked to appear on his own UK TV show and this was recorded in London. It was titled 'The Bacharach Sound' and starred Burt along with special guests such as Chuck Jackson, Dionne Warwick & Dusty Springfield. Chuck was featured on just the one number, "Any Day Now".
    Yvonne toured with Chuck for a period & after Chuck was signed to Motown in late 67, he got the company to sign Yvonne as well (they were really good friends). So (to me at least), it was no shock that Motown would put the two of them together, especially seeing as Chuck had enjoyed quite a few hit 45's when he had been paired with Maxine Brown.

  20. #20
    "....it was no shock that Motown would put the two of them together, especially seeing as Chuck had enjoyed quite a few hit 45's when he had been paired with Maxine Brown...."

    Let me see if I can shoot you down.......all in fun, that is.

    With Chuck being so well suited with females...and having already (almost) done one with Tammi Terrell at Scepter Wand (Chuck will tell you it was recorded as a duet) ......why didn't it happen with Tammi and Chuck at Motown?

    I still find it incredible that Motown did put Yvonne and Chuck together and so far, it looks like it's a one-off. I get the impression that Chuck is very protective to some of the more "vulnerable" artists.....and the obvious link between Tammi and Yvonne comes to mind.

    But John, don't take this thread off on a tangent...and stop me from making it worse by replying! LOLOLOL

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    Soulballad

    Me and you need to be told off for calling it "THIS NIGHT Was Made For Love". It's officially "TONIGHT Was Made For Love".
    I thought it was always, "This Night Was Made For Love"??? Or was it listed as "Tonight Was Made For Love" by mistake on the LP? I'll have to check my copy later to see what you guys are talking about.

  22. #22
    Us old uns can tell you're a youngster Carlo...awwww.

    Let me save you hours of work of discovering why I say that...the song has been both correctly and also incorrectly titled in the past on official albums using those titles. It's all part of the fun, spotting these differences and finding out more.

    It was even more fun when it was only vinyl. Can you believe that US albums sometimes had different back jackets or even front covers other than the obvious "Grapevine", Tears of A Clown" etc. Of course, the Marvelettes had the classic early album which mispelt their name.

    However, earlier you said...

    "On the In Full Bloom album, you can hear the real Marvelettes (Kat and Ann) on "Uptown"...but then other tracks are clearly the Andantes...."

    What do you make of that revelation that "Too Many Tears Too Many Times" was from 1965?

    Can you now see why this is so much fun!!! *grin*

  23. #23
    Hahahahaha!!

    I didn't realize that "This Night Was Made For Love" was mis-titled/mis-spelt on some LP releases. Thanks for that tidbit! You're right, it is fun finding out new facts and things.

    Perhaps "Uptown" was also recorded earlier on as well?? I've never cared too much for that song.

  24. #24
    uptight Guest
    Oh, just listening to the style of the musicians playing on it, I'm pretty certain "Uptown" was another old-ish track. Plus both editions of "Uptown" on the albums used older mastering techniques, sticking out like sore thumbs among the rest of the LP tracks. Maybe the idea of including "Uptown" was to help justify them as "Marvelettes" albums, since it's the "group" sans the Andantes.

  25. #25
    No no no Carlo, you can't use that line, not on SDF, we have standards to maintain. *LAUGHS AND SMILES* It's back to Marvelettes class again for you to finish the homework......and let's offer a youngster a guiding hand from the SDF school of has-beens!

    Re-check Mary Wilson's "Dreamgirls" book, you'll find that "Uptown" was assigned to the Supremes back in 1968. So take it from there.....

    (I'm teasing you, I hope you know that)

    And bear in mind, our dearest friend Uptight is always correct. Dean and Weatherspoon were the producers for that song and that might explain his theory. But I hope you know that "Uptown" was an oldish song and more readily identified as a song from THE Crystals...as in Phil Spector's CRYSTALS. And I think it's important that you are aware of their masterpiece.

  26. #26
    Tonight was made for love was written and produced by my favourite Motown producers, Staunton and Walker.....and they were gone from Motown by the end of 1965. Dating their work indicates they only spent around a year at Hitsville as a team.

    I remind you as well that they wrote/produced "Little Girls Grow Up" earlier in 65 on the group as well.

  27. #27
    Carlo

    For one so young, you've developed the knack of attracting some Motown collector heavyweights to your posts. LOLOLOL

    FYI, Fat Man in the Third Row was the early-ish title for a song by Shorty Long...called "Here Comes Fat Albert". Shorty shouts the line in a piano demo.

  28. #28
    uptight Guest
    Xtown, thanks, but I can admit when I'm incorrect.
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    btw: I had forgotten the Crystals had the big hit with "Uptown."

  29. #29
    Another good early example of the Marvelettes and Andantes combined is the song "Anything You Want To Do" Kat, Wanda and probably Geogeanna sing most of the lead in unison with Glady but you have the Andantes doing the oooh and ahhhs and in my opinon waaaayyy to loud. The song could use a remixing with the Andantes turned down.

    A good example of Kat and Wanda on background is the song " I Hope You Have Better Luck Than I Did" from Cellarful II. You can really hear Wanda's southern drawl at the end.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    Re-check Mary Wilson's "Dreamgirls" book, you'll find that "Uptown" was assigned to the Supremes back in 1968. So take it from there.....
    I didn't know that. Although I can't imagine The Supremes singing Uptown...

    You guys know so much. I always learn something new from all of your infinite Motown wisdom!!

  31. #31
    Carlo

    Now you need to be careful here.....I never said anything about them recording it..I only said they were assigned the track!

    Might as well be hard on you right from the start.....you and the likes of Brad, Per and many others will be charged for carrying on this legacy when we're enjoying our retirememt. We need to make sure we've left it in good hands!

    *smile*

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    Now you need to be careful here.....I never said anything about them recording it..I only said they were assigned the track!
    Yes, I knew what you meant when you said they were "assigned" to the track! Now you need to be careful here...I never said anything about them recording it...I only said I can't imagine them singing "Uptown"...meaning if they had recorded it, I can't imagine it sounding good.

    (I'm teasing you)!!

    lol

  33. #33
    Carlo

    So now the old uns are getting a telling off too.

    Hmmm....I think maybe I can retire quicker than I thought!

    *smile*

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