TamlaTamla T 54046 (B), August 1961

B-side of Please Mr. Postman

(Written by James Young, Robert Bateman and Brian Holland)

BritainFontana H 355 (B), November 1961

B-side of Please Mr. Postman

(Released in the UK under license through Fontana Records)

Scan kindly provided by Gordon Frewin, reproduced by arrangement.  All label scans come from visitor contributions - if you'd like to send me a scan I don't have, please e-mail it to me at fosse8@gmail.com!The flip of Motown’s first number one pop hit is a shrill, caterwauling doo-wop number. I don’t know how old Wanda Young was when she sang lead on this (the entire group was aged between 14 and 16), but compared to bandmate Gladys Horton – who had done a sensational job with the lead vocal on Please Mr. Postman – Wanda sounds too young and has too little experience to carry it off. She’d go on to be the Marvelettes’ undisputed lead singer in the late Sixties, settling into that role after Gladys was no longer in the group, but her shaky teenage voice as heard on this one bears almost no resemblance to the smoky, assured performances she’d come to give years later.

The song, co-written by Wanda’s older brother, is a mostly straightforward by-the-numbers doo-wop song, and it goes absolutely nowhere, although some frenetic use of electric piano throughout helps liven things up a little bit. Still, it’s not a patch on the stellar A-side, and even judged on its own merits it comes up short; Wanda’s incredibly high pitched falsetto vocals are actually painful to listen to in places, and the whole thing just doesn’t grab you. Disappointingly ordinary.



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The Marvelettes
“Please Mr Postman”
The Contours
“The Stretch”