** This is just a short biographical summary – for the full story, check out this artist’s reviews! **
Pub trivia quiz question: who was the first female artist on Motown? The answer is Dr Mable John, in 1960; while female backing voices had appeared on previous Motown singles, and the great Janie Bradford had written hit songs for the label, Mable was the first female act to actually see material released in her own right. Sister of Little Willie John (of Fever fame), Mable’s friendship with Motown founder Berry Gordy predated the company’s founding, and her strong, bluesy voice made her an instant star for the tiny label.
As the company built its pop credentials and started to jettison the blues and jazz artists who had been there from the start, Mable found herself increasingly isolated; she ended up decamping to Stax, of all places, in the mid-Sixties, becoming one of only a tiny handful of artists to record for both Motown and Stax, before moving into academia and then religion. Dr Mable John currently works as a minister in California.
Review Archive: Mable JOHN (8 items)
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