** This is just a short biographical summary – for the full story, check out this artist’s reviews! **
Motown’s first solo superstar, Mary Wells shone brighter than any other Motown artist in the early Sixties, only to walk out on the company at the height of her success, never to rescale those same peaks.
Arriving at Motown as a budding songwriter in 1960, Mary quickly transitioned to a role as a vocalist, in which she excelled; partnered with star writer-producer Smokey Robinson, she was Smokey’s first great female muse, bringing out some of Robinson’s best early work. She topped the R&B charts on several occasions and struck up a productive duet partnership with Marvin Gaye before finally breaking through to national star name status with 1964’s My Guy, one of the biggest-selling singles in the Motown catalogue, the witty and beautiul Mary finding herself beloved around the world; the Beatles named Wells as their favourite artist and invited her to tour with them.
There was to be no follow-up; allegedly goaded on by one-time husband and fellow Motown artist Herman Griffin, Mary walked out on Motown in a contractual dispute shortly thereafter. She signed to 20th Century Fox in a big-money deal, but her career tailed off remarkably quickly, henceforth acting as a cautionary tale for all those other Motown artists unhappy with their lot and tempted to chance their arm crossing Berry Gordy. She never scored another Top Ten hit again.
Mary Wells died in 1992 following a battle with throat cancer, but her place in Motown history is assured forever.
Review Archive: Mary WELLS (1960-64)
- Bye Bye Baby
- Please Forgive Me
- I Don’t Want To Take A Chance
- I’m So Sorry
- Strange Love
- Come To Me
- The One Who Really Loves You
- I’m Gonna Stay
- You Beat Me To The Punch
- Old Love (Let’s Try It Again)
- Two Lovers
- Laughing Boy
- Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right
- Your Old Stand By
- What Love Has Joined Together
- You Lost The Sweetest Boy
- What’s Easy For Two Is So Hard For One
- My Guy
- Oh Little Boy (What Did You Do To Me)
- Once Upon A Time (with Marvin Gaye)
- What’s The Matter With You Baby (with Marvin Gaye)
- When I’m Gone
- Guarantee (For A Lifetime)
- Whisper You Love Me Boy
- I’ll Be Available