Wells, Mary

** 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)

We have 26 reviews for Mary Wells currently available here on Motown Junkies – see our archive for more details, or click a link below:

  1. Bye Bye Baby
  2. Please Forgive Me
  3. I Don’t Want To Take A Chance
  4. I’m So Sorry
  5. Strange Love
  6. Come To Me
  7. The One Who Really Loves You
  8. I’m Gonna Stay
  9. You Beat Me To The Punch
  10. Old Love (Let’s Try It Again)
  11. Two Lovers
  12. Operator
  13. Laughing Boy
  14. Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right
  15. Your Old Stand By
  16. What Love Has Joined Together
  17. You Lost The Sweetest Boy
  18. What’s Easy For Two Is So Hard For One
  19. My Guy
  20. Oh Little Boy (What Did You Do To Me)
  21. Once Upon A Time (with Marvin Gaye)
  22. What’s The Matter With You Baby (with Marvin Gaye)
  23. When I’m Gone
  24. Guarantee (For A Lifetime)
  25. Whisper You Love Me Boy
  26. I’ll Be Available

Have Your Say (dissent is encouraged!)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s