|Birth name||Mary Esther Wells|
|Born||May 13, 1943|
|Origin||Detroit, Michigan, United States|
|Died||July 26, 1992 (aged 49)|
|Genre(s)||R&B, pop, soul, Motown, disco|
|Label(s)||Motown, 20th Century Fox, Atco, Jubilee, Reprise, Epic, Motorcity|
|Associated acts||Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Cecil Womack, Bobby Womack|
Mary Esther Wells (May 13, 1943 – July 26, 1992) was an American soul, R&B, and pop singer. Events 1497 - Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Girolamo Savonarola. Year 1943 ( MCMXLIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 657 - Battle of Siffin. 811 - Battle of Pliska; Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Year 1992 ( MCMXCII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar) The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Soul music is a Music genre that combines Rhythm and blues and Gospel music, originating in the United States. Pop music as a genre features a noticeable rhythmic element catchy melodies and hooks, a mainstream style and conventional structure Most famous for her 1964 hit "My Guy", she was the first, female signature voice of Motown and its first star. Year 1964 ( MCMLXIV) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the 1964 Gregorian calendar. " My Guy " is a 1964 number-one hit single recorded by Mary Wells for the Motown label
Wells was born near Detroit's Wayne State University and grew up in a poor Detroit, Michigan neighborhood without a father. Wayne State University is located in Detroit, Michigan, in the city's Midtown Cultural Center. Her mother worked tirelessly in domestic work to support Mary and her two siblings. When Wells was two, she caught spinal meningitis. Meningitis is Inflammation of the protective membranes covering the Brain and Spinal cord, known collectively as the Meninges. She managed to survive the often fatal disease, but temporarily lost her sight, her hearing, and was temporarily paralyzed. Eventually her hearing and eyesight returned, but it took her some time to learn to walk again. From an early age Wells had a love of music and singing, and was a member of the Northwestern High School choir. She also sang at local clubs and competed in various talent contests.
In 1959, she met Tamla Records chief Berry Gordy's assistant, Robert Bateman, telling him about a song she had written for R&B star Jackie Wilson. "Motown" redirects here For the city see Detroit Michigan. Berry Gordy Jr (born November 28, 1929, Detroit Michigan) is an American Record producer, and the founder of the Motown Jack Leroy "Jackie" Wilson Jr ( June 9, 1934 &ndash January 21, 1984) was an American singer Bateman arranged an audition for Wells and her song with Gordy, and she sang the song for Gordy acapella. However, instead of buying the song for Wilson, Gordy offered Wells a contract as an artist. The song Wells had sung, "Bye Bye Baby" became her first single after some polishing and was released in December of 1960. "Bye Bye Baby" is the debut single by R&B singer Mary Wells, released in December of 1960 on the Motown label The song ended up a top ten R&B hit in 1961, and eventually crossed over to pop radio where it peaked at #45.
With Mary Wells' debut success, Gordy, who was at the time expanding Tamla Records into the Motown Record Corporation, immediately brought her back to the studio. Their work produced the follow-up hit, "I Don't Want to Take a Chance", which equaled her first single's success. "I Don't Want to Take a Chance" is a single released by Mary Wells in 1961 on the Motown label Her third single, "Strange Love," met indifferent reception at radio and failed to chart. In 1962, Gordy decided to bring Wells together in the studio with Smokey Robinson, Motown's star songwriter and lead vocalist with the popular group The Miracles. William "Smokey" Robinson Jr (born February 19 1940 is an American R&B and soul Singer-songwriter, Record producer, The Miracles (known from 1965 to 1972 as Smokey Robinson & the Miracles) is an American Rhythm and blues group from Detroit Michigan, notable
In early 1962, "The One Who Really Loves You" swept across the nation. " The One Who Really Loves You " is a single recorded by Mary Wells on the Motown label in 1962 The ballad broke into the top ten on both Pop and R&B radio, eventually peaking at #2 at R&B and #8 on Billboard magazine Pop charts. See Billboard (Turkish magazine Billboard is a weekly American Magazine devoted to the Music industry Gordy immediately followed with the release of "You Beat Me to the Punch", a light-hearted tune that reached #1 at R&B and replicated its predecessor's success at Pop. "You Beat Me to the Punch" is a soul single released by Motown singer Mary Wells, who released it on the Motown label in 1962 The string of hits continued with "Two Lovers", a tune that brought Wells her second R&B #1 and her third Pop top ten in a row. "Two Lovers" is a single released by Mary Wells on the Motown record label in 1962 When the album The One Who Really Loves You was released, it broke the top ten at the album chart and became the best selling Motown album to that point. The One Who Really Loves You is the second album recorded by R&B singer and Motown recording artist Mary Wells, released in 1962 on the
The year 1963 brought another string of hits and a premature greatest hits compilation. "Laughing Boy" broke the R&B top ten and the top twenty on the pop side. "Laughing Boy" is a song written and produced by Smokey Robinson and recorded and released as a single by early Motown star Mary Wells in "Your Old Standby" peaked at #8 at R&B and broke the Pop top forty. "Your Old Standby" is a song written by Motown songwriters Smokey Robinson and Janie Bradford and released as a single by Motown star Mary Wells Wells rounded out the year with both sides of her next single producing more R&B top ten hits. "You Lost the Sweetest Boy" with the The Supremes and the Temptations singing backup, peaked at #22 on the pop chart, while "What's Easy for Two is So Hard For One" also made the pop top 30. "You Lost the Sweetest Boy" is a song written by Holland-Dozier-Holland and released as a single by Motown star Mary Wells. The Supremes were an American female singing group that first formed as a quartet called The Primettes The Temptations (sometimes abbreviated as The Temps or The Tempts) are a Grammy -winning vocal group that achieved fame as one of the most successful
A new song for 1964 became Wells' signature song and her most successful. "My Guy", which featured the yearning voice of Wells and Robinson's infectious lyrics and arrangement, became Wells' only #1 pop hit. " My Guy " is a 1964 number-one hit single recorded by Mary Wells for the Motown label Though the song started off slowly, it broke up The Beatles run at the top of the pop charts in May of 1964. The song became one of Motown's classics, and today is used in many films and commercials.
With a smash hit riding the airwaves of summer, Gordy decided to team the two stars of his label, Wells and Marvin Gaye, who had gradually built up momentum on the charts. Marvin Pentz Gay Jr, known as Marvin Gaye ( April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American Singer-songwriter Together, the result of their work, became a hit album and featured two simultaneous top twenty hits, "Once Upon a Time" (#17 Pop) and "What's the Matter With You Baby (#19 Pop). Together was the first and only album released by the duo team of American Motown artists Marvin Gaye & Mary Wells
It was at this time that The Beatles openly called Wells their favorite American singer, and invited her to tour with them throughout the United Kingdom. The Beatles were a pop and rock band from Liverpool, England formed in 1960 The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Wells accepted their invitation, and, after she had left Motown, was inspired to record Love Songs to the Beatles, an album which featured several songs penned by the British stars. Love Songs to the Beatles is a Tribute album dedicated to The Beatles, released in 1965 by Mary Wells on the 20th Century Fox
Wells, upon her twenty first birthday, decided to invoke a clause which would allow her to break her contract with Motown. With encouragement from her former husband, singer/producer Herman Griffin, and a lucrative contract with 20th Century Fox Records for $500,000 which, also, promised a film career, Mary Wells sued Motown. She argued not only for larger royalties, but to dissolve the original contract she'd signed at age seventeen. Wells won the lawsuit and was awarded a fair settlement. Gordy tried to prevent other labels from signing the successful singer to no avail.
Wells immediately began recording material for her new self-titled album. Despite her first three singles at the label being relative successes, the album brought in disappointing sales. The label began having second thoughts and pulled promotion for the album. They also failed to fulfill the film agreements, and the contract was dissolved in mid-1965 with Wells walking away with a small settlement.
Next, Wells signed with Atco Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records. Atco Records is an American record label owned by Warner Music Group, currently operating through WMG's Rhino Entertainment. Atlantic Records ( Atlantic Recording Corporation) is an American Record label best known for its many recordings of Rhythm & blues, Rock Working with established Chicago producer Carl Davis, Wells saw her first single with the label, "Dear Lover," hit #6 at R&B radio, and just miss breaking the top fifty at pop. However, all of the following singles failed. The Two Sides of Mary Wells album with the label was even less successful than her previous. The Two Sides of Mary Wells is the seventh non-hits non-covers studio effort by soul singer Mary Wells, released on the Atco label in 1966 A two-year contract in 1968 with Jubilee Records brought two minor hits, "The Doctor" and "Dig the Way I Feel," but ended the same as her previous contracts. Jubilee Records was a Record label specializing in Rhythm and blues along with novelty records Wells retired from performing after her contract with Jubilee ended.
Afterwards she recorded a few singles for Reprise Records in the 1970s that found little success. Reprise Records is an American Record label, founded in 1960 by Frank Sinatra, which is owned by Warner Music Group, and operated In 1981, Wells ended a seven-year retirement releasing the disco-infused album, In and Out of Love, releasing the dance hit, "Gigolo", which Wells experienced a slight career rebirth, briefly put Wells back on the musical map where it peaked at #2 on the Billboard disco chart and crossing over to the R&B chart where it eventually peaked at a respective #69. Disco is a Genre of dance-oriented music whose origins are hard to define In and Out of Love is the tenth studio effort and first album in thirteen years for R&B/soul singer Mary Wells, released on the Epic label "Gigolo" is a dance single written and produced by Fonce and Larry Mizell and released a single by R&B singer Mary Wells on the Epic Records
With newfound fame, Wells continued touring, and re-recorded some of her hits and some new material for an Allegiance Records album, I'm a Lady: The Old, New & Best of Mary Wells. I'm a Lady The Old New & Best of Mary Wells is a 1983 album released by Motown legend Mary Wells on the independent Allegiance Records In 1990, she released another album, Keeping My Mind on Love, for Motorcity Records. Keeping My Mind on Love is the sixteenth and last album recorded by Motown legend Mary Wells on the Motorcity label Motorcity Records is a British record label formed by producer Ian Levine in 1989. That same year, Wells, a longtime smoker, was diagnosed with larynx cancer. Laryngeal cancer may also be called cancer of the larynx or laryngeal carcinoma. She immediately began treatment and was forced to sell her house, possessions, and eventually could not afford health insurance. The treatments ravaged her voice, which forced Wells to quit touring. With no way to continue treatment, Wells' friends Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Martha Reeves financially supported her, with the help of many artists who looked up to Wells, including Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, and Bonnie Raitt. Diana Ross (born March 261944 is an American twelve-time Grammy and Oscar -nominated singer Record producer and actress whose musical repertoire Martha Rose Reeves (born July 18, 1941) is an American R&B and soul singer and was the lead singer of the Motown Roderick "Rod" David Stewart, CBE (born 10 January 1945 is a Singer and Songwriter born and raised in London England and currently Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25 1942 Franklin has had a total of twenty number-one singles on the Billboard R&B Singles Chart, two of which became #1 hits on the Bonnie Lynn Raitt (born November 8, 1949) is an American Blues Singer-songwriter who was born in Burbank, California
Wells was honored by Stevie Wonder, Little Richard, and others on an episode of The Joan Rivers Show in 1990. Stevie Wonder (born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13 1950 name later changed to Stevland Hardaway Morris) is an Rev Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5 1932 better known by the Stage name Little Richard, is an American Singer, Songwriter The following year, she testified for the United States Congress to encourage government funding for cancer research. The United States Congress is the bicameral Legislature of the federal government of the United States of America, consisting of two houses In the summer of 1992, Wells was hospitalized for pneumonia at the Kenneth Norris Jr. Pneumonia is an inflammatory illness of the Lung. Frequently it is described as lung Parenchyma / alveolar inflammation and abnormal Cancer Hospital in Los Angeles, California. Still suffering the effects of her cancer, and a weakened immune system, Wells died on July 26, 1992 at the age of forty-nine.
In 1960, a 17-year-old Wells married musician Herman Griffin. Three years later, Wells divorced Griffin. In 1966, Wells married Cecil Womack, musician and younger brother of R&B singer-songwriter Bobby Womack. Cecil D Womack (born 25 September 1947, in Cleveland, Ohio) is one of the famous musical Womack brothers Singer-songwriter is a term that refers to Performers who write, compose and sing their own material including Lyrics Robert Dwayne "Bobby" Womack (ˈwoʊmæk (born March 4 1944 is an American Singer-songwriter and Musician. Together, the couple had three children and produced music together during their eleven-year marriage, which ended in 1977. Afterwards, Wells had a child with Cecil's brother Curtis. The couple would split by 1980.
For further information, see Mary Wells discography. This is a full discography of albums and singles released by Motown legend Mary Wells during a 30-year career that spanned a repertoire of Doo-wop, R&B
|Year||Song title||US Hot 100 chart||UK Top 40 chart||US R&B chart||US Disco chart||US Dance chart|
|1960||"Bye Bye Baby"||45||-||8||-||-|
|1961||"I Don't Want to Take a Chance"||33||-||9||-||-|
|1962||"The One Who Really Loves You"||8||-||2||-||-|
|1962||"You Beat Me to the Punch"||9||-||1||-||-|
|1963||"Your Old Standby"||40||-||8||-||-|
|1963||"What's So Easy for Two Is So Hard for One"||29||-||8||-||-|
|1963||"You Lost the Sweetest Boy"||22||-||10||-||-|
|1964||"Once Upon a Time"|
(with Marvin Gaye)
|1964||"What's the Matter With You Baby"|
(with Marvin Gaye)
|1964||"Use Your Head"||34||-||13||-||-|
|1965||"Never, Never Leave Me"||54||-||15||-||-|
|1970||"Dig the Way I Feel"||-||-||35||-||-|