Monday, November 30, 2009

The Marvelettes

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This is the first time I've featured a girl group from the 1950s and 1960s, but it won't be the last.


From Wikipedia:

The Marvelettes were an American singing girl group on the Tamla label. Motown's first successful female vocal group, the Marvelettes are most notable for recording the company's first US #1 pop hit, "Please Mr. Postman", and for setting the precedent for later Motown girl groups such as Martha and the Vandellas and The Supremes.

During their eight-year run on the Billboard charts, the group scored nineteen top forty American R&B singles and ten top forty American pop singles. Of these hits, three were top ten pop singles, nine were top ten R&B singles, and one was number one on both charts.

Not only was their music groundbreaking and trendsetting; their sartorial choices defined the archetypal, quintessential mid-century girl-group look.

I'm a sucker for a bright, opaque pair of tights! This look is among my favorites. And those green dresses! They landed on the perfect spot between Kelly and Lime.

The simple pleasures!

My favorite thing about the article above, from a 1961 issue of Jet Magazine, is that it reminds us all that The Marvelettes were just kids!

And so, the mini dress was born!

Some songs from The Marvelettes' catalogue to enjoy:

I absolutely love this song - and love the dresses they're wearing even more! The long sleeves and faux/mock bolero on a wiggle dress silhouette along with the over-sized bows and high hair make for a PERFECT look!

Here's the same look in color:

EDIT/UPDATE: A commenter pointed out something I noticed, but didn't mention: that The Marvelettes sometimes had 3 members and at other times had 4! This isn't at all uncommon in girl groups, now or back then; I loved Destiny's Child growing up and was devastated, confused, bewildered when their lineup changed AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN... (any child of the 90s will COMPLETELY understand! How were we supposed to keep up with the posters on our walls if we didn't even know who was still in the group??? It was like a high stakes game of musical chairs.)

Apparently, The Marvelettes had 7 members total during their run on the charts. What's a girl group without drama (and line-up continuity issues)???

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  1. Sometimes there were 3 of them then 4. Hmmm.

    Yes, the mock bolero dresses are awesome!

    1. I love that The Marvelettes are getting some always-deserved love! The group started out with five girls. Right before they were to record "Please Mr. Postman" (which they themselves came up with; Girl Power) one of the girls had to drop out to take care of her sick mother (reportedly, she was heartbroken at not being able to stay with the group.)

      That left Gladys, Wanda, Katherine and Georgeanna. Then, around '65, Georgeanna had to drop out when she started having fainting spells. Turns out she had sickle cell. She too was very sad at having to leave. That left Wanda, Gladys and Katherine.

      Around '67, Gladys had gotten married and had a son with cerebral palsy forcing her to drop out. She was replaced by Ann Bogan who stayed until the group disbanded in 1970.

  2. Their clothes and dresses are amazing! Lovely post and pictures.

    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

  3. I noticed the shift in the number of members! Maybe they had a Destiny's Child trajectory. Where's that 4th member????

    Time to do more research!

  4. There is something to be said about a matching turtleneck and bow...

  5. I love all these pictures of The Marvelettes. The lime green dresses are my faves. Don't mess with Bill is embedded in my childhood. My mom played that song all the time.

  6. Great pictures! I just love 1960s girl groups.
    -Andi x

  7. They're great! I will have to pick up one of their records. I love '60s girl groups!

    And I understand what you mean about Destiny's Child, ha! ;-)


    Here's some info

  9. I remember the mediocre performance of this bunch of afro-hair girls, I still suffer nightmares about it.

  10. The Marvelettes were my favorite chick trio until they release a horrid EP in 1981. what a shame, everything else is great!

  11. juajuajuajua I got a picture of my mother and my aunts, all disguised like this music band, the worst part of the costume, al lof them are like the snow, totally WHITE!!! jajajajaja.

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