Please Mister Postman (1961) (1975)

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The Marvelettes.

The Marvelettes were the first successful Motown girl group. They paved the way for such girl groups as the Supremes and Martha And The Vandellas. Other hits of theirs include "Beechwood 4-5789", "Too Many Fish In The Sea", "Don't Mess With Bill", and "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game".

In April 1961 the Marvelettes (then known as The Marvels) auditioned for Berry Gordy's Tamla/Motown label. Marvels member Georgia Dobbins wanted an original song for their audition. She got a song from her friend William Garrett which she then reworked, keeping only the title: "Please Mr. Postman". Dobbins left the group after the audition and was replaced.

Berry Gordy then renamed the group the Marvelettes and hired Brian Holland and Robert Bateman (along with Freddie Gorman) to rework the song yet again.

The lead on "Please Mr. Postman" was sung by lead singer Gladys Horton (born May 30, 1945 in Gainesville, Florida, died January 26, 2011 in Sherman Oaks, California).

The drums were played by Marvin Gaye (born April 2, 1939, died April 1, 1984). He was only 22 at the time and trying to break into the music business. Gaye later gained international fame as a solo artist on the Motown label in the 1960s and 1970s.

Chart position: #1 (US), #1 (US R&B).

The Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" was Motown's first #1 single.

It was #1 in the US for the week of December 11, 1961. It was preceded at #1 by "Big Bad John" (Jimmy Dean) and succeeded by "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (The Tokens).

The Top Ten Songs: December 11, 1961 (US Billboard Hot 100).
  1. "Please Mr. Postman" (Marvelettes)
  2. "Big Bad John" (Jimmy Dean)
  3. "Goodbye Cruel World" (James Darren)
  4. "The Twist" (Chubby Checker)
  5. "Walk On By" (Leroy Van Dyke)
  6. "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (Tokens)
  7. "Run To Him" (Bobby Vee)
  8. "Tonight" (Ferrante and Teicher)
  9. "Let There Be Drums" (Sandy Nelson)
  10. "Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen" (Neil Sedaka)

Written by:
Robert Bateman, Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Brian Holland and Freddie Gorman.

Freddie Gorman was an actual postman. His mail route included Detroit, Michigan public housing where members of The Supremes lived.

Also by: The Beatles, whose version appeared on their 1963 album With The Beatles. It had advance orders of more than 500,000 and sold another 500,000 by September 1965. That made it the second album to sell a million copies in the UK (the first being the South Pacific soundtrack.) It stayed at the #1 for 21 weeks. It displaced their debut album Please Please Me. Therefore the Beatles occupied the top spot for 51 consecutive weeks.

The Carpenters' version of "Please Mr. Postman" (featuring Karen Carpenter on vocals and drums) was their biggest hit ever worldwide. It reached #1 in the US, Australia, Germany, Japan and several other countries. It also reached #2 in the UK and Canada.

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