Motown legend passes away aged 78
Motown legend, Wanda Young, from the singing group, The Marvelettes, has passed away, aged 78. Ms Young’s death was confirmed to the New York Times by her daughter, Meta Ventress, who said her mother had passed away after complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The singer apparently died on December 15, two weeks ago, but will always be remembered for her vocals on probably the group’s most famous hit song, ‘Please Mr Postman’. The iconic song topped the American charts in 1961.
Covered by many famous artists since – includingThe Beatles, and The Carpenters – the hit was of the first number-one singles recorded by an all-female vocal group. It was the first No1 hit by a Motown recording act, topping the Billboard R&B chart for seven weeks, helping to establish Bery Gordy’s record label on the American music scene.
Wanda shared lead vocals with Gladys Horton on more chart hits such as ‘Too Many Fish in the Sea’, and ‘Locking Up My Heart’. Other hits followed, including, ‘I’ll Keep Holding On’, ‘When You’re Young and In Love’, ‘Don’t Mess with Bill’, ‘My Baby Must Be a Magician’, and, ‘The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game’.
An intense rivalry was shared with fellow Motown act, The Supremes, who eventually eclipsed them in terms of chart success. During this same era in the mid-1960s, there was an abundance of amazing female vocal groups on the scene, including the Shirelles and the Ronettes.
Many changes of personnel took place, and by 1965, Wanda sang lead vocals on all the songs. She was the only original member of The Marvelettes left when the group finally disbanded in 1969.