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Motown
(Tourism and Hospitality)
Smokey Robinson
(Music)
Berry Gordy
(Music)
Marvin Gaye
(Music)
Michigan
(Animal)
Jackie Wilson
(Music)
Ian Levine
(Movies & TV)
 

See also

Mary Wells

Knowledge Identifier: +Mary_Wells

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Mary Wells

American singer who helped to define the emerging sound of Motown in the early 1960s add

Category: Music

Born in 1943.

Countries: United States (53%), Michigan (20%), Turkey (7%)

Main connections: Motown, Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy

Linked to: The Miracles, Motown, The Supremes, The Temptations

 

Timeline


 

This timeline needs to be reviewed and corrected, as it has been automatically generated from multiple web sources.
Please help improve it by adding dated informations, images and videos about Mary Wells.


Mary Wells was born in 1943 add something

 

"'Mary Esther Wells"' was an American singer who helped to define the emerging sound of Motown in the early 1960s add something


1960

In 1960, 17-year-old Wells approached Tamla Records founder Berry Gordy at Detroit's Twenty Grand club with a song she had intended for Jackie Wilson to record, since Wells knew of Gordy's collaboration with Wilson add something

 

After a reported 22 takes, Gordy signed Wells to the Motown subsidiary of his expanding record label and released the song as a single in September 1960; it eventually peaked at No 8 on the R&B chart in 1961, later crossed over to the pop singles chart, where it peaked at number 45 add something

 

Marvin Gaye - Gaye was one of many who shaped the sound and success of Motown Records in the 1960s, becoming that label's top-selling solo artist of that decade with a string of hits including "How Sweet It Is ", "Ain't That Peculiar", "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and his duet singles with singers such as Mary Wells and Tammi Terrell

 

Berry Gordy - In 1960, Gordy signed an unknown named Mary Wells who became the fledgling label's first star, with Smokey Robinson penning her hits "You Beat Me to the Punch", "Two Lovers", and "My Guy"


1961

Wells became the first Motown female artist to have a Top 40 pop single after the Mickey Stevenson-penned doo-wop song, "I Don't Want to Take a Chance", hit No. 33 in June,1961 add something


1962

In late 1962, "Two Lovers" became Wells' third consecutive single to hit the Top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100, peaking at No. 7 and becoming her second No. 1 hit on the R&B charts add something

 

Their first collaboration, 1962's "The One Who Really Loves You", was Wells' first smash hit, peaking at No. 2 on the R&B chart and No. 8 on the Hot 100 add something

 

Wells' second album, titled "The One Who Really Loves You", was released in 1962 and peaked at No. 8 on the pop albums chart, making the teenage singer a breakthrough star and giving her clout at Motown add something

 

Wells' success at the label was recognized when she became a headliner during the first string of Motortown Revue concerts, starting in the fall of 1962 add something

 

With a string of hit singles composed mainly by Smokey Robinson, including "Two Lovers" , the Grammy-nominated "You Beat Me to the Punch" and her signature hit, "My Guy" , she became recognized as "'"The Queen of Motown"' until her departure from the company in 1964, at the height of her popularity add something

 

Smokey Robinson - Between 1962 and 1966, Robinson was one of the in-demand songwriters and producers for Motown, penning several hit singles such as "Two Lovers", "The One Who Really Loves You", "You Beat Me to the Punch" and "My Guy" for Mary Wells, "The Way You Do The Things You Do", "My Girl", "Since I Lost My Baby" and "Get Ready" for The Temptations, "When I'm Gone" and "Operator" for Brenda Holloway, "Don't Mess With Bill", "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game" and "My Baby Must Be a Magician[


1963

Also in 1963, Wells recorded a session of successful B-sides that arguably became as well known as her hits, including "Operator", "What Love Has Joined Together", "Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right" and "Old Love " add something

 

Wells' success continued in 1963 when she hit the Top 20 with the doo-wop ballad "Laughing Boy" and scored three additional Top 40 singles, "Your Old Standby", "You Lost the Sweetest Boy", and its B-side, "What's Easy for Two Is So Hard for One" add something


1964

In 1964, Wells recorded "My Guy" add something

 

Marvin Gaye - In 1964, he scored his first hit duets with singer Mary Wells including "Once Upon a Time", which was later featured on the duo's album, "Together", which became Gaye's first charted album


1965

After a stressful period in which Wells and the label battled over various issues after Wells' records failed to chart successfully, the singer asked to be let go in 1965 and left with a small settlement add something


1966

In 1966, Wells married singer-songwriter Cecil Womack, formerly of The Valentinos and the younger brother of musician Bobby Womack add something

 

In 1966, Wells signed with Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco add something


1968

However, much like her tenure with 20th Century Fox, the singer struggled to come up with a follow-up hit, and in 1968 she left the label for Jubilee Records, where she scored her final pop hit, "The Doctor", a song she co-wrote with then-husband Cecil Womack, of the famed Womack family add something


1972

In 1972, Wells scored a UK hit with a re-issue of "My Guy", which was released on the Tamla-Motown label and climbed to No. 14 add something


1974

Despite this mini-revival, Wells decided to retire from music in 1974 to raise her family add something


1977

In 1977, Wells divorced Cecil Womack and returned to performing add something

 

The marriage lasted until 1977 and produced three children add something


1978

She was spotted by CBS Urban president Larkin Arnold in 1978 and offered a contract with the CBS subsidiary Epic Records, which released "In and Out of Love", in October 1981 add something


1979

The album, which had been recorded in 1979, yielded Wells' biggest hit in years, the funky disco single, "Gigolo" add something

 

The album's failure may have been due to light promotion, but she had completed it in 1979 and it was withheld for two years; most likely due to financial and business logistics, with contributions in part by Wells' own personal problems add something

 

Chaka Khan - Originally written and recorded by Prince for his eponymous follow-up to his debut album in 1979, it had been previously recorded by The Pointer Sisters and Mary Wells


1982

She still had one more album in her CBS contract, and in 1982 released an album of cover songs, "Easy Touch", which featured a more adult contemporary flavor add something

 

A three-minute radio version released to R&B stations in January 1982 achieved a modest showing at No. 69 add something


1983

Leaving CBS in 1983, she continued recording for smaller labels, gaining new success as a touring performer add something


1986

Though Wells has been eligible for induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - she was nominated twice in 1986 and 1987 - she has yet to achieve it add something


1989

In 1989, she was celebrated with a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation during its inaugural year add something

 

Wells was given one of the first Pioneer Awards by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1989 add something


1990

After splitting from Curtis in 1990, Wells focused on raising her youngest daughter until her cancer appeared add something

 

In 1990, Wells recorded an album for Ian Levine's Motorcity Records, but her voice began to fail, causing the singer to visit a local hospital add something


1991

In 1991, Wells brought a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Motown for royalties she felt she had not received upon leaving Motown Records in 1964 and for loss of royalties for not promoting her songs as the company should have add something


1992

In the summer of 1992, Wells' cancer returned and she was rushed to the Kenneth Norris Jr. Cancer Hospital in Los Angeles with pneumonia add something


Mary Wells died in 1992 add something

 

With the effects of her unsuccessful treatments and a weakened immune system, Wells died on July 26, 1992 at the age of 49 add something


1999

Wells earned one Grammy Award nomination during her career, and in 1999 the Grammy committee inducted Wells' "My Guy" into the Grammy Hall of Fame, assuring the song's importance add something


2006

Mary Wells was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2006 add something