Legendary Michigan Songs

47.) Please Mr. Postman - The Marvelettes

Artist Name: The Marvelettes
Year Inducted: 2010

“Please Mr. Postman”  (G. Dobbins, W. Garrett, F. Gorman, B. Holland, R. Bateman) – The Marvelettes;  Tamla label,  #1 Billboard Hot 100, # 1 Billboard R&B - 1961.  Inducted in 2010.

“Please Mr. Postman’ was Motown’s first # 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, but its success seemed very unlikely in 1961. The girls who became known as The Marvelettes first came together in the Inkster High School Glee Club to participate in a talent show at the school with the prize being an audition at Berry Gordy’s Tamla Records in Detroit.

The girls only finished fourth at the talent show, but two of their teachers were so impressed with their performance that they prevailed upon the school principal give the girls a shot at the audition with Motown producers, Robert Bateman and Brian Holland. Bateman and Holland liked the girls’ singing, but told them to come back with some original material.   Group member Georgia Dobbins asked a songwriter friend for a song, and he gave her a blues tune called “Please Mr. Postman”. Dobbins got his permission to work on it, and she completely changed the song, keeping only the title.  Before taking the new song to Motown, however, Dobbins decided to leave the group to take care of her ill mother.  

Lead singer Gladys Horton, along with Katherine Anderson, Georgeanna Tillman, Juanita Cowart, and new member Wanda Young, performed the song for Bateman and Holland who loved it. “Please Mr. Postman” was then recorded by the newly-named Marvelettes with a young Marvin Gaye playing the drums.  

“Please Mr. Postman” was covered by The Beatles in 1963, and also by The Carpenters who would have a # 1 single in 1975 with their recording of the song.

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGJcbHni4rc