We’re just about halfway through our Women’s History Month tour through soul music, so it’s perhaps time to score one of the best advice songs that made it to the airwaves during the 1960’s.
But not the best known version.
The Fascinations were actually another girl group Martha Reeves helped form. They were founded as The Sabrettes in 1960, but disagreements between Reeves and other members had Miss Martha ousted by 1961 and finding herself back in the arms of The Del-Phis.
Seemingly the turn of 1962 into 1963 would be auspicious starts for both Martha and her former group. The Fascinations were picked up by ABC Paramount in the fall of ’62 (just as the Del-Phis became Martha & The Vandellas) and both groups got a crack at leftovers from another female artist. However, while the Vandellas wouldn’t have to compete with a Mary Wells version of “I’ll Have To Let Him Go” The Fascinations did have to deal with the fact that Jan Bradley’s softer, more pop orientated original version of “Mama Didn’t Lie” had already been a regional hit. During the first week of 1963, both versions of “Mama Didn’t Lie” officially landed on Billboard Magazine’s tally of the current hit parade.
Unfortunately for the Fascinations, their version stuck in the “Bubbling Under” section of Billboard charts, while Jan Bradley (finally) scored a Top 20 pop hit. Side by side, my ears still cherish the direct, in your face wail of The Fascinations version to the Mary Wells doppelganger Jan Bradley version. To wise advice, no matter what form it may take.