The Marvelettes “Learning To Forget You” (1965, Unreleased. From The Marvelettes: Forever More, 2011)
The Marvelettes are in heavy rotation as the hours wind down to me taking the microphone at the 2nd ever Queer Astrology Conference where their songs and story will figure prominently in the proto-feminist discussions of the Astrology of the early to mid-1960s.
I’m always taken aback by the diversity and assertiveness of the material that the group took on, especially on songs with Gladys Horton on lead. Her persona on record (and by extension often in her real life) was that of a very young a streetwise Gemini woman not really here for your bullshit. No wonder I took her on as a big sister of the transistor at a very young age.
This zesty, rather emotionally conflicted kiss-off is one in a number of songs that didn’t see the light of day for the group between 1964-66 as they got sidelined as label mates Martha & The Vandellas and then The Supremes rose higher in the Motown hierarchy above them. Other note in reality is that there’s no other actual Marvelettes behind Gladys on this song. The rather pretty, if colorless, background vocals are courtesy of Motown in-house support vocal backers The Andantes. It’s a trend, in the ever increasing mechanization of Motown as the 60’s wore on that pulled a bit of distinctive stamp away from a number of groups.