Jackie Ross is in some weird way, is a tangent in the Mary Wells story. Her big debut record for Chess Records, “Selfish One” sounded more like a sequel to “My Guy” than Wells did herself at 20th Century Fox in the Fall of 1964. It would take until March of 1965 for Motown themselves to actually release the next intended single for Mary, on Brenda Holloway, in the form of “When I’m Gone.”
Where Chess Records somehow messed up was not keeping Jackie on the new Queen of Soul throne. It wasn’t due to the lack of quality of material, initially. Who knows why “I’ve Got The Skill” didn’t connect as well with audiences despite being one of the most righteous turning of the tables on record, comparable to proto-feminist anthems from Dionne Warwick, Etta James and Lesley Gore in the preceding 18 months.
Although her 4th single recycled all the contents of her 1st (perhaps a fatal mistake), her 5th single brought her back to scolding men that didn’t treat her with due respect in the proto-feminist way her 2nd single did. This time, we clearly hear Minnie Riperton and The Gems rounding out this breezy bit of moral defense that came and went without a trace in the early Summer months of 1965. Sadly it reflected the waning days of Jackie’s potential claim to Queen of Uptown Soul’s throne, although she would continue to record a bouquet of beauties well into the 1970s.