Unpolished Diamonds, Unused Jewels: More Motown Femme Marvels 1964-69

As we wind down Women’s History Month we head back to Detroit. While we worship at the temples of Marvin, Stevie and The Temptations, The Sound Of Young America was built on the clicking of high heels. Not only was it the matriarchy of The Gordy Family that had Berry’s Back, early acts such as Mable John served not only as performers but as den mothers to the more youthful performers of the label.

12ec9e5b0ea8db4adb771d5e92edc418Of course, the biggest cash cows once the label became profitable were the series of female singers like Mary Wells, The Marvelettes, Martha & The Vandellas and The Supremes. Beyond the hit records however, if they weren’t out showing the goods on the road, they were panning for gold in the studios of 2648 West Grand Boulevard and beyond.

It is interesting to note, that by 1964, where we’re starting this mix, Motown Records didn’t exclusively mean Detroit, as both Berry Gordy sought the influences of different markets like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, but all of those markets sought the blessing of the Motown Sound.

To all the women still with us and no longer on this plane, we thank you for being part of the most wonderful cultural phenomenons during the 20th Century. Here’s 21 tunes of tribute to keep you stepping into Spring.

1) Mary Wells – When I’m Gone (1964)
2) The Supremes – Take Me Where You Go (1965)
3) Martha & The Vandellas – It’s Your Wedding Day (1965)
4) Hattie Littles – Conscious, I’m Guilty (1965)
5) Oma Heard – Daddy Cool (1964)
6) LaBrenda Ben – Just Go On Sleeping (1964)
7) Chris Clark – I Don’t Want You Anymore (1965)
8) The Lewis Sisters – Can’t Figure You Out (1965)
9) Barbara McNair – Into My Empty Arms (1965)
10) Patrice Holloway – For The Love Of Mike (1965)
11) Kim Weston – After The Rain (1965)
12) Brenda Holloway – We’ll Keep On Rolling (1965)
13) The Velvelettes – The Boy From Crosstown (1965)
14) Little Lisa – Honey Boy (1965)
15) Tammi Terrell – Lone Lonely Town (1966)
16) The Marvelettes – Because I Love Him (1964)
17) Gladys Knight & The Pips – Nothing But A Fool (1966)
18) Barbara Randolph – When It Rains (1968)
19) Rita Wright – It Don’t Mean Nothing To Me (1969)
20) Debbie Dean – Baby, Baby I’m In Love Again (1966)
21) The Elgins Featuring Yvonne Vernee – Life Can Be Beautiful (1968)

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