August 28, 1961

August28Today in 1961, Tamla Records released the single, ‘Please Mr. Postman’ by The Marvelettes.

The song would go on to sell more than one million copies, and hit the top spot on both the Billboard pop and R&B charts. The track is the first Motown song to reach the No. 1 position on the Billboard pop singles chart. It hit the top spot again in early 1975 when The Carpenters covered it.

Needing an original song for their Tamla Records audition, Georgia Dobbins of The Marvels (which would later become The Marvelettes) got a blues song from her friend William Garrett. Dobbins reworked the song for the group, but left the band after their audition.

Label head, Berry Gordy, renamed the band, and got Brianbert – Brian Holland and Robert Bateman’s songwriting partnership – to rework the song again. The Marvelettes recorded the track, which also credits Freddie Gorman as a writer, with Gladys Horton singing lead vocals. Accompaniment was provided by The Funk Brothers, including Marvin Gaye on drums.

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