The Marvelettes

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In 1961, five teen-age girls from the sleepy Detroit suburb of Inkster, Mich., took a meteoric rise to fame that would revolutionize Motown, while creating a catalog of popular songs that endure to this day. Plucked from the obscurity of a high school talent show, they were signed on the strength of an original song titled “Please Mr. Postman.” Within months, the song became Motown’s first number one pop single. But despite an impressive array of follow-up hits like “Beechwood 4-5789,” “Too Many Fish in the Sea,” and the Smokey Robinson-penned classics “Don’t Mess with Bill" and “The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game,” The Marvelettes remained strangely anonymous, never achieving the stature of rival acts like Martha and the Vandellas or The Supremes. And in the space of a few short years, a stunning series of misfortunes and personal tragedies put an end to the group for good. On Unsung, the surviving members shed light on the music and legacy of one of the great singing groups of all time. 

What do you think of this Unsung story? Who do you think is unsung? Tell us in the comments, below.

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