You Beat Me To The Punch – Oriole 1962
Two Lovers – 1963
Your Old Standby
The One Who Really Loves You
Bye Bye baby
MY GUY – Stateside – 1964
Me Without You – 1965
Ain’t It The Truth
WHAT’S EASY FOR TWO IS HARD FOR ONE
Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right
DEAR LOVER – (Atlantic)
Never Never Leave Me
Set My Soul On Fire – Atlantic 1967
The Doctor – Jubilee 1968
Born 13th May 1943 – Detroit, Michigan
Died 26th July 1992 – Los Angeles
Bye Bye Baby was Mary Well’s first Motown hit in 1961. She had written it at the age of 17 and taken it to Berry Gordy, asking him to get Jackie Wilson to record it. She ended up recording it herself and became Motown’s first star. Not bad for someone who was extremely ill as a child due to meningitis and had to learn to walk all over again.
My Guy her biggest hit going to number one in 1964 caused a few Motown sensations. It was their biggest hit to date and was used to help finance Berry Gordy’s ex- wife’s new record company – ‘Shrine Records‘. After she had 10,000 copies pressed she was arrested for fraud after Berry complained to the police – (See the book ‘Berry, Me And Motown’).
Mary Wells then left Motown after she was offered a large advance on sales from 20th Century Fox Records. Her lawyer met Berry and agreed with him she was better off at Motown. When he advised her to stay, she sacked him and took the Fox offer.
It is rumoured that Berry had his radio station friends reduce air plays of her non Motown recordings. She left Fox after a year and her Atlantic (Atco) singles were pretty good.
There is a strange story about Mary’s song My Guy and a squabble between Bery Gordy and his wife Raynoma: See SOULDIRECTIONS.
Mary died in 1992 but not before she was re-recorded by Ian Levine – See The Strange World Of Northern Soul DVD set. She was married to Cecil Womack (Bobby’s Brother).