Mary Wells: The Tumultuous Life of Motown's First Superstar

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Years before Diana Ross, Mary Wells was the first Motown solo superstar, the internationally popular songstress who sang the megahit “My Guy.” Her songs consistently and repeatedly reached huge audiences in America and England, both black and white. She captivated the Beatles, toured with them, and was briefly more popular than they were on the pop charts. But Wells left Motown at age 21 and spent the rest of her life trying to fight her way back to the top. She also had a series of tumultuous affairs and marital attachments with several well-known singers and songwriters. And near the end of her life, Wells fought a drawn-out and courageous battle with throat cancer, giving perhaps her gutsiest performance. Peter Benjaminson has spent years interviewing Wells’s friends, lovers, and husbands, and obtained an amazingly detailed unreleased taped interview with Wells herself. In Mary Wells, he tells her whole story, complete with never-before revealed details about the sex, the violence, and the drugs in her life—and about her Motown hits that captivated the world. 
 

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About the Author:

Peter Benjaminson is the author of The Lost Supreme: The Life of Dreamgirl Florence Ballard, The Story of Motown, and, with David Anderson, Investigative Reporting. He has written numerous stories for the Detroit Free Press, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and other publications. He lives in New York City.

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Before Diana Ross defined the image of the Motown female singer, Mary Wells put her stamp on that legendary record company. As a Detroit teenager, she was looking for an opportunity to write songs, particularly for her idol, Jackie Wilson, when an impromptu audition led Barry Gordy to sign her as a vocalist. The hit singles You Beat Me to the Punch and My Guy launched her into stardom. She went on the road with the Motown Revue, coping with little pay, harsh travel conditions, segregated or no hotel accommodations, and the massive insecurities of a young woman looking for a man to take care of her. Benjaminson details Wells’ relationship with Smoky Robinson and the songwriting team Holland, Dozier, and Holland. Wells eventually broke with Motown, charging Gordy with gross underpayment, and struggled for years, never again quite reaching the top but still adored by fans black and white. Through failed romances and marriages, suicide attempts, alcohol and drug abuse, and ultimately cancer, Wells maintained her talent and tenacity until her death, at 49. --Vanessa Bush

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9781569762486: Mary Wells: The Tumultuous Life of Motown's First Superstar

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Book Description Chicago Review Press, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Years before Diana Ross, Mary Wells was the first Motown solo superstar, the internationally popular songstress who sang the megahit My Guy. Her songs consistently and repeatedly reached huge audiences in America and England, both black and white. She captivated the Beatles, toured with them, and was briefly more popular than they were on the pop charts.But Wells left Motown at age 21 and spent the rest of her life trying to fight her way back to the top. She also had a series of tumultuous affairs and marital attachments with several well-known singers and songwriters. And near the end of her life, Wells fought a drawn-out and courageous battle with throat cancer, giving perhaps her gutsiest performance.Peter Benjaminson has spent years interviewing Wells s friends, lovers, and husbands, and obtained an amazingly detailed unreleased taped interview with Wells herself. In Mary Wells, he tells her whole story, complete with never-before revealed details about the sex, the violence, and the drugs in her life and about her Motown hits that captivated the world. Seller Inventory # AAG9781613734865

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Book Description Chicago Review Press, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Years before Diana Ross, Mary Wells was the first Motown solo superstar, the internationally popular songstress who sang the megahit My Guy. Her songs consistently and repeatedly reached huge audiences in America and England, both black and white. She captivated the Beatles, toured with them, and was briefly more popular than they were on the pop charts.But Wells left Motown at age 21 and spent the rest of her life trying to fight her way back to the top. She also had a series of tumultuous affairs and marital attachments with several well-known singers and songwriters. And near the end of her life, Wells fought a drawn-out and courageous battle with throat cancer, giving perhaps her gutsiest performance.Peter Benjaminson has spent years interviewing Wells s friends, lovers, and husbands, and obtained an amazingly detailed unreleased taped interview with Wells herself. In Mary Wells, he tells her whole story, complete with never-before revealed details about the sex, the violence, and the drugs in her life and about her Motown hits that captivated the world. Seller Inventory # AAG9781613734865

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