Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Gladys Horton


Gladys Horton, the co-founder of Motown’s The Marvelettes, has passed away at the age of 66. According to her son, Vaughn Thornton, she died on Wednesday in a nursing home in Sherman Oaks, California. She had been recovering from a stroke.

Born in Gainesville, Florida, Horton spent her formative years in Detroit. She formed the group – originally called the Casinyets (‘can’t sing yet’) – at Inskter High School when she was just 15. Having entered a talent show in 1961 they soon came to the attention of Motown head honcho Berry Gordy. Led by the powerful vocals of Horton and Wanda Young, their debut single and biggest hit Please Mr. Postman – Motown’s first US Number 1 – paved the way for a clutch of the label’s female vocal groups including Martha & The Vandellas and The Supremes.

Their music also proved fertile ground for many of Motown’s star producers, among them Holland-Dozier-Holland, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Ashford & Simpson.

They resurfaced in 1964 with Too Many Fish In The Sea,

They eventually split in the early ’70s after several years without a major hit (Horton left the band in 1967). Berry Gordy released the following statement: “I am so saddened to hear of the passing of another Motown great, one of our first, Gladys Horton, who with the Marvelettes, recorded our first #1 hit, Please Mr. Postman, and many others. Gladys was a very, very special lady, and I loved the way she sang with her raspy, soulful voice.”

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February 1, 2011 Posted by | New News, R&B, Soul, Video | , | Leave a comment


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