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The Marvelettes - Please Mr Postman (1961) [Plus Lyrics]

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Published on Jan 12, 2012

To buy this on CD from Amazon click here http://amzn.to/yrT3NM

"Please Mr. Postman" is the debut single by The Marvelettes for the Tamla (Motown) label, notable as the first Motown song to reach the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart. The single achieved this position in late 1961; it hit number one on the R&B chart as well. "Please Mr. Postman" became a number-one hit again in early 1975 when The Carpenters' cover of the song reached the top position of the Billboard Hot 100.

In April 1961, the Marvelettes (then known as "The Marvels") arranged an audition for Berry Gordy's Tamla/Motown label. Marvels member Georgia Dobbins needed an original song for their audition, and got a blues song from her friend William Garrett, which she then reworked for the group. Dobbins left the group after the audition and was replaced, Gordy renamed the group and hired "Brianbert"—Brian Holland and Robert Bateman's songwriting partnership—to rework the song yet again. Freddie Gorman, another songwriting partner of Holland (before Holland became part of the Holland--Dozier--Holland team) was also involved in the final reworking.

The Marvelettes recording features lead singer Gladys Horton hoping that the postman has brought her a letter from her boyfriend, who is away at war. Accompaniment is provided by The Funk Brothers, including Marvin Gaye on drums.

Songwriting credits for "Please Mr. Postman" seem to have changed over the years. The original Tamla 45 single for the Marvelettes' version credits "Dobbins/Garett/Brianbert" as the songwriters, and credits "Brianbert" as producer. The original With the Beatles album cover credited it to just Brian Holland. The 1976 Beatles discography book All Together Now credits it to Holland, Bateman, and Berry Gordy. The 1992 Motown boxed set Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles Collection credits Dobbins, Garrett, Holland, Bateman, and Gorman as the composers. As of 2006, the Songwriters Hall of Fame credits "Please Mr. Postman" to just Holland, Bateman, and Gorman. EMI Music Publishing, the current music publisher of the song list all five writers in their catalog.

"Please Mr. Postman" has been covered frequently, including a version by The Beatles on their With the Beatles album. Sung by John Lennon, their version reverses the genders. The Marvelettes' version appears in a bar fight scene in Mean Streets (1973), directed by Martin Scorsese. Later, a second hit version was recorded by The Carpenters, whose version took the song again to number one on the Hot 100 in early 1975. The Pat Boone Family released their version of the song at approximately the same time, resulting in both versions appearing simultaneously on the South African Hit Parade. The Carpenters' cover version was also sampled by rapper Juelz Santana for his single "Oh Yes". It is used by the Rob, Arnie and Dawn Show to introduce their Listener Mail segment, and was sung by the presenters of British Saturday morning show SMTV Live to introduce the mailbag section.

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