Almanac: “Please Mr. Postman”


An undated photograph of the all-girl group Marvelettes (the Motown group which featured, alternately, Gladys Horton, Katherine Anderson, Georgeanna Tillman, Juanita Cowart and Wanda Young).

Courtesy of Motown photo archives/UMe

And now a page from our “Sunday Morning” Almanac: August 21st, 1961, 55 years ago today ... a musical date worth writing home about.

For that was the day the Motown label released “Please Mr. Postman.”

Recorded by The Marvelettes, who hailed from suburban Detroit, the song quickly became Motown’s first number one hit.

It wasn’t long before The Marvelettes performed their song on national television. And a cover version was recorded by no less a group than The Beatles.

In 1973, The Marvelettes’ version made a high-profile comeback in the Martin Scorsese film, “Mean Streets.”

And the song returned yet again in 1975 when The Carpenters​ released a cover version of their own.

As for The Marvelettes, they went on to other hits, but none as big as “Please, Mr. Postman” -- and by 1969 the group had disbanded.

Though gone, The Marvelettes and their songs are hardly forgotten -- because when it comes to conveying the uncertainties of young love, “Please, Mr. Postman” still delivers.

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