Remember when “cell” referred to either a body part or a place to house criminals? Back when a phone number was connected to an instrument with a cord and all “telephone exchange names” were words paired with numbers instead of Area Codes, a girls singing group from the Motown recording company sang about wanting a boy to call for a date. Listen to the Marvelettes sing “Beechwood 4-5789” from 1962:
Although this girl group did not become as famous as their contemporaries, The Supremes, they had a million-selling hit in 1965 produced by Smokey Robinson. Turns out that Smokey’s real name is Bill Robinson. But he claimed that he did not use his name for the song. He chose the name because Bill was a good choice for the lyrics. Here is “Don’t Mess with Bill” from 1965.
Even if people do not immediately recall the name Marvelettes, their songs have had a lasting impact on other artists. The Beatles recorded the 1961 hit, “Please Mr. Postman.” And Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band recorded the 1966 song “The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game.”
Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the 1965 hit song, and the Marvelettes have been nominated to be a part of the 2015 class inducted into of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The nominees are chosen by a committee of music professionals, but fans can vote too. Here is a link to the page where you can read about the nominees and click on the check mark in the top right corner of the photo of a nominee to vote for your top five choices: