Mable John, Motown Records' First Female Solo Artist, Dies at 91

Mable John, Motown Records’ First Female Solo Artist, Dies at 91

Mable John, who recorded for Motown Records and was a longtime collaborator of Ray Charles’, died Aug. 25 in Los Angeles. Her nephew confirmed John’s death, but did not provide a cause. “We loved her and she was a kind person,” he said. John was 91. Born in 1930, the eldest of nine siblings, John grew up in the South embedded in a musical family; her younger brother would grow up to become the legendary R&B performer Little Willie John. In 1958, Mable signed with a hungry young record producer named Berry Gordy under his new label Tamla, which would become Motown Records in two years’ time. She jumped to Memphis label Stax Records several years later, and scored a certified top-10 hit in 1966 with “Your Good Thing (Is About to End).” After departing Stax in 1968, John found a second wind working with Ray Charles, acting as musical director and singer in his backing band, the Raelettes. She appeared in 2013’s Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom to look back on this part of her career.

Read it at Rolling Stone


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