Photo credits: Chris Ware
By 1964, Motown Records had only been in operation for five short years. However, the label already had a long list of hits and a roster of brilliant performers.
Nonetheless, Motown did not get its first No. 1 success on the Billboard Top 100 Singles Chart until the singer Mary Wells released the song “My Guy” on May 16, 1964. Berry Gordy, the proprietor of Motown Records, had extended an offer to sign Wells to a recording deal a few years previously.
Subsequently, she went on to have a number of hits with the company. In the end, Smokey Robinson’s “My Guy,” which Wells sang on the record, became her signature song and became her second single to sell one million copies.
Along with the Supremes, the Miracles, the Temptations, and the Four Tops, Mary Wells, often known as the “Queen of Motown,” emerged as one of the most influential artists in the development of the sound associated with the Motown record company in the early 1960s.
In addition to this, she was acknowledged for playing a role in the integration of African-American music onto prominent radio stations in more traditionally white parts of the United States.