Saturday Night Music, June 6 – The Velvelettes’ “He Was Really Saying Something”

These girls weren’t as well-known as The Supremes or Martha and The Vandellas in the Motown roster, but they continued to record until 1970. The original members were Bertha Barbee and Mildred Gill. Bertha recruited her cousin Norma Barbee to join the group; Mildred Gill brought in her younger sister Carolyn and Carolyn’s best friend Betty Kelly. Carolyn was only 14 or 15 when she joined The Velvelettes. In 1964, Betty Kelly left the group to join Martha and the Vandellas, and then there were four.

The Velvelettes are famous for two songs, “Needle in a Haystack,” and “He Was Really Saying Something,” produced by Norman Whitfield. But they never completed an album for Motown. After some personnel changes and break-ups occasioned by marriages and children, The Velvelettes regrouped by the Eighties, and recorded their first full album, One Door Closes, in 1984. Motown began releasing their old songs in a greatest hits format starting in 1999. The Velvelettes continue to tour. This video was recorded in 1989 and features Carolyn, Bertha, and Mildred.

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~ by blksista on June 6, 2009.

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