Was there ever a more camp group name? This double album covers 1963 when they began recording, up to 1966.
The music is simpler than the beaty stuff coming out of Motown, or the highly produced New York Bril Building sound, typified by Phil Spector and the Red Bird label.
The group consisted of a female lead singer and four men doing back ups, with flawless tight harmonies. She is no Aretha or Gladys, but Ruby has a lovely velvety way with a song and very good diction (I am getting to sound like my Dad!). She has a way of fastening a song lightly but securely to your heart, where it stays forever.
The group punched below its weight on the charts. Only 'Our Day Will Come' nudged into the UK top 40. That song made No 1 pop and R&B in the US, but after that their chart history was patchy and undistinguished. The Beatles lead that British invasion of the US charts, which must have held them back from big hits and sales. Over the years however, their songbook has proved durable, with acts like Frankie Valli and Dionne Warwick to name but two covering 'Our Day Will Come'. 'When You're Young And In Love' gave The Marvelettes their one and only British hit, and was a hit again in the '80s for The Flying Pickets. 'Hey There Lonely Boy' was turned to '...Girl' and was a hit for Eddie Holman in the 70s. Those are three songs in their original versions, that even the most casual listener, knocking that half century or more, should know.
The group also recorded older pop and jazz standards like 'PS I Love You' which were sorely out of season in those heady early sixties, but they sound good to me across the decades.
My fave in this lovely double CD is 'Young Wings Can Fly (Higher Than You Know)' which is like an update on 'Too Young'.
Simple good songs well sung.