Mary Wells (Hardcover)
The Tumultuous Life of Motown's First Superstar
Chicago Review Press, 9781569762486, 320pp.
Publication Date: November 1, 2012
Other Editions of This Title:
Complete with never-before-revealed details about the sex, violence, and drugs in her life, this biography reveals the incredibly turbulent life of Motown artist Mary Wells. Based in part on four hours of previously unreleased and unpublicized deathbed interviews with Wells, this account delves deeply into her rapid rise and long fall as a recording artist, her spectacular romantic and family life, the violent incidents in which she was a participant, and her abuse of drugs. From tumultuous affairs, including one with R&B superstar Jackie Wilson, to a courageous battle with throat cancer that climaxed in her gutsiest performance, this history draws upon years of interviews with Wells’s friends, lovers, and husband to tell the whole story of a woman whose songs crossed the color line and whose voice captivated the Beatles.
About the Author
Peter Benjaminson is the author of The Lost Supreme: The Life of Dreamgirl Florence Ballard and The Story of Motown, and is the coauthor of Investigative Reporting. He has written numerous stories for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Detroit Free Press. He lives in New York City.
Praise For Mary Wells: The Tumultuous Life of Motown's First Superstar…
"In the end, Wells' story is the stuff of great art. Operas like "La Traviata" and "La Bohème" are centered on such characters; Edgar Allan Poe said that the death of a beautiful woman is the most poetical topic in the world. When you finish this book, you will mourn Mary Wells, sure, and be grateful for the music she left. But don't be surprised if you find that, like John, Paul, George and Ringo, you are more than a little in love with her as well."
-Wall Street Journal
"Peter Benjaminson pays tribute to the remarkable life of Mary Wells through a fascinating biography. His relentless research has resulted in not only a riveting tale of Wells's many personal battles but also a gripping snapshot of the music industry in which she worked. Motown's first superstar is given top-of-the-charts treatment in this terrific book." —Gerald Posner, author, Motown, Why America Slept, and Case Closed
"I thought I knew all there was to know about Mary Wells. I was wrong. Here, Peter Benjaminson tells Mary's story with great love and compassion in a way that informs even the so-called experts. I love Peter's work, and am happy to see Mary Wells finally be given the recognition she so deserves." —J. Randy Taraborrelli, author, Michael Jackson, After Camelot, and The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
"Peter Benjaminson does an admirable job with Mary Wells, presenting thoroughly researched scholarship, but always going back to reminding the reader of the soaring voice, and wide heart, of Motown's first superstar." —Charles R. Cross, author, Heavier than Heaven and Room Full of Mirrors
"Mary Wells has finally found 'My Guy'—and it is her biographer Peter Benjaminson. This is a match made in music heaven." —Al Abrams, author, Hype & Soul: Behind the Scenes at Motown