Premium Stuff profile photo

Wonderettes

Posted (edited)

Well - fabulous group  :yes:

 

Rose St John and the ...

 

Johnnie Matthews and the ..

 

The ...

 

Realised I know very little about them. Anyone got any info please?

 

Cheers

 

Richard

 

 

 

Edited by Premium Stuff

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

Good call Richard!

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)

I think that Rose Saint John was the lead singer of The Wonderettes.  I believe that they were managed by Bob Schwartz, who was their executive producer, and owner of Ruby Records, and possibly, co-owner of Enterprise Records.  Their regular songwriters, along with Schwartz, were "J. Thomas" and "J. Thornton".  I wonder if those 2 were 2 more of The Wonderettes?

 

I also suspect that the girls group who backed Calvin Williams on "Lonely You'll Be" were The Wonderettes, as they were listed as backing Johnnie Mae Matthews on that same song, with the same instrumental background.  Although there seems to be no Wonderettes' vocal backing track on the released Matthews version, I suspect that an earlier mix did have the same one that backed up Williams, but was removed for Matthews' release (maybe to bring Matthews' vocal and the great instrumental more upfront for a cleaner sound).  Then, the credit for The Wonderettes' backing up on the cut was forgotten to be removed.  

 

I've never seen any posters or adverts for the group appearing.  So, I don't even know how many group members there were.  We had some discussion about them on Soulful Detroit Forum when talking about The Enterprise and Ruby labels, and Johnnie Mae Matthews.  But, I'm not sure if those old threads survived the website overhaul loss of archives disaster.  But, I seem to remember that Ron Murphy and other old-time Detroit music industry veterans DID remember The Wonderettes appearing locally.  They definitely existed as a viable local group from about 1965-68.  They weren't just a "studio group".

Edited by RobbK

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)

Here's the SDF thread I believe Robb is on about ............

 

 

....OR ...... it could be this one .................

 

Edited by Mike
links no longer valid

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

"I Feel Strange" - great uptempo dancer :thumbsup:

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

"I Feel Strange" - great uptempo dancer :thumbsup:

love it too    just thinning the collection a bit and don't know whether to keep the U A white demo  OR THE RUBY ISSUE :g:

KEV

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)
On 07/05/2013 at 10:33, Roburt said:

Here's the SDF thread I believe Robb is on about ............

 

 

....OR ...... it could be this one .................

 

There were other threads which contained discussions of Johnnie Mae Matthews, Terra Shirma, Ernie Stratton, Fred Saxon, Bob Schwartz, etc. with great information provided by Ron Murphy, Graham, Ralph Terrana, and even Clay MacMurray and others that, unfortunately, were lost, in that forum's format changeover in 2009.  I believe that Ron Murphy identified the owner of Enterprise Records and we talked about many of the artists.  But, I don't believe that members of The Wonderettes were identified, other than that Rose Saint john sang lead, and it wwas stated that they were a local group which had appeared in local clubs and youth sock hops, and several of our older Detroit members remember having seen adverts for them, and, I think one had seen them.  I think he mentioned that there were four girls in the group.

Edited by Mike
links no longer valid

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

Great info guys - much appreciated  :thumbsup:

 

Cheers

 

Richard

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)

Seems a relative of the group posted some info on a youtube video of "I Feel Strange" along with maybe a picture? It's their profile/channel picture, so it's sort of small. Check the comments.

 

Here: 

Edited by Nick Soule

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

I had forgotten just how good that track is, thanks for putting it up.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

RUBY_E-5065-A-1.jpgRUBY_E-5065-B-1.jpg

UNITED_ARTISTS_UA-944-A_DJ-1.jpgUNITED_ARTISTS_UA-944-B_DJ-1.jpg
UNITED_ARTISTS_UA-944-A-1.jpgUNITED_ARTISTS_UA-944-B-1.jpg

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

Like that UA issue Roger - is that much rarer than the demo?

 

Cheers

 

Richard

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

The Wonderettes also provided backing vocals on Sam E. Solo's "Love Is Not A Game/Tears Keep Falling" the first and last time that Sam ever laid eyes on them. :yes:

Dave

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)

http://i3.ytimg.com/i/rDp029K4kic4s-XBMhLM_Q/1.jpg?v=510552f3

 

l to r .. rose johnson- thornton, lavernah williams, & joan rutledge

 

cant make the image any bigger....someone else have a go

Edited by dave pinch

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)

RUBY_E-5065-A-1.jpgRUBY_E-5065-B-1.jpg

UNITED_ARTISTS_UA-944-A_DJ-1.jpgUNITED_ARTISTS_UA-944-B_DJ-1.jpg

UNITED_ARTISTS_UA-944-A-1.jpgUNITED_ARTISTS_UA-944-B-1.jpg

 

 

JUST NOTICED   THE GEM SIDE ON MY RUBY COPY TOO DOES THAT MEAN ITS A DEMO ?

KEV

Edited by kevinsoulman

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

Like that UA issue Roger - is that much rarer than the demo?

 

Cheers

 

Richard

I think it is Richard. I bought all three from Soul Bowl back in the 70s.

 

I haven't seen another UA Stock Copy since, other than the scans on PopSike where it would appear to be more DEMOs than Stock Copies.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)

I am new to this site and found this info, sorry If I am late to the party, but thought would share (assuming it is correct)

Rose St. John and the Wonderettes was a girl group consisting of Rose Johnson-Thornton, Lavernah Williams, and Joan Rutledge founded in 1963 by song-writer Johnny Robert Thornton, and Jack Thomas, and managed by Bob Schwartz.

The group was from Detroit, Michigan and first recorded under the United Artists label. Originally, the group was named “The Wonderettes” by manager Bob Schwhartz. After their first hit “I Feel Strange” made it to the Billboard charts the name was changed to “Rose St. John and The Wonderettes”. The group dis-banded following the passing of Johnny Thornton in 1974.

Edited by Blackpoolsoul
  • Up vote 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
16 hours ago, Blackpoolsoul said:

I am new to this site and found this info, sorry If I am late to the party, but thought would share (assuming it is correct)

Rose St. John and the Wonderettes was a girl group consisting of Rose Johnson-Thornton, Lavernah Williams, and Joan Rutledge founded in 1963 by song-writer Johnny Robert Thornton, and Jack Thomas, and managed by Bob Schwartz.

The group was from Detroit, Michigan and first recorded under the United Artists label. Originally, the group was named “The Wonderettes” by manager Bob Schwhartz. After their first hit “I Feel Strange” made it to the Billboard charts the name was changed to “Rose St. John and The Wonderettes”. The group dis-banded following the passing of Johnny Thornton in 1974.

What's the source of that information please - can you reference it? Ta - R 👍

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

The same info is on discogs.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
21 hours ago, Blackpoolsoul said:

I am new to this site and found this info, sorry If I am late to the party, but thought would share (assuming it is correct)

Rose St. John and the Wonderettes was a girl group consisting of Rose Johnson-Thornton, Lavernah Williams, and Joan Rutledge founded in 1963 by song-writer Johnny Robert Thornton, and Jack Thomas, and managed by Bob Schwartz.

The group was from Detroit, Michigan and FIRST recorded under the United Artists label. Originally, the group was named “The Wonderettes” by manager Bob Schwhartz. After their first hit “I Feel Strange” made it to the Billboard charts the name was changed to “Rose St. John and The Wonderettes”. The group dis-banded following the passing of Johnny Thornton in 1974.

Surely they recorded for Ruby Records first, (which may have been co-owned by Bob Schwartz and the owner of Different Music (Detroit's Enterprise label group , which included Enterprise, Ruby, Dynamic, Cindy, and Heart Records, and, I think one or two others)), and leased their record to UA after, to get national distribution.  I say that, not only because most records that appear on 2 labels started on the smaller label, and moved to the larger one to gain national distribution, but also because the Ruby issue listed ONLY Enterprise's "Different Music", while the UA issue added "Unart Music" (United Artist's in-house publisher), thus splitting the publishing rights in half for UA's paying pressing costs and distributing the record nationally; and, most importantly, I bought the Ruby record when it was out, at least a couple months before I ever saw a UA copy.

  • Up vote 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Robbk said:

Surely they recorded for Ruby Records first, (which may have been co-owned by Bob Schwartz and the owner of Different Music (Detroit's Enterprise label group , which included Enterprise, Ruby, Dynamic, Cindy, and Heart Records, and, I think one or two others)), and leased their record to UA after, to get national distribution.  I say that, not only because most records that appear on 2 labels started on the smaller label, and moved to the larger one to gain national distribution, but also because the Ruby issue listed ONLY Enterprise's "Different Music", while the UA issue added "Unart Music" (United Artist's in-house publisher), thus splitting the publishing rights in half for UA's paying pressing costs and distributing the record nationally; and, most importantly, I bought the Ruby record when it was out, at least a couple months before I ever saw a UA copy.

Thanks Robb, do we think that Rose St. John AKA Rose Johnson-Thornton was most likely Johnny Thornton's wife and do we know more about him as he appears on so many releases

I think maybe The Wonderettes first release may have been this one anyway in 1964, but you will know better than me 😀

 

soul Wonderettes

Edited by Blackpoolsoul

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

Along with I Feel Strange ... their other 'crackers' (for me at least) are these 2

 

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)
On 22/01/2020 at 21:10, Blackpoolsoul said:

Thanks Robb, do we think that Rose St. John AKA Rose Johnson-Thornton was most likely Johnny Thornton's wife and do we know more about him as he appears on so many releases

I think maybe The Wonderettes first release may have been this one anyway in 1964, but you will know better than me 😀

 

soul Wonderettes

Yes to both of your surmisings.  I'm pretty sure that Rose was Johnny's wife, rather than sister or daughter.  I'll ask my Detroit '60s friends left on Soulful Detroit Forum if they remember Johnny.  Yes, the Enterprise 1964 release was earlier than the Ruby (Late 1965).  Interesting that also Sammy Solo's Ruby record was released earlier (1965) on Enterprise, and that Joe Terry's and  Lee Gates'  Soul releases on Enterprise are still not shown or listed on Discogs.

Edited by Robbk
  • Thanks 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
3 hours ago, Soulstrutter said:

Along with I Feel Strange ... their other 'crackers' (for me at least) are these 2

 

The Wonderettes don't seem to be singing in the background of Johnny Mae's "Lonely You'll Be", there WERE in the BG of Calvin Williams' version.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

Here's The Wonderettes' Enterprise flip:

soul Wonderettes2

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Robbk said:

Yes, the Enterprise 1964 release was earlier than the Ruby (1966). 

The Ruby 45 was issued in 1965 (#31) - 

soul Won

Edited by The Yank

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
28 minutes ago, The Yank said:

The Ruby 45 was issued in 1965 (#31) - 

soul Won

Thanks.  Yes, the Ruby issue was several months before the UA.  They must have been playing the latter into early 1966.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)

Thanks Robb ... you're absolutely right there doesn't appear to be any backing in Johnnie Mae Mathews version which credits Wonderettes but there is on Calvin Williams on Northern Del-La ... do you think these are the Wonderettes?  (no credit given to anyone)

 

 

Edited by Soulstrutter

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
5 hours ago, Soulstrutter said:

Thanks Robb ... you're absolutely right there doesn't appear to be any backing in Johnnie Mae Mathews version which credits Wonderettes but there is on Calvin Williams on Northern Del-La ... do you think these are the Wonderettes?  (no credit given to anyone)

 

 

I can't tell who they are or aren't from the voices, but it stands to reason that the might well be, as Johnnie Mae ran all sessions of production of this song, and because she listed them on HER version, we know they sang backgrounds to the backing track.  Hard to believe it was missed when the recording was delivered for mastering.  Maybe the tapes got switched into the cans of the opposite versions?

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Robbk said:

Yes to both of your surmisings.  I'm pretty sure that Rose was Johnny's wife, rather than sister or daughter.  I'll ask my Detroit '60s friends left on Soulful Detroit Forum if they remember Johnny.  Yes, the Enterprise 1964 release was earlier than the Ruby (1966).  Interesting that also Sammy Solo's Ruby record was released earlier (1966) on Enterprise, and that Joe Terry's and             Soul releases on Enterprise are still not shown or listed on Discogs.

You mentioned Discogs and they have John (Johnny) as being co-writer on "Put Yourself In My Place" (Motown)

Joe Terry ? Is that "She's Cheating On Me", I had completely forgot about that tune 😀

Edited by Blackpoolsoul

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
1 hour ago, Blackpoolsoul said:

You mentioned Discogs and they have John (Johnny) as being co-writer on "Put Yourself In My Place" (Motown)

Joe Terry ? Is that "She's Cheating On Me", I had completely forgot about that tune 😀

Yes.

  • Thanks 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

soul IMAG0224

  • Up vote 3

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

Nice

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

Joe Terry... 

soul IMAG0228~2

  • Up vote 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)
On 24/01/2020 at 09:02, Robbk said:

Yes.

Robb, Kim Weston was introduced to Berry Gordy by Eddie Holland after she was singing demos (would love to here those !!!) in Johnny Thornton's studio

It's not much help, but he must have been well known in Detroit, as he was cousin to Eddie and Brian Holland, which explains his penning of "Put Yourself In My Place". His name was not on the credits for The Elgins and other releases though ? How intriguing

soul Chris

soul Elgins

soul Supremes

soul Isleys

Edited by Blackpoolsoul

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

So, with Thornton being on the inside at Motown, The Wonderettes could have been signed by Motown.  They certainly were talented enough.  But, They would have trouble beating out The Velvelettes for getting good material, getting releases, and having their records plugged, let alone competing with The Supremes, Marvelettes, and Martha and The Vandellas.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
11 minutes ago, Robbk said:

So, with Thornton being on the inside at Motown, The Wonderettes could have been signed by Motown.  They certainly were talented enough.  But, They would have trouble beating out The Velvelettes for getting good material, getting releases, and having their records plugged, let alone competing with The Supremes, Marvelettes, and Martha and The Vandellas.

The lack of credit makes me wonder (no pun intended) if Johnny did not stay long on the inside, it would still be great if we could find out what happened and more about him though, if you can ask your contacts

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
11 minutes ago, Blackpoolsoul said:

The lack of credit makes me wonder (no pun intended) if Johnny did not stay long on the inside, it would still be great if we could find out what happened and more about him though, if you can ask your contacts

Well, Thornton is a cousin of Brian and Eddie Holland, and he owned a recording studio, with which many of the Motowners, and other Detroit Soul singers were familiar.  So, I think his association with Motown was for several years.  I think his name being left off The Elgins' record was a random oversight, which had been included on The Supreme's release, and would be corrected on Chris Clark's (notwithstanding the misspelling).  Why is it that Americans can't seem to pronounce the "n" in the name "Thornton"???  In my 70+ years I have met, read about or heard of literally hundreds of people with the name "ThorNton", but not one single person with the name "Thorton".  

  • Thanks 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

Robb...…...you know us Americans …..our English is a bit strange.My theory is the N is silent as in the word hymn.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, recordsnracin said:

Robb...…...you know us Americans …..our English is a bit strange.My theory is the N is silent as in the word hymn.

Well, even Canadian ice hockey star, Joe Thornton, after hearing thousands of people mispronounce his name, probably just gave up trying to tell them how it is pronounced properly.  The name must come from a rural place somewhere in England.  The suffix "ton" meant "a small settlement" in later Old English and all of Middle English.  In Canada we pronounced the "n".  In England they pronounce the "n".  I wonder if it is pronounced in India, and Papua Pidgin English?

Edited by Robbk

Share this forum post


soul source url

Look At Your Box - Source Forum

Get into the record & soul music talk

Join Soul Source

A free & easy soul music affair!

Get started now!
Log into Soul Source

Get max use of the forums

Log in now!

  1. Johnnie Mae Matthews and The Wonderettes
    Record Sales by Scotters on Fri 07 Jun 2019
    • 1 / 540
    • Scotters on 07 Jun 2019
  2. KIM WESTON, TIMI YURO, DANNY WHITE, WONDERETTES, DANNY WAGNER
    Soul Website Sales by Southern_soul1 on Mon 15 Apr 2019
    • 2 / 523
    • southern_soul1 on 24 Apr 2019
  3. Rose St John & the Wonderettes - Fool don't laugh (VEEP)
    Record Wants by Aggrolite on Thu 15 Nov 2018
    • 3 / 262
    • aggrolite on 27 Nov 2018
  4. ROSE ST. JOHN AND THE WONDERETTES, SANDY WYNNS, KIM WESTON
    Soul Website Sales by Southern_soul1 on Mon 09 Jul 2018
    • 2 / 260
    • southern_soul1 on 18 Jul 2018

Source Adverts



×
×
  • Create New...

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.