Marlene Judy Barrow-Tate of Motown’s Andantes died Monday (February 23) of undisclosed causes at the age of 73. The trio – which included Louvain Demps and Jacqueline Hicks – formed as children at Detroit’s Hartford Avenue Baptist Church.
The Andantes almost never toured and they seldom performed onstage. They released only one Motown single as The Andantes; 1964’s (Like A) Nightmare with If You Were Mine on the B side.
But whether you have heard of them or not, you absolutely have heard them. Over an 11-year span, The Andantes, Motown’s legendary studio background vocalists, lent their blended harmonies to many of the company’s most unforgettable tracks. They (not the other Supremes) were the singers with Diana Ross on Someday We’ll Be Together and Love Child.
They were the singers you heard in the background on My Guy by Mary Wells, Money by Barrett Strong, I Heard It Through the Grapevine and How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) by Marvin Gaye, Higher And Higher by Jackie Wilson, and every hit recorded by The Four Tops during their Holland-Dozier-Holland production zenith, including Baby I Need Your Loving, I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch), Reach Out I’ll Be There, Bernadette and many more.
The trio was recently inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame.