The Andantes

~ Group


The Andantes were an American female session group for the Motown record label during the 1960s. Composed of Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow, and Louvain Demps, the group sang background vocals on numerous Motown recordings, including songs by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, Jimmy Ruffin, Edwin Starr, the Supremes, the Marvelettes, Marvin Gaye, among others. Barrow also substituted for Florence Ballard of the Supremes in concert on several occasions.

The Andantes provided back-up singing on Motown singles starting in 1962. The group was most prominently used on all of the Four Tops' Holland–Dozier–Holland-produced hits, including "Baby I Need Your Loving", "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)", "Reach Out I'll Be There", and more. The Andantes were used as vocal substitutes for Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong on many of the Supremes' recordings done in 1968 and 1969. They were also called upon to overdub and smooth out the Marvelettes' background vocals records beginning in 1965.

In 1963, the Andantes, with the Marvelettes released the single "Too Hurt to Cry, Too Much in Love to Say Goodbye" b/w "Come on Home" as credited to the Darnells. In 1964 they released a single of their own called "(Like A) Nightmare" b/w "If You Were Mine", though none of the actual Andantes sang lead on either track (future Marvelette Ann Bogan performed the lead vocals).

The Andantes are also featured on some records that were not produced by Motown Records, the most prominent example being Jackie Wilson's "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" (Pat Lewis substitutes for Louvain Demps on this track).

On February 23, 2015, Marlene Barrow-Tate died, at the age of 73.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2014 Legends of Northern Soul Various Artists 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1997 This Is Northern Soul! The Motown Sound, Volume 1 Various Artists 4
1998 Detroit Dance Masters Various Artists 1
2000 You Didn't Say A Word Various Artists 1
2005 The Motown Box Various Artists 1
2006 The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 4: 1964 Various Artists 2
101 Hits: Car Classics Various Artists 1

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