left to right: Jannie Pought, Reather Dixon, Emma Pought, Laura Webb and Helen Gathers
The Bobbettes comprised of:
Emma Pought (second lead singer - b. 28th April 1942, New York City, New York, U.S.A.)
Jannie Pought (soprano - b. 8th November 1945, New York City, New York, U.S.A. d. September 1980, New Jersey, U.S.A.)
Laura Webb (tenor - b. 1943)
Helen Gathers (alto - b. 1944)
Reather Dixon Turner (lead singer - b. 1st May 1945, New York City, New York, U.S.A. d. 8th January 2014, Harlem, New York, U.S.A.)
The Bobbettes were originally from Spanish Harlem, New York.
In 1955, they were known as The Harlem Queens.
After performing at the Glee Club in Spanish Harlem, they were brought to the attention of James Dailey, a record producer.
James became their manager, who took them to the Atlantic Record Label.
‘Mr. Lee’ b/w ‘Look At The Stars' - 1957 / 'I Shot Mr Lee' b/w 'Billy' - 1960
In 1957, the girls released their first hit single, ‘Mr. Lee’ b/w ‘Look At The Stars’.
The single reached number 6 on the Billboard Pop singles chart and number 1 on the R&B chart.
The Bobbettes were the first all female group to release a number 1 R&B hit that also reached the pop top 10.
The group released further novelty songs for Atlantic.
One of these sides was ‘I Shot Mr. Lee’, which Atlantic did not want to release, so the group left Atlantic.
The Bobbettes then signed with Teddy Vann and a new version was issued on the Triple-X label.
The single reached number 52 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Atlantic agreed to release their own version of the song.
Further singles followed including, ‘Have Mercy Baby’, ‘You Are My Sweetheart’, ‘You Belong to Me’, and ‘Dance with Me Georgie’.
The group them switched labels to the End imprint, and released the songs ‘Teach Me Tonight’ and ‘I Don't Like It Like That’.
The latter release became the Bobbettes last chart-topper.
The group continued to record for several labels, including Diamond, RCA Victor and Mayhew, before disbanding in 1974.
Mr Lee & Other Big Hits - 1989
They Bobbettes continue to tour to this day, in various configurations.
In 1980, Jannie Pought was murdered by a stranger in New Jersey.
The Bobbettes were nominated for induction in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
Mr Lee & Other Big Hits (Revival Records 1989)