Library Journal Calls "Mary Wells: The Tumultuous Life of Motown's First Superstar" a "Fascinating Narrative of the Life of a Popular Music Icon."

Benjaminson follows his definitive biography of Supremes vocalist Florence Ballard (The Lost Supreme: The Life of Dreamgirl Florence Ballard) with the first biography devoted solely to the tumultuous life of Motown hitmaker Mary Wells.

“My Guy” remains Wells’s signature tune, but she was much more than a one-hit wonder (Benjaminson provides an extensive discography) and readers will be fascinated by the trajectory of Wells’s career; her personal and professional choices; and ultimately, her tenacity.

Wells was signed to Motown at the age of 17 after cornering label chief Berry Gordy at a Detroit nightclub. Success followed and she hit the top of the national charts. Later in life she regretted her decision to leave Motown at the age of 21, never achieving the same level of success, but her story did not end there.

Near the end of her life, Wells lost her ability to sing due to the ravages of throat cancer; but through extensive research and interviews Benjaminson once again gives her voice.

VERDICT: “My Guy” remains a popular classic (Wells cited Mae West as her inspiration for the songs outro) and this book tells the rest of the story. A fascinating narrative of the life of a popular music icon.— Bill Baars, Lake Oswego P.L., OR