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What's Easy for Two Is Hard for One - Mary Wells

Three posts ago we had the "Clapping Song" by Shirley Ellis which I said should have been called "the Skipping Song". Here we have the best song for clapping recorded by the inestimable Mary Wells. People in the UK don't understand why an artist who had only one hit - "My Guy" - should have such a big reputation but they don't realise that in 1962 and 1963 she had a string of terrific hits in the US. And for a short while, before the arrival of Diana Ross with the Supremes, was universally known as the "first lady of Motown". This song was the "B" side of the hit "You Lost the Sweetest Boy" which was spotted by the deejays, flipped, and became a hot 100 hit in its own right. Like most of her successes, this was penned by Smokey Robinson, but even for a guy who was fond of the handclap (check out mid career Miracles singles) there is an extraordinary clapping sequence that begins 1 minute 45 seconds in. Call me cack handed - my daughters all say it isn't that difficult - but I have never been able to successfully accompany that clapping sequence with my own. Try it yourself. Maybe it's a gender thing. As is the song itself as it's an extended plea by Mary for her man to marry her.

Apart from the clapping, there's a lot to like here, not least amongst which are Mary's mellow vocals, Earl Van Dyke's earnest organ playing (he sounds like he's the guy from church on his day off), Henry Cosby's saxophone break and the drunken lilt of the brass section as the song fades out.

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