The Fabulettes story

The story of The Fabulettes first grabbed my attention when I heard one of their most commonly found and underrated records. The title of the song is “If The Morning Ever Comes”, a haunting girl group ballad with a desperat feel to it. I had bought the 45 as a “blind buy” for reasons I can no longer remember, but it made me want to hear more from this group. It turned out that the Phil-L.A. release was originally issued on the Kangi label from Florida.

A label scan of the Kangi Records release of "If The Morning Ever Comes".

The members of the group were all local Florida girls. They formed under the name The Mar-Vells in the early sixties and did live concerts and session work for other Florida musicians. Paul Kelly worked with them during their first years and the following quote is from an interview with The Basement magazine:

“He (Waymon Walker) used to go with a little girl in Opa-locka whose name was Mattie [Lovett]. And we dealt with Mattie and they had a group – the Mar-Vells, that was they name of the group. It was a good group. They moved to the city and we started putting songs together for them. I used to give them Marvelettes songs to sing live and Annette Snell was part of that group. She was super. Loretta [Letlo] used to do all the lead singing. We didn’t know at the time that Annette was so good. The group were all good. The Mar-Vells would do a lot of session work in Miami in the early sixties, before going on to record in their own right for Sound Stage 7 and Monument as the Fabulettes in 1967/68.”

While they were doing, mostly uncredited, session work in Miami, and on their first releases, they were known as the Mar-Vells. From 1963 and until 1968 or 69 the line-up consisted of: Annette Snell, Mattie Lovett, Addie Williams and Loretta Ludlow.

Changing their name to The Fabulettes on their first recording for Monument Records was probably a decision taken by the record company who would not have been interested in promoting yet another band named Marvels/Mar-Vells/Marvells. Even though the group still performed as The Mar-Vells in the Florida area all their recordings were, from this point on, issued under the Fabulettes moniker.

Some time during 1968 or early 1969 Annette Snell left the group and went with Paul Kelly to New York pursuing a solo career. Her first solo recording was issued in 1969 on Love Hill, and later Juggy, under the name Annetta. She since moved on to several single releases for Dial Records and was recording for Epic at the time of her death. The Fabulettes attempted to find a replacement but after cutting two more records they split up.

A label scan of the song "Muddy Waters" on Access Records.

For more reading about Annette Snell I Recommend the excellent articles at the Asheville Oral History Project.
The story of Annette Snell is found here: And the story about her last recording session as told by Jimmy Johnson is to be found here:

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