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The Mary Jane Girls were an Americanmarker R&B, soul, funk, disco, and pop group in the 1980s. They were protégées of singer Rick James. They are best known for their 1985 hit song, "In My House".

Beginning

The group consisted of four female members, Joanne "JoJo" McDuffie (lead vocalist), Candice "Candi" Ghant, Kimberly "Maxi" Wuletich, and Ann "Cheri" Bailey. JoJo was the only member to sing background for Rick James. This was to be JoJo's solo project but, Rick sold it to Motown as a group. The "Mary Jane Girl Sound" was created by JoJo and session singers the Water Sisters (see last MJG compilation liner notes). The other members were very limited in their vocal abilities as the band sang for them on tour and tape was used for television performances.

The origin of the group's name is commonly believed to be an homage to James' affinity for marijuana, which is sometimes called "Mary Jane." The four group members took on distinctive character looks with matching personalities:
  • Joanne "JoJo" McDuffie (lead vocalist) – Sexy and streetwise, very like James himself.
  • Kimberly "Maxi" Wuletich – leather queen/dominatrix.
  • Candice "Candi" Ghant – Model/Vamp.
  • Ann "Cheri" Bailey – Valley girl/cheerleader.


Bailey left the group shortly before their next album was released in 1985 and was replaced by Yvette "Corvette" Marine, who is the daughter of disco singer Pattie Brooks. Marine filled the role of the Valley Girl/Wild and Trendy Girl in the group after Bailey's departure.

Career

Their self-titled debut album was released in 1983 and yielded the group their first R&B hits: "Candy Man," "All Night Long" (which was included in the soundtrack of the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City), and "Boys". The group released their second album, Only Four You, in 1985. The lead single, "In My House," became the group's biggest hit. The song peaked at #3 on the R&B chart and, soon after, crossed over to the Hot 100 chart, where it reached #7 and spent 12 weeks in the Top 40. To date, this is the Mary Jane Girls' only Top 40 hit in the U.S. It also charted on the Hot Dance Club Play chart, where the song went to #1 for two weeks in April 1985. "Wild and Crazy Love" was the second single from this album and it also fared well on the R&B (#10) and dance charts (#3). It barely missed the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #42. The last single, "Break It Up," only reached #79 on the R&B chart and did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 at all. The group covered the Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons hit, "Walk Like a Man," which was included on the soundtrack of the 1986 film A Fine Mess. The Girls' next single, "Shadow Lover," was released in the spring of 1986, but problems with Motown and with James himself resulted in little promotion for the single, although it was performed on Soul Train. They didn't record a third album and the group officially broke up in 1987.

In the 1990s

Ghant and Wuletich left the group in the '90s, and McDuffie carried on solo. McDuffie also recorded with Rick James on his Urban Rhapsody CD on the track "Never Say You Love Me Again," which was originally written for Teena Marie.

After leaving the Mary Jane Girls, Ann Bailey sang lead for Morris Day's studio group "The DayZs."

Yvette Marine went on to sue Virgin Records in 1991, claiming that she had shared the lead vocals on the songs "Opposites Attract," "Knocked Out," and "I Need You" on Paula Abdul's debut album Forever Your Girl. In 1993, a jury eventually ruled against Marine.

In 1995, McDuffie, Ghant, and Wuletich, under the name "MJG," appeared on daytime talk show Jenny Jones as the show's first musical guests. Between 1996 and 1997, Ghant and Wuletich left the group once again.

Current

  • Bailey formed her own music group, Miss Lady. She also works as a makeup artist and part-time midwife in California.
  • McDuffie continues to perform as "JoJo" Original Lead Singer Mary Jane Girls. She is also a television/movie composer. JoJo has also released a solo project entitled "Slightly Dangerous," produced by Danny LeMelle.
  • Ghant is still in the music business.
  • Marine is a married mother of two, and is the host of In The Mix with Yvette, a celebrity profile show.
  • Wuletich is a successful celebrity chef who just published a cookbook and is developing a T.V. cooking show.
  • The group appeared on VH1's Where Are They Now? in 2003. Bailey, Wuletich, Ghant, and Marine appeared in a separate segment from McDuffie, who had just returned from Europe touring with Barry White. JoJo was recently featured on VH1'S 100 HIT WONDERS discussing her new project "Slightly Dangerous" and showing a recent clip from a concert performance in 2009.


Cover versions

  • All Night Long was recorded by British reggae act, La Famille in 1983, released on the Sanity record label.
  • All Night Long was recorded by British street soul act, Jay Mondi and the Livin' Bass. Released in March 1990 on Ten Records, the track was a #63 UK hit.
  • In My House was recorded by Germanmarker singer Sarah Connor on her debut album, Green Eyed Soul. The song also appears on her A Night to Remember: Pop Meets Classic DVD.
  • In My House was recorded by American punk/indie rock band Big Black; the recording appeared on a special five-inch vinyl single included with the group's concert video Pigpile.


Sampling

The Black Eyed Peas sampled "All Night Long" in their song "Audio Delite at Low Fidelity" from their album Monkey Business.

Kylie Minogue sampled "Candy Man" in her song "Always Find the Time" from the 1990 album Rhythm of Love.

Mary J. Blige sampled the group's "All Night Long" for her song "Mary Jane (All Night Long)" on her 1994 album My Life.

Jay-Z sampled "All Night Long" on a song called "Only A Customer", which appeared on the 1998 soundtrack The Streets Is Watching. LL Cool J sampled the same song in 1990 for his song "Around the Way Girl."

Big Daddy Kane sampled "All Night Long" on 1989's "Smooth Operator."

Redman has sampled "All Night Long" three times, on the following songs:

Groove Theory sampled "All Night Long" for their song, "Tell Me."

In the late '90s, rapper Mack 10 featured Wuletich, Ghant, and McDuffie on his single, "On Them Thangs," on Priority Records. The three also appeared in the video for the song.

Monifah sampled this song also for her hit in 1996 I Miss You (Come Back Home)

Discography

Studio albums

Year Album Chart positions

US
certifications


Record label
US US
R&B
UK
1983 Mary Jane Girls 56 6 51 Gordy
1985 Only Four You 18 5 Gold
"—" denotes the album failed to chart or was not certified


Compilation albums

Year Album Chart positions Record label
US US
R&B
1994 In My House: The Very Best of the Mary Jane Girls Motown
2001 The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Mary Jane Girls
"—" denotes the album failed to chart


Singles

Year Single Chart positions

Album
US US
R&B
US
Dance
UK
1983 "Candy Man" 23 8 60 Mary Jane Girls
"All Night Long" 11 13
"Boys" 29 74
1985 "In My House" 7 3 1 77 Only Four You
"Wild and Crazy Love" 42 10 3
"Break It Up" 79 33
1986 "Walk Like a Man" 41 91 A Fine Mess OST
"—" denotes the single failed to chart


References

External links




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