Jimmy Mack (2:50)

Cover of Watchout!

From Watchout! and 35 other releases

“Jimmy Mack” is a 1967 pop/soul single recorded by Martha and the Vandellas for Motown’s Gordy imprint. Written and produced by Motown’s main creative team, Holland–Dozier–Holland.

“Jimmy Mack” was the final Top 10 hit for the Vandellas in the United States, peaking at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967 and at #1 on the Billboard R&B Singles chart.

The song, with lead vocal by Vandellas’ lead singer Martha Reeves, is narrated by a woman who longs for her boyfriend, named “Jimmy Mack”, to return to her. The narrator is being courted by another suitor, whom she notes “talks just as sweet as” her long-gone Jimmy, and hopes for him to return before her resistance is worn down.

The inspiration for this song came from a 1964 music industry awards dinner, which Lamont Dozier attended. At the ceremony the mother of the songwriter Ronnie Mack accepted an award for her son, who had recently died, for his composition He’s So Fine. Under pressure to come up with a hit for Reeves and the Vandellas, Dozier and the team penned this song in part a tribute to Mack the writer.

“Jimmy Mack” was originally recorded in 1964 when Annette Beard was still a part of the group. The song was shelved because the Motown Quality Control team felt the recording was not suitable for release with the Vietnam War going on. Like Smokey Robinson & the Miracles’ later hit, “The Tears of a Clown”, “Jimmy Mack” was pulled from the vault two years later and released as a single in early 1967.


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  • funkbrothersfan

    Back to the original version & lovin it.................

    17 Mar 2014 Reply
  • ImAnOldiesFan2

    Awful, awful version of this great song!! Banning it!!!!!

    28 Jul 2012 Reply
  • Turner_Ound

    altho supremes gave it more soul - almost like comparing lose myself covered by marsha ambrosius and lauryn hill -lauryn gave more heart i felt. again, my opinion, not everyone's ;-)

    24 May 2012 Reply
  • Turner_Ound

    great version, missing me some motown so very welcome track!

    24 May 2012 Reply
  • eternal-flame

    twiggggy dancingggg<3

    29 Feb 2012 Reply
  • supersteveme

    awful version,no va va voom

    13 Feb 2012 Reply
  • squiggins

    Still a shitty live version.

    21 Nov 2011 Reply
  • kiteo

    I think most people would rather not have the track in the library rather than this karaoke crap.

    26 Aug 2011 Reply
  • AJ2002

    so good

    7 Nov 2010 Reply
  • lihei

    Yes, so good.

    25 Oct 2010 Reply
  • lasys

    Last.fm you are a wonderful brilliant idea but for shame where did you get this godawful sanitised version from surely CBS your paymasters could use their corporate muscle and get the originals, everyone wants it so give your customers what they want.

    7 Aug 2010 Reply
  • petuniababi


    1 Jan 2010 Reply
  • bojay

    Jimmy Mack lives in Yorkton, Saskatchewan Canada(honest)....

    25 Dec 2009 Reply
  • youggirl

    I keep hearing live versions... where are the original recordings? Thats why I signed up for this online website.

    24 Aug 2009 Reply
  • baumandm

    How is it easier to get EVERY single Lady GaGa song on last.fm, but too hard to get the original version of oldies?! This song is 50 years old! You know the original version--it's the one they play on radio stations.. Gee, I wonder why..maybe because people actually want to listen to THAT one!

    17 Aug 2009 Reply
  • wrichard

    Why is anything on here NOT the original? There is no excuse for this sort of compromise.

    19 Mar 2009 Reply
  • DakoSuede

    I love tamla / motown sounds, I prefer Fontella Bass :D

    26 Feb 2009 Reply
  • tea5girl

    Listen to the original version....

    25 Feb 2009 Reply
  • bilevader

    not the original.

    10 Dec 2008 Reply
  • whistledog

    hey jimmy.. what a memories..

    25 Sep 2008 Reply
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