Mary Jane Girls

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The Mary Jane Girls were an American R&B, soul, funk and disco group in the 1980s. They were protégées of singer Rick James. They are known for their hit songs “All Night Long”, “Candyman” and “In My House”. The group consisted of Joanne “JoJo” McDuffie (lead/background vocals), Candice “Candi” Ghant, Kimberly “Maxi” Wuletich, and Cheryl Bailey (who used stage name Cheri Wells) and the Water Sisters. The Mary Jane Girls project was to be a solo debut for JoJo, who had sung background for Rick James on tours and recordings. Rick James developed tracks with JoJo and session vocalists the Water Sister creating the Mary Jane Girls sound (see last released Motown compilation for verification).

Motown offered James a contract for what it believed was the girl group he wanted to produce and not wanting to lose the deal, James lied and told Motown that the Mary Jane Girls were a group and not JoJo’s solo project. Rick got who he could to provide photographs to Motown. JoJo continued to sing both lead and background with the Water Sisters for all Mary Jane Girl recordings and Rick’s band had to sing for the group with JoJo live on tour. The other members of the group could not sing at all or were extremely limited vocally.

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