Mable John

Bob Merlis / The New Orleans Advocate

Mable John, “Motown’s first singing lady” is a Bastrop, Louisiana native. The eldest of 10 children, she became the first female signed by Berry Gordy to Motown’s Tamla Records.

When she was just a baby, her family moved from Log Cabin, Louisiana to Cullendale, Arkansas where her father worked at a paper mill.