Mary Jane Girls consisted of Joanne “JoJo” McDuffie (lead/background vocals), Cheryl Ann “Cheri” Bailey (who used stage name Cheri Wells), Candice “Candi” Ghant, Kimberly “Maxi” Wuletich, Yvette “Corvette” Marine, and the Water Sisters (Maxine and Julia). 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.
Motown offered James a contract for what they 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 take pictures for Motown with no vocal auditions. JoJo continued to sing both lead and background with the Water Sisters for all of the Mary Jane Girl recordings. The other members of the group could not sing at all or were extremely limited vocally. The band had to sing for the other members of the group with JoJo on tour. The limited or lack of vocal skills from the other members with the exception of JoJo prevented the group from achieving their full potential. Television shows (Saturday Night Live, Tonight Show) did not have the group perform because of this.
Cheri left the group shortly before the release of their second album, Only Four You, in 1985 and was replaced by Yvette “Corvette” Marine who took on the role of the valley girl in the group. She is the daughter of disco singer Pattie Brooks.
The group released their second album Only Four You in 1985. That album’s lead single “In My House” became the group’s biggest hit, reaching #3 on the R&B chart and then crossing over to the Hot 100 chart, where it reached #7 and spent 12 weeks in the Top 40. It also charted on the Hot Dance Club Play chart, peaking at #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.
Break It Up (12″ Version) 8:53
Break It Up (Instrumental Version) 9:10