Sweet Mary by Wadsworth Mansion (Sussex, 1971)

In an age where information on the most mundane, obscure and relatively useless things in the world can be accessed at your fingertips, not much info can be found about the Rhode Island band, Wadsworth Mansion, who hit the Top 10 hit their only hit, Sweet Mary. There is plenty of info on the real Wadsworth Mansion located in Connecticut and available for your next bridal function.

The tune was written by their lead singer and guitarist Steve Jobelecki and became the first pop act on the Sussex record label to hit the Top 40, even the Top 10. The interesting thing to me is how it became a big hit, as it debuted in Top 40 at number #15 on February 13th. Even Casey was probably scratching his head on this one, like who the hell are these guys. It hit its peak of #7 on February 27th, surrounded by Amos Moses by Jerry Reed and I Hear You Knocking by Dave Edmunds. By March 27th, it had fallen to #29. The next week, it feel completely off the Top 100.

There’s definitely a story here, but I have yet to find it. So I am passing it along to you, reader. If you have any info on why an unknown would quickly rise and dramatically fall, never to be heard from again, please pass your info along. Was was the appeal of this song? Was it the 50s-ish wop-be-doo-be-doo-wop-wop-wop intro? Was it the chicky-chicky-johasafred bridge? Was it a love letter written by a soldier stuck in Vietnam waiting to see his sweet Mary. Help me with this one!

By the way, 4 songs whose title started with ‘sweet’ made the Top 10 in 1971 and The Sweet’s first single made the Top 100 that year as well.

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5 Comments

  1. ‘Why was the sappeal of this song?” Well, for me, everything, the catchym, carefree hand clapping, the mjusic, and the subject seemed about the Jesus Virgin Mary. There were several variants of the group’s name, Wadsworth Mansion as displayed.(My copy has that).Wadsworth manison, Wadsworth Family Mansion and Wadsword Family Manison, and to confuse thing ebven more, there was a somewhat longer album verisona few years later on the charts, a country-rock verison that has a cold end, and that crops up on some of the singles unless they have the shorter fade (like mine does).

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  2. J.A. Bartlett

     /  September 17, 2012

    “Sweet Mary” is one of my favorite 70s oddballs, and I too have been surprised at the relative dearth of information about it on the Internets. I bought the single in 1971 and managed to find the Wadsworth Mansion album in the wild a few years back. The version of “Sweet Mary” on the album is different, as the commenter above mentions, but my single also had the cold ending. The faded version is the only one you hear nowadays, which makes me wonder where the masters for the other one got to.

    Reply
  3. When a song sounds this good, does it really matter what it means?

    Actually, I’m with you…there really isn’t a lot to be found out there about the backstory. I mentioned in the short review I did for the song nearly two years ago:

    “The lyrics mention coming home, which can have many meanings: the boy who left to find whatever was calling him, the student returning from college, the discharged GI on his way back from the service. From the song, he’s certainly looking forward to seeing Mary again after his time away from her.”

    In short, I was also grasping at straws. It’s too good a song to just have a single line about.

    Reply
  4. Gar

     /  October 22, 2014

    I meet Steve Jablecki, nephew today and he said he died.
    i do not know when cause we was in a doctors office and it was busy.
    I remember that song, it is a good song.

    Reply
  5. Meri Jablecki

     /  July 10, 2017

    It actually was chuga chuga chugacha hop a freight and they went on tour and all their equipment got flooded out in Pensylvania, didn’t have enough money to get new equipment so they broke up and Steve J went to California on his own

    Reply

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