Gladys Horton, co-founder of Marvelettes, dies at 66

Gladys Horton, a co-founder of the Marvelettes who helped put fledgling Motown Records on the musical map with its first No. 1 hit “Please Mr. Postman,” has died at age 66.

Horton died Wednesday at a nursing home in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles, where she had been recovering from a stroke, her son Vaughn Thornton said.

Horton was a teenager in the Detroit suburb of Inkster when she and friends formed a group they called “The Casinyets,” short for “Can’t Sing Yet.”

By the time she was 15, Motown had given the group a new name and a hit song in “Please Mr. Postman.” The tune, more pop-oriented than much of Motown’s early recordings, was later covered by the Beatles and others.

“Gladys was a very, very special lady, and I loved the way she sang with her raspy, soulful voice,” Motown founder Berry Gordy said. “We will all miss her, and she will always be a part of the Motown family.”

He noted that “Please Mr. Postman” was the first No. 1 hit for the record label that would become known as Hitsville USA and produce other popular all-girl groups such as the Supremes and Vandellas.

The Marvelettes also had a hit with “Beachwood 4-5789.” Their other popular songs included “Playboy,” “Too Many Fish in the Sea” and “Twistin’ Postman.”

the mid-1960s, however, the group’s success began to wane as it was eclipsed by the Supremes and other Motown acts.

Horton was replaced as the group’s lead singer in 1965, and she left the Marvelettes two years later.

Daniel Bell, who predicted rise of Internet, dies at 91

Daniel Bell, a wide-ranging scholar and writer who coined the terms “post-industrial” and “the information society” and who predicted the collapse of communism, the rise of the Internet and other significant trends in economics and culture long before they occurred, died Jan. 25 at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 91. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Bell trained as a sociologist and was a professor at Columbia and Harvard universities. He was among the country’s first “public intellectuals,” whose impact reached far beyond academia.

His portfolio roamed freely across many fields, including politics, economics, history, education, cultural studies and religion.

As early as 1967, when home computers were mere fantasies, Bell had foreseen the rise of the Internet. He imagined “tens of thousands of terminals in homes and offices ‘hooked’ into giant central computers providing library and information services, retail ordering and billing services, and the like.”

In one of his most influential books, 1973’s “The Coming of Post-Industrial Society,” Bell said the computer would come to define the late 20th century as much as the automobile had the first half of the century.

He foretold “the pre-eminence of the professional and technical class” and growing global economic competition as manufacturing gave way to an international economy built on technology and services.

With less emphasis on manual labor, Bell said, it was only a matter of time before communism and other Marxist ideologies fell under their own weight.

Two of his other books, “The End of Ideology” (1960) and “Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism” (1978), were cited by the Times Literary Supplement, a British publication, as among the 100 most influential books written since World War II.