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  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I think that was their way of covering their asses in case they had to bring Florence back in the event that Cindy ended up not working out. I've always maintained that the initial firing of Flo in April would've been a done deal if the situation with Cindy's contract with her other group and label hadn't come up. That was the only reason Flo was allowed back in. I also think Flo would've ultimately been allowed to stay if she had decided to go along with the program once she was back, which always begs the question of what would Gordy have done with Cindy if Flo hadn't given him another reason to fire her?

    But anyway, had Cindy stepped into Flo's shoes that July and turned out to be someone who just wasn't going to cut it, Gordy and company would've been in a sticky situation because the Supremes was the big money bag. They would've had to go back to Florence and ask her to return and only hope that she would agree (with some terms hopefully) and they would've then been able to spin Cindy as having relieved Florence while she took a break.
    ‘That’s EXACTLY my read on the situation. In fact, I’ve always wished that Flo could have taken a few months off, rested, lost weight and chilled, then returned part time for TV shows and recording while having Cindy do most of the one-nighters (except the ones in St Louis and southern Illinois) and Copa weekends requiring 3 shows per night. That way, Flo could have remained and coped and everyone would have been happy. I believe Flo would have dealt with all the group politics much better if she wasn’t under such constant strain. Maybe after a 3 month rest, she would have seen things from a different perspective. She could have rested from Ed Sullivan in May to Hollywood Palace in September and saved me the horror of wondering who that was in Flo’s spot. That would have given her 4 and a half months to recouperate between TV gigs.

    As as it is, I don’t think Motown truly made up their minds until September ‘67 because with Refletions being released in late July, they should have appeared before Sept 28 to plug it on tv. Had they been just a few weeks earlier, it might have hopped up a notch like Come See About Me did. I really think they had not totally made up their minds yet. By then, they knew Cindy passed muster in shows, but still had not passed the TV test and, let’s face it, DR&TS Greatest Hits released in late 67 had Flo all over it.

    Flo looks awful in this photo: bloated and not into posing. Of course, it could just be a bad shot and was all happy in the others, but the puffy, bloated face is not a mistake.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    as to what happened to these gowns, who knows. not sure when these came about but guessing either for the Flamingo or shortly before. There were several new gowns around this time. these and

    Attachment 14353

    and the yellow/pink chiffon from Happening on Ed Sullivan, the lavender chiffon, the blue sequin halter tops from Andy Williams, the satin "mandarin jacket" outfits - these were used during the introductions on Andy Williams and then in the photo shoot that they used for the blue halters

    Attachment 14354
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    when cindy came on these selected which gowns to continue with. here are the "flo" gowns that i know Cindy used

    Attachment 14360
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    Attachment 14364
    Attachment 14365
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    Attachment 14367

    Cindy also wore the red sequins from the R&H Today special. but i don't have a pic on my computer of it.
    Wow - you are great - thanks.

  3. #53
    Very Good posts ranran. It has been reported Flo had gotten it together but seeing Cindy at rehearsals sent her into a tailspin again. Can’t blame her. She made the effort then felt screwed again.

  4. #54
    If you look at Flo On Ed Sullivan, she’s performing OK but not her usual sparkling self. They then played DC and after that, The Copa during which she saw Cindy in the audience watching the show and traveling to and from the hotel with mary diana and Berry while Flo went separately with Tommy. During this time, they did The Tonight Show and Flo was sensational (as were Mary and Diana) so, if watching Cindy in the audience sent her back into a tailspin, she covered it well that night. I don’t think Flo was in a tailspin. There are no reports of any issues at The Copa, The Grove or the flamingo - All was well at her birthday party the night before she was fired - except Berry didn’t show. Flo said in her interview she normally had a few drinks before a show and that night she did something she shouldn’t have. Berry was just waiting for it I guess - certainly Cindy was. Flo shouldn’t have drunk anything before a show. Sad any way you look st it.

  5. #55
    It was very sad. Flo didn't deserve that. It would've been nicer if Berry had just said "Flo, thank you for all these years you've given this group but this ain't working out and Cindy's gonna replace you". It still would've sucked and Berry would still get slammed on for it (as he should) but it would be better than just sneaking Cindy in like that. SMH

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by antceleb12 View Post
    I think, for the most part, you are correct. At the expense of the women's personal physical and mental health, Gordy pushed the Supremes into international superstardom and made them a crossover act that appealed to people of all races.

    That being said, I do not believe that even if Gordy had made the environment a happier one - or kept it happier, as it was in the beginning - Florence would have stayed happy. Florence suffered from severe depression, from what we know, and depression doesn't rely on environmental circumstances. Gordy could have made Florence the lead singer and let her chose her own schedule and she still would have fallen apart. Florence needed therapy and likely medication, but depression wasn't recognized as a legitimate illness as much back then as it is now, and it certainly wasn't discussed (look at Nina Simone). Rape was also certainly not a matter of public discussion, and the lack of treatment for both her depression and rape, I believe, contributed drastically toward Florence's downfall.

    It's a really touchy subject when people talk about how Florence should have "pulled herself up by her bootstraps" because she legitimately suffered from mental illness that went wildly untreated and was left to fester out of control. For as much flack as Mary gets for this, I believe Mary was acting with the correct intent for the telling Berry Florence did not want to be in the group anymore. Florence needed help that remaining in the Supremes could not provide.

    That being said, Berry is certainly not off the hook here. He exploited all three girls - Diana included - to DEATH. Berry achieved wondrous things with the crossover appeal, but at the great expense of the artists' personal lives and money. At the end of the day, none of the girls could walk away freely with their due money or rights to the group name. Motown treated the girls like property and Florence was just the first to crumble. She may have been the only one to succumb so young, but each Supreme had to pay a high price for their share of stardom.
    Florence had also developed a dependency on alcohol. So even if things in the group became better, she was addicted, and being in a happier group wouldn't have "cured" her addiction. She needed professional help. As for depression, it can be brought on by environmental circumstances; more specifically life events. For some it is just a fact of life that their brain's chemistry is creating symptoms of depression. For others, the depression is brought on by circumstances of life. Not being a doctor, nor having examined Flo or been privy to her entire life's health history, it's probably impossible for any of us to retroactively diagnose her. However, I think there's a bit of a clue in what we do know.

    By all accounts, prior to her rape Florence was a typical teenage girl. The only authorities we have on Florence's childhood in the written word is Maxine's book and Flo's recollections in the Benjaminson book. I don't recall either mentioning anything that gave me the impression that even as a child Flo suffered from a mental issue. So it would appear that prior to her rape, Flo was mentally fine. Post rape, it appears, based on Mary's words in particular, that Flo exhibited typical PTSD symptoms. Apparently the closest Flo seem to get in the Benjaminson book of speaking on her rape, was remembering that during that time she had some depression days. We do know that after her rape she eventually did what all survivors do: she got up and tried to carry on with life. I think it's common sense that she needed professional help to cope with the trauma, as anyone would. But I can't point to anything that suggests she was wildly depressed and mentally ill prior to 1966 when the Supremes thing became crazy as hell.

    It was 1966 when everyone claims Florence started to drink heavily. It was 1966 when it seems like she really began to spiral, and I think that the spiraling was a result of what was going on with the group. I'm thinking the cruelty from Gordy, a man, and the lack of control of her life within the group, again at the hands of a man, was probably a trigger for her since her trauma happened at the hands of a man and control issues can be an issue that sexual assault victims deal with. Not to mention the feelings of betrayal and distrust of Diana and Mary, whom Flo regarded as loved ones, also triggered her issues due to the trust issues she had in being raped by someone she apparently didn't see coming. So I'm less inclined to believe that her issue was a chemical one as opposed to a reaction to her situation and not having the tools (which a psychiatrist could've given her had she been in a position to seek help) to deal with it.

    That's not to say that she didn't need professional help. Any type of abnormal depression is considered a mental illness, chemical or triggered, and when it begins to affect one's daily life regularly. But I think if some of the antics of Gordy and Diana were eliminated, Flo could've carried on. Of course without professional help, there would have been no guarantee that some point down the road, whether with the group or not, that Flo wouldn't have encountered situations that triggered her issues. But I think an immediate solution was Gordy valuing his employees over the dollar. He was all about the money and it doesn't seem that he cared who he harmed in order to get it.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    It was very sad. Flo didn't deserve that. It would've been nicer if Berry had just said "Flo, thank you for all these years you've given this group but this ain't working out and Cindy's gonna replace you". It still would've sucked and Berry would still get slammed on for it (as he should) but it would be better than just sneaking Cindy in like that. SMH
    I don't think Cindy was a secret, and that was the problem. She was visible and they weren't hiding her presence. Flo thought that being back in the group was a second chance at first, then Cindy is all over the place, traveling with them and sitting in the audience during shows, and suddenly it's clear that either Gordy and the gang didn't have any faith in her doing better, or worse than that, that Florence was actually Cindy's stand in, which if you really think about what was happening at the time, that's exactly what Flo was. A more level headed woman would've figured out a way to deal with this somehow. Instead Florence decided to self destruct.

  8. #58
    What I'll never understand is: weren't the Bluebelles performing or recording during this time? Seems like Cindy would have been away from the group for quite some time. I always thought most of this was done on the sly but certainly someone had to have known she was missing?

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    What I'll never understand is: weren't the Bluebelles performing or recording during this time? Seems like Cindy would have been away from the group for quite some time. I always thought most of this was done on the sly but certainly someone had to have known she was missing?
    That's why I figured that Flo was really fired before the Hollywood Bowl concert, not the Flamingo engagement.

    When Patti tells the story of Cindy's departure, she makes it sound as if Cindy missed one show, and then they received a call saying she had gone with the Supremes. I would assume that one show was at the Bowl. Then Motown had to start negotiating with the Bluebelles' management and Atlantic Records to get Cindy out of her contracts with them, and Motown had to bring Flo back to fulfill already booked dates.

    During the same time, Cindy was watching the group at certain dates, like the Copa and the Flamingo. She certainly wasn't performing with the Bluebelles at this point. In fact, Cindy didn't even discuss her departure with the Bluebelles until a year later when she went to their hotel room to apologize.

  10. #60
    Yeah I'm sure the Bluebelles caught on quickly of what was going on. It was reported in the media that she filled in for Flo at the Hollywood Bowl and then there was an article published in June of that year which addressed it again and quoted Flo saying that the group was not breaking up and she took a break but she was back with the Supremes for good..

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    That's why I figured that Flo was really fired before the Hollywood Bowl concert, not the Flamingo engagement.

    When Patti tells the story of Cindy's departure, she makes it sound as if Cindy missed one show, and then they received a call saying she had gone with the Supremes. I would assume that one show was at the Bowl. Then Motown had to start negotiating with the Bluebelles' management and Atlantic Records to get Cindy out of her contracts with them, and Motown had to bring Flo back to fulfill already booked dates.

    During the same time, Cindy was watching the group at certain dates, like the Copa and the Flamingo. She certainly wasn't performing with the Bluebelles at this point. In fact, Cindy didn't even discuss her departure with the Bluebelles until a year later when she went to their hotel room to apologize.
    From what I understand, Flo was let go at the meeting at Gordy’s mansion in April. This was before the Hollywood Bowl. Cindy probably left the Bluebelles at this time. Motown was buying out/working to get Cindy’s contract with Atlantic straightened out. I believe the intention was to have Cindy step in shortly after, but due to the hold up, Flo was brought back until Cindy’s contract cleared and led to believe it was a second chance. When Cindy was cleared, Gordy just waited for Flo to slip up as reason enough for her to go.
    Last edited by bradsupremes; 06-25-2018 at 07:27 PM.

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    What I'll never understand is: weren't the Bluebelles performing or recording during this time? Seems like Cindy would have been away from the group for quite some time. I always thought most of this was done on the sly but certainly someone had to have known she was missing?
    The way Patti tells it, Cindy was with them until one show and then the next thing they knew, Cindy had left to join the Supremes. Patti, Nona and Sarah held a LONG grudge against her for years about it.

  13. #63
    It just strikes me as odd; for all of the stories we've heard about Cindy: how kind and sweet, that she would just up and leave her group without so much as a goodbye?

  14. #64
    Yeah. But thing is Cindy admitted in a Patti documentary that she wished she had done it the other way so Cindy admitted she had left her friends hanging.

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    It just strikes me as odd; for all of the stories we've heard about Cindy: how kind and sweet, that she would just up and leave her group without so much as a goodbye?
    In an interview with Regis Philbin and his wife Joy, Cindy said that she was under some pressure from family and friends to join the Supremes, in addition to her own desire to be in that group.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    It just strikes me as odd; for all of the stories we've heard about Cindy: how kind and sweet, that she would just up and leave her group without so much as a goodbye?
    remember - she was only in her mid 20s at this time. and just because she's a sweet person doesn't mean she doesn't make mistakes or have faults. she's since said that she didn't handle the situation as well as she could have. but also she was probably being told to keep this strictly confidential. Berry and motown didn't want to feed the rumor flames any more than necessary.

    As for what the Bluebelles were doing during these period, i think most other groups were NOT dealing with the insane schedule (or as insane of a schedule) as the Sups. even the Vandellas and Marvelletes were not. they just simply did not have the never-ending schedule of tours, tv appearances, recording dates, rehearsals, interview, press functions, etc.

    So from whenever Motown first contacted her (i believe in early 67 or so) until the Hollywood Bowl performance in April, Cindy would have to keep things quiet. Maybe that's a month or two. But surely Patti and girls knew she appeared with the group at the Bowl and that would have pretty much ended things.

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