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  1. #1

    Mary Wilson: June 13, 1977 - August 27, 1979

    Does anyone know what type of itinerary Mary Wilson kept between the date listed above? June 12th, 1977 would have been her final performance with the Supremes; August 28th, 1979 would have been her solo debut. Other than the tour with Cindy and Debbie Sharpe, did Mary perform at any other time in those two years?

  2. #2
    Didn’t she speak about going to Europe in her book or was that after her solo debut?

  3. #3
    Both are from 1978

    London, England
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    Melbourne, Australia
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  4. #4
    That top poster was the start of Marys trouble with Kaaren Ragland and the reason Kaaren won her lawsuit which was costly and real unfair and unfoprtunate for Mary.

  5. #5
    Mary, along with Karen Jackson and Kaaren Ragland also toured Australia in 1978 and I recall seeing them perform in Sydney around June of that year.

  6. #6
    As brought up, she was booking shows with the two Karens overseas (since the legal wrangling in the U.S. meant they couldn't do shows in their native country).

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    As brought up, she was booking shows with the two Karens overseas (since the legal wrangling in the U.S. meant they couldn't do shows in their native country).
    This segment of her career remains confusing to me. If she left the Supremes to go solo, why was she using the Supremes name and in some places being billed as Mary Wilson and the Supremes, thus Kaaren being billed as a Supreme?

    If she was a soloist, what legal troubles would there be if she booked herself as a soloist in the states?

    If the group had bookings overseas after she left the group, why wouldn't Motown, who owned the name, be responsible and have Mary sign over her Supremes Inc management to Motown, since she no longer wanted to be part of the group? Then Motown would send their reformated Supremes to those bookings.

    It seems to me that Mary wanted to leave the group but either had second thoughts after the break or wanted to keep the door open in case she failed.

    My opinion is that she held on to the Supremes name and billing too long and it made it difficult for her to identify herself as Mary Wilson.

    Nevertheless, she is still performing all these years later, and has carved out a nice niche in the industry for herself doing Supremes oldies shows, inimate cabaret shows, theater, books, tours with her Supremes gowns and is a spokesman in interviews for the Supremes.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by milven View Post

    Nevertheless, she is still performing all these years later, and has carved out a nice niche in the industry for herself doing Supremes oldies shows, inimate cabaret shows, theater, books, tours with her Supremes gowns and is a spokesman in interviews for the Supremes.
    That's the brilliance of Mary Wilson. Sitting one's biases aside, the fact is that Mary Wilson is famous for being 1/3 of the world's most successful female group, and her remembered contribution in said group is as a background singer. So how many "background singers" of Mary's era can claim all of her accomplishments in the public eye? I can't think of one, but if anyone else can, please feel free to educate me. I am one of the ones very critical of Mary's decisions in the decades- particularly the first decade- after leaving the Supremes, and I stand by my critiques, but to not point out how resilient this Supreme has been, that would be a huge disrespect on my part. And the lady has been kicked around. Not to knock Florence (my absolute favorite Supreme) but when she left the group and hit stumbling blocks, she found it difficult to overcome them (whatever the reasons). Mary hit her stumbling blocks and immediately figured out a way to keep moving on without becoming stagnant in her disappointments. She often has figured out how to turn her lemons into lemonade, and I so very much respect her for that. Now admittedly there are times when I feel like she goes out of her way to turn a lemon into lemonade for publicity's sake (RTL), but she has to be admired for insisting that she will not go to the land where background singers go to die. There are Supremes whose voices I love much more than Mary's. But she's the Supreme in my book and that's an opinion I can't ever see changing.

  9. #9
    Mary had established Supremes Inc to handle much of the group's affairs. I don't know all of the details of what exactly was handled by that organization versus Motown. After J and L left, i think everyone here agrees that Motown was probably assuming the Supremes would disband and was fine with that. Mary hired C and S and took over the control of the group. My assumption is that during this period she/her corp began handling the group's tours and itinerary.

    So if there was a contract with venues and The Supremes for dates post June 77, that contact would have probably been with Mary's corporation. Not Motown inc. So no, it wouldn't be Motown's responsibility

    also we don't know who booked those dates and when. general belief is that Pedro was not a highly organized manager and so very possible that he signed more dates, not paying attention to when the Farewell was scheduled. or maybe he booked them hoping to switch it to a Mary Wilson solo debut. or maybe it was money. there wasn't a huge amount of revenue coming to the group in 76 and 77. sales of records were minimal at best and so the majority of income was coming from live performances. if they were living high on the hog, it wouldn't have taken long for them to feel the pinch of lack of income. and so maybe quick dates were arranged.

  10. #10
    After the Supremes disbanded, Mary Wilson was the least known of the originals as she has said herself. There was Florence, who passed away and Diana the big star with her, the background singer. Many people also confused her name with another Motown star, Mary Wells. I give her so much credit for being strong in an industry that uses you and discards you. Once they had disbanded, the only way for her to get tours were to promote her connection to the Supremes. As The Supremes' Mary Wilson, she was booked into venues. That is why when Jean and Lynda wanted to go to another label and didn't care about the name, Mary was wise to know the connection was important to her career. It is also why she may have been taken aback after 2/3 of the Former Ladies of the Supremes used the name when they were glad to discard it a decade prior. Motown was dogging her tours all of the time until they signed her for a solo deal. Motown was bleeding her to death financially on top of trying to stop her career and tours, she even said they told some promoters that she was not the real Mary Wilson. I personally love her voice and find her to be quite an accomplished performer. She may have made some bad decisions with her business, at times, but her ability to still be out there performing is beyond admirable. I think the former ladies of the Supremes used their connection to the group after seeing it allowed Mary to continue on. Mary was also pregnant when she left the group and right before she released her album in 1979. I would say sandwiched in between having 2 children, all of the problems with Motown and the like, she did very well still performing overseas. I think she stated she even sold out the Palladium to wonderful reviews during this time. I still wonder had she released a second album with those songs by Gus Dudgeon and had Motown been wise to be behind her, where she would be now-probably even more successful.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jim aka jtigre99 View Post
    the only way for her to get tours were to promote her connection to the Supremes. As The Supremes' Mary Wilson, she was booked into venues. I personally love her voice and find her to be quite an accomplished performer.
    This is one of my criticisms. She fell back on the name Supremes instead of forging her own way as just Mary Wilson. Yeah, most people don't know the name without "Supremes" attached to it, but no one knew who Phyllis Hyman was or Roberta Flack or Rick James or Teena Marie until they made a name for themselves. Mary, IMO, never seriously tried to make a name for herself. It was always rely on the Supremes name, and I've always felt that it was because she had a certain amount fear that she couldn't make it on her own. But she did have a lovely voice and definitely had what it took to make it on her own had she just believed in herself a bit more, IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim aka jtigre99 View Post
    but her ability to still be out there performing is beyond admirable.
    Not just performing but writing books, the dress tours, political appointments and getting behind legislation. The woman keeps busy and I love it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim aka jtigre99 View Post
    I still wonder had she released a second album with those songs by Gus Dudgeon and had Motown been wise to be behind her, where she would be now-probably even more successful.
    Absolutely. I think the GD tracks were not only more Mary's lane than the debut album but were very contemporary of the times. No doubt in my mind that she had a hit on her hands had the project been completed.

  12. #12
    mary (like most singers) had a pretty narrow window of time to "make it." once a singer is into their later 30s or 40s, the odds of them becoming a new pop sensation are low. the pop industry is driven more by youth and they want artists their own age. mary was 33 when she left the supremes.

    i think the problem is she had essentially 0 track record in the US by that time. sure she'd been leading the group since 73 but there were no massive hits, no real general public interest. nothing for her to take to another label and say "look at what i did and now let's see what i can do for you." Add to that her contralto voice and singing abilities and there's some understanding as to why she was never signed to a major label. yes there were stories of how she was "this close" to signing with Neil Boggart or another label. but it never happened.

    perhaps things would have been different if she went solo in late 73. at least she was just a little over a year since her last decent hit (Floy Joy in early 72).

    also maybe she should have done more to venture into other areas of the entertainment industry. a cabaret singer focusing on jazz, theater work, broadway, etc. I know she eventually did some of this but it might have been wise to have an honest but brutal discussion to say "look mary - you're talented and beautiful but odds are you're never going to be a major solo pop singer. so let's look at other options." Kind of like the dean of the music conservatory telling a violin student they're probably not going to be a touring world-class violinist playing with the top symphonies of the world. but hey, there's a huge industry in studio orchestras and teaching so let's see about those.

  13. #13
    She could've pulled it off had she gone for it. There's no evidence that Mary chased record deals. As I said in another thread, I go through my collection and there's all these names of folks who seemed to have gotten record deals and released at least one album with not a whole lot to show for it before or since. I fail to see why Mary would be any different. And keeping it all the way real but there are some voices that did a lot more than Mary did with half the talent, so I don't think that was an issue either. The fact that we didn't get an album from Mary for like seven years after Dreamgirl exploded says to me she wasn't trying hard enough.

  14. #14
    I'm thinking Pedro and Mary booking the group's tours past the date where Mary made her exit on June 12 was a reason why Mary's solo career came to a halt until her and Motown worked the situation out. Mary wasn't in control of the Supremes, Motown was.

    Luckily for Mary, she's learned how to handle business better and became a music rights advocate.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Does anyone know what type of itinerary Mary Wilson kept between the date listed above? June 12th, 1977 would have been her final performance with the Supremes; August 28th, 1979 would have been her solo debut. Other than the tour with Cindy and Debbie Sharpe, did Mary perform at any other time in those two years?
    Yeah her itinerary was breast feeding, burping, changing diapers, bathing, feeding, holding and calming, doctor visits and long nights. Repeat the cycle daily.....! With all this, she still found time to tour the U.K. in 1978!

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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by milven View Post
    This segment of her career remains confusing to me. If she left the Supremes to go solo, why was she using the Supremes name and in some places being billed as Mary Wilson and the Supremes, thus Kaaren being billed as a Supreme?

    If she was a soloist, what legal troubles would there be if she booked herself as a soloist in the states?

    If the group had bookings overseas after she left the group, why wouldn't Motown, who owned the name, be responsible and have Mary sign over her Supremes Inc management to Motown, since she no longer wanted to be part of the group? Then Motown would send their reformated Supremes to those bookings.

    It seems to me that Mary wanted to leave the group but either had second thoughts after the break or wanted to keep the door open in case she failed.

    My opinion is that she held on to the Supremes name and billing too long and it made it difficult for her to identify herself as Mary Wilson.

    Nevertheless, she is still performing all these years later, and has carved out a nice niche in the industry for herself doing Supremes oldies shows, inimate cabaret shows, theater, books, tours with her Supremes gowns and is a spokesman in interviews for the Supremes.
    Thank you milven; this is what I was trying to get at:

    If Mary Wilson left the Supremes in 1977 to start a solo career, she was doing in 1978 what she had been doing for the last 2 to 3 years; wearing the same gowns, singing the same songs, only difference with two different faces beside her. What was the rush to leave? Was it more about leaving Scherrie and Susaye than leaving the group as a whole?

    Does anyone know what a set list from this time period was? I can only assume basically a Supremes show; perhaps with a few more "solos" and Mary taking the lead on everything else. "Red Hot" wouldn't come out for another year, so she wasn't doing that or any of her solo LP material.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    She could've pulled it off had she gone for it. There's no evidence that Mary chased record deals. As I said in another thread, I go through my collection and there's all these names of folks who seemed to have gotten record deals and released at least one album with not a whole lot to show for it before or since. I fail to see why Mary would be any different. And keeping it all the way real but there are some voices that did a lot more than Mary did with half the talent, so I don't think that was an issue either. The fact that we didn't get an album from Mary for like seven years after Dreamgirl exploded says to me she wasn't trying hard enough.
    Right? Estelle Bennett released a single after the Ronettes broke up. Nedra released a whole album. And then there's Darlene Love who released singles and albums after the Blossoms. So I don't know that I buy into a contract was that hard to get.
    Last edited by marybrewster; 10-12-2018 at 06:43 PM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Right? Estelle Bennett released a single after the Ronettes broke up. Nedra released a while album. And then there's Darlene Love who released singles and albums after the Blossoms. So I don't know that I buy into a contract was that hard to get.
    Mary was signed to Motown up to 1980. She had small children to deal with. The quest for a recording contract outside of Motown did not start in earnest until the 80s.

  19. #19
    she was signed to Motown but the only interest motown had in her was as a member of the supremes. and that was minimal at best. apparently they had no interest in dealing with mary as a solo artist. so the question is why did she make the decision to go on her own around Dec 76 if she didn't have something arranged with motown? i would think she and pedro would have had discussions with Motown about the idea of her as a solo prior to this and be able to see if motown would allow or support this.

  20. #20
    Motown gave Mary a solo contract so she'd drop her lawsuit against them. Plain and simple. They had no intention of making her any other star than what she had been in the Supremes. When they fulfilled their end of the bargain, she was shown the door.

    She should have either went forward with the lawsuit and said screw the contract, or played nice in hopes of getting her sophomore album out. I think we all can agree those tracks had the most potential of anything she's ever recorded.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    she was signed to Motown but the only interest motown had in her was as a member of the supremes. and that was minimal at best. apparently they had no interest in dealing with mary as a solo artist. so the question is why did she make the decision to go on her own around Dec 76 if she didn't have something arranged with motown? i would think she and pedro would have had discussions with Motown about the idea of her as a solo prior to this and be able to see if motown would allow or support this.
    How do you know all of this about Motown's interest in Mary Wilson? I ask because it is so much different from what I knew at the time and now.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Yeah her itinerary was breast feeding, burping, changing diapers, bathing, feeding, holding and calming, doctor visits and long nights. Repeat the cycle daily.....! With all this, she still found time to tour the U.K. in 1978!

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    Typed from the same Nannys fingers that burped and bathed and diapered and feed Mary Wilson's children. Marvy Poppins. LOLOLOLOLOLOL

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    How do you know all of this about Motown's interest in Mary Wilson? I ask because it is so much different from what I knew at the time and now.
    i'll be the first to acknowledge that this is second-hand information. i personally have not spoken with mary, mike roshkind, berry or anyone else that was personally involved. i do think that some of the historians that have provided insight into this period are credible and so taking their interpretations of events along with mary's and sort of "mashing" them together is probably a relatively balance view of history.

    if you're only listening to mary's side then that's probably a rather limited perspective on events.

    also actions seem to speak louder than words here. by her own telling of the story, mary was not close to berry or other sr motown execs at this time, they'd done little to promote the Scherrie era of supremes content, there was angst between pedro and S and S, between pedro and motown. Mary herself states in her book that she believes, in hindsight, that motown offered her the solo contract just to get her to drop her lawsuit

    all of this adds up, in my mind, to motown having little to no interest in developing her as a solo artist. if they had then many different things would have occurred

    but again, i'm having to piece things together from multiple sources

    if you have additional or different information, that you can cite to a specific and trustworthy source, i'm absolutely open to hearing it and revising my stance

    please proceed

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    Typed from the same Nannys fingers that burped and bathed and diapered and feed Mary Wilson's children. Marvy Poppins. LOLOLOLOLOLOL
    And like Mary was the only one raising kids and singing? Lol

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    And like Mary was the only one raising kids and singing? Lol
    Mary Wilson was luckier than most marybrewster. At least she has a nanny- Motown historian and eyewitness to everything that happened to Mary and Diana and Cindy and Suzanne DePasse and Berry Gordy. We should all thank Nanny Marvy Poppins for sharing his eyewitness accounts with us.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    Mary Wilson was luckier than most marybrewster. At least she has a nanny- Motown historian and eyewitness to everything that happened to Mary and Diana and Cindy and Suzanne DePasse and Berry Gordy. We should all thank Nanny Marvy Poppins for sharing his eyewitness accounts with us.
    Oh Roberta you are too much! Te he he.

  27. #27
    I imagine had Motown not given her a solo contract, the legal wrangling between Mary & Motown would've continued and it would've gotten uglier. Berry Gordy did not play when it came to his money.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    she was signed to Motown but the only interest motown had in her was as a member of the supremes. and that was minimal at best. apparently they had no interest in dealing with mary as a solo artist. so the question is why did she make the decision to go on her own around Dec 76 if she didn't have something arranged with motown? i would think she and pedro would have had discussions with Motown about the idea of her as a solo prior to this and be able to see if motown would allow or support this.
    I sometimes wonder if it was even Mary's doing all the way. Pedro, like many husbands of pop stars that didn't know what they were doing, thought he could magically make Mary a star in the same way Tommy Chapman thought he could do with Florence. And these women basically was like "I'm leaving it in your hands". Didn't make for good times. Mary had to learn the hard way, especially when she went on TV saying Marvin Gaye was gonna produce her solo record.

    Marvin was like:


    Pedro wasn't ish. Mary realized that after Pedro's plans backfired on her. He helped to put her in debt with Motown, to the point Motown had to basically say "look, if we give you one solo album, you can go if you want." And that's what happened.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    And like Mary was the only one raising kids and singing? Lol
    Right. Like Cindy Birdsong and Diana Ross wasn't having babies and then returned to the stage to pay the bills.


  30. #30
    It was at this stage that she and Pedro basically wrecked any chance of success that she had - and then she takes no name Supremes out on the road and they dog her for the rest of her life

    But we go through this every month or two - I suspect just to rub Marv’s nose in her errors and lack of success

  31. #31
    Motown had no interest in the Supremes after 1970, except to capitalize off of the name and generate money from whatever revenue the name would give them. They certainly did not want them to go ahead with Jean Terrell becoming a hit in the group. It would prove that the Supremes framework was the success and not Diana Ross. Ross certainly deserved everything that came her way but it was a somewhat a competition between the old lead singer and her old group as to who would be the star and in Motown's eyes there was no question. Mary started to sing co-leads and leads , as she was told she could not sing and began to doubt herself. I am sure Motown would have loved her to stop the group in 1973(or even 1970). She did not make the best decisions but she has certainly proven herself to have learned from mistakes and is still out there singing. At least, she has a measured amount of success and does still perform and does a wonderful job at it. The errors of 1977-79 hurt her career but Motown was never interested in making Mary a success.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by jim aka jtigre99 View Post
    Motown had no interest in the Supremes after 1970, except to capitalize off of the name and generate money from whatever revenue the name would give them. They certainly did not want them to go ahead with Jean Terrell becoming a hit in the group. It would prove that the Supremes framework was the success and not Diana Ross. Ross certainly deserved everything that came her way but it was a somewhat a competition between the old lead singer and her old group as to who would be the star and in Motown's eyes there was no question. Mary started to sing co-leads and leads , as she was told she could not sing and began to doubt herself. I am sure Motown would have loved her to stop the group in 1973(or even 1970). She did not make the best decisions but she has certainly proven herself to have learned from mistakes and is still out there singing. At least, she has a measured amount of success and does still perform and does a wonderful job at it. The errors of 1977-79 hurt her career but Motown was never interested in making Mary a success.
    Great post Jim. Yep, Mary Wilson is out there singing for audiences around the World and THAT Motown is loonnngggg gone!

  33. #33
    Why would Motown not just immediately dump the group in 1970 if they didn’t care and if Berry thought Mary couldn’t sing?

    Why put full page ads for every single through to the ones in the High Energy album in Billboard Cashbox and Record World-ads that cost more than a thousand dollars each way back then?

    Why not ban Diana from attending Mary’s opening as a solo act if they thought Mary was such a poor singer?

    The truth is they supported the group while it had hits just like they supported the Marvelettes but when the hits stopped and the infighting and crazed husband dominates, Motown said Goodbye Good Riddance

  34. #34
    Motown did give the Supremes a lot of opportunities and between 1970 and 1972, they did alright considering the circumstances. 1973, I always say, was the beginning of the end of the Supremes.

    Berry did think Mary could sing and perform very well but it was common knowledge that lots in Motown thought Mary didn't have what it took to be a solo star (which I call BS on, I think she had potential, they just never looked into it and Mary was beset with self doubt that she could do anything without a group).

    People would try to make a bad moment for the Supremes scandalous but what happened to contribute to the Supremes' downfall happens to most groups who stay around for a very long time. And ever since then, I've seen messier breakups of legendary R&B groups, be it Shalamar or En Vogue.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by jim aka jtigre99 View Post
    The errors of 1977-79 hurt her career but Motown was never interested in making Mary a success.
    no interest or no trust in her capacity. They had a long experience with her.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Motown did give the Supremes a lot of opportunities and between 1970 and 1972, they did alright considering the circumstances. 1973, I always say, was the beginning of the end of the Supremes.

    Berry did think Mary could sing and perform very well but it was common knowledge that lots in Motown thought Mary didn't have what it took to be a solo star (which I call BS on, I think she had potential, they just never looked into it and Mary was beset with self doubt that she could do anything without a group).

    People would try to make a bad moment for the Supremes scandalous but what happened to contribute to the Supremes' downfall happens to most groups who stay around for a very long time. And ever since then, I've seen messier breakups of legendary R&B groups, be it Shalamar or En Vogue.
    i agree with you Midnight. motown had a lot of reasons to not immediately kill of the Sups:

    1. there was still plenty of money to be made
    2. huge public backlash if the girls had been canned just to enable Diana's solo stardom
    3. when did C and M's contract actually expire? did their contracts end on 1/14/70? i'm doubting they did. so they also had contractual obligations

    For a variety of reasons, the 70 Sups albums didn't really hit their mark. total shame because musically and artistically they're wonderful. I think part of the problem with the botched design and presentation for New Ways (which we discussed a zillion times). that cooled some of the big excitement on the group just when they needed it most. had Stone Love (the single) gone #1, which it could have with just a bit more push from motown and then the accompanying lp of same title charting strongly, DJs and the public would have still been there strong with the group

    also the duets albums should have been consolidated and released as 1 lp.

    by the time we got to Touch (the album) and Nathan Jones, the excitement around the girls was fading. they did 1 live tv performance of NJ on the Tonight Show with a hideous backing band. they should have lip synced so that the amazing sound of the song was presented to the national audience. as it is, it's goofy sounding, weak. although their vocals are hot. just a poor, poor, rendition of a song

    also there was heavy Motown competition for those all-valuable promotional dollars. The Temps were massive with Just My Imagination (released Jan 71) and Sky's The Limit (April 71), J5 where all over the charts with Mama's Pearl (Jan 71), Never can say goodbye (March 71) Maybe Tomorrow lp (April 71) and Maybe Tomorrow single (June 71), that fall Michael released Got To Be There (Oct 71) so there was prep work in developing his solo content, Stevie hit with Where I'm coming from lp (April 71) and If you really love me (Aug 71). and Diana did her tv special (March 71) and Surrender was released in July

  37. #37
    They had just resigned in 69 so their contracts would expire in 73.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Right? Estelle Bennett released a single after the Ronettes broke up. Nedra released a whole album. And then there's Darlene Love who released singles and albums after the Blossoms. So I don't know that I buy into a contract was that hard to get.
    Contracts are hard to get...just ask the countless amateurs over the decades who have tried but failed, for various reasons. But finding a contract when you've already been in the business makes the process a million times easier. Your examples of the Ronettes is right on. Mary had been in the music business for decades, and for most of it she wasn't a bottom dwelling celebrity either. Mary, apparently the most personable and outgoing of the original trio of Supremes, made countless friends and connections in the industry and yet it seems like none of it did her much- if any- good (business wise) after she left the group. What labels did she audition for? How many demos did she record and shop around? I cannot be convinced that after Dreamgirl's success that there weren't labels who saw dollar signs in being able to promote Mary Wilson and her music. Hell even Cindy Birdsong had a damn recording contract in the 80s! LOL But Mary couldn't get one? Nobody wanted her? I'm trying so hard to break my bad habit of cussin but for this I have to say: BULLSHIT.

    The one mystery is what the hell happened with Atlantic Records? No reputable source seems to have any real insight into what happened after Mary recorded the demos for the company. Perhaps they heard the demos and didn't like what they heard. But was that on Mary or the songs? And could anyone who signs Stacy Q and Julian Lennon decide that there's nothing Mary could do vocally? I think not. Lol

    I don't recall her talking about Atlantic in her second book at all.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Motown did give the Supremes a lot of opportunities and between 1970 and 1972, they did alright considering the circumstances. 1973, I always say, was the beginning of the end of the Supremes.

    Berry did think Mary could sing and perform very well but it was common knowledge that lots in Motown thought Mary didn't have what it took to be a solo star (which I call BS on, I think she had potential, they just never looked into it and Mary was beset with self doubt that she could do anything without a group).

    People would try to make a bad moment for the Supremes scandalous but what happened to contribute to the Supremes' downfall happens to most groups who stay around for a very long time. And ever since then, I've seen messier breakups of legendary R&B groups, be it Shalamar or En Vogue.
    I pretty much agree with all of this.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I pretty much agree with all of this.
    Also the bigger the group, the more fuss is made over every word they say or grimace they make; so in their time, the Supremes and Diana Ross caused the same ruckus Destinys Child and Beyoncé caused years later

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Contracts are hard to get...just ask the countless amateurs over the decades who have tried but failed, for various reasons. But finding a contract when you've already been in the business makes the process a million times easier. Your examples of the Ronettes is right on. Mary had been in the music business for decades, and for most of it she wasn't a bottom dwelling celebrity either. Mary, apparently the most personable and outgoing of the original trio of Supremes, made countless friends and connections in the industry and yet it seems like none of it did her much- if any- good (business wise) after she left the group. What labels did she audition for? How many demos did she record and shop around? I cannot be convinced that after Dreamgirl's success that there weren't labels who saw dollar signs in being able to promote Mary Wilson and her music. Hell even Cindy Birdsong had a damn recording contract in the 80s! LOL But Mary couldn't get one? Nobody wanted her? I'm trying so hard to break my bad habit of cussin but for this I have to say: BULLSHIT.

    The one mystery is what the hell happened with Atlantic Records? No reputable source seems to have any real insight into what happened after Mary recorded the demos for the company. Perhaps they heard the demos and didn't like what they heard. But was that on Mary or the songs? And could anyone who signs Stacy Q and Julian Lennon decide that there's nothing Mary could do vocally? I think not. Lol

    I don't recall her talking about Atlantic in her second book at all.
    Bravo. And I couldn't agree more about the possibility of Mary getting a contract after the success of "Dreamgirl". Sales of the book alone should have had record companies interested in her.

    The only thing I can come up with, by looking at the top hits of that year(1986) is that music was new wave heavy, and 3 of the 5 biggest songs of the year came fom non-US artists: Falco, Europe, and the Pet Shop Boys. The biggest US sellers were Madonna and Berlin. Maybe Mary could have found her niche, but I don't see her competing with anything that was current at the time.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Bravo. And I couldn't agree more about the possibility of Mary getting a contract after the success of "Dreamgirl". Sales of the book alone should have had record companies interested in her.

    The only thing I can come up with, by looking at the top hits of that year(1986) is that music was new wave heavy, and 3 of the 5 biggest songs of the year came fom non-US artists: Falco, Europe, and the Pet Shop Boys. The biggest US sellers were Madonna and Berlin. Maybe Mary could have found her niche, but I don't see her competing with anything that was current at the time.
    And she was too old

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Bravo. And I couldn't agree more about the possibility of Mary getting a contract after the success of "Dreamgirl". Sales of the book alone should have had record companies interested in her.

    The only thing I can come up with, by looking at the top hits of that year(1986) is that music was new wave heavy, and 3 of the 5 biggest songs of the year came fom non-US artists: Falco, Europe, and the Pet Shop Boys. The biggest US sellers were Madonna and Berlin. Maybe Mary could have found her niche, but I don't see her competing with anything that was current at the time.
    There were several record companies that were interested in Mary Wilson. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe they could not come to terms with her? Just maybe.........?

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Bravo. And I couldn't agree more about the possibility of Mary getting a contract after the success of "Dreamgirl". Sales of the book alone should have had record companies interested in her.

    The only thing I can come up with, by looking at the top hits of that year(1986) is that music was new wave heavy, and 3 of the 5 biggest songs of the year came fom non-US artists: Falco, Europe, and the Pet Shop Boys. The biggest US sellers were Madonna and Berlin. Maybe Mary could have found her niche, but I don't see her competing with anything that was current at the time.
    Oh yeah, no way was Mary going to compete with any of the BIG names at that point. Around Dreamgirl I don't think Mary was going to do much more than maybe a few top 40 pop singles, some top 20/maybe top 10 r&b singles, some top 10 AC cuts, and a couple of nice albums. Maybe with some luck she might have gotten one big universal smash (I think Mary would've done just as well as Brenda Russell with "Piano In the Dark"). I think she could do some soft rockers, but it would've been best to let her do the type of stuff Anita Baker, Phyllis Hyman, Melissa Morgan, Regina Belle, and others were doing (her demo of "Sleeping In Separate Rooms" is the direction I think she should have gone in). But there's no way in my mind that Mary was going to be putting up numbers that even Diana couldn't do at that point. But she would have proven to be a solid money maker IMO. The hope would have been that she was able to just be Mary Wilson, without the Supremes.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    There were several record companies that were interested in Mary Wilson. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe they could not come to terms with her? Just maybe.........?
    Sounds believable. And there was the other time when she couldn't come to terms and also wound up with nothing.

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    there were several record companies that were interested in mary wilson. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe they could not come to terms with her? Just maybe.........?
    lololololololololololololol

  47. #47
    Something tells me Mary's confidence wasn't so high even when she released Dreamgirl because the music industry had changed so much from when she was 16. Now she was 42. Time was definitely running out but she could've went into a freestyle/R&B/urban contemporary sound similar to Vanessa Williams and Mel'isa Morgan that year. She had the look and voice for it, just needed a label and the sound so she could finally be MARY WILSON, you know? Instead of "oh that's just Diana Ross' singing partner". Even Florence Ballard post-mortem has been seen as FLORENCE BALLARD, the group's founder. Mary, however, "oh just a background singer" to the mainstream. That has to suck because she was more capable than that, way more.

  48. #48
    Due to Marv, Mary gets so crapped on in these threads

    They are the most popular threads beyond Word Association

    I hope she doesn’t come and read these threads because it wouldn’t help the ego of somebody who in the end only was known as known as a background singer on Diana Ross’s hits

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Due to Marv, Mary gets so crapped on in these threads

    They are the most popular threads beyond Word Association

    I hope she doesn’t come and read these threads because it wouldn’t help the ego of somebody who in the end only was known as known as a background singer on Diana Ross’s hits
    Due to me? You mean due to you and your buddies. I always support and honor Mary. If there is any crapping done in a Mary Wilson thread it's by you because you cannot stand that I do not like Diana Ross at all!

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    I hope she doesn’t come and read these threads because it wouldn’t help the ego of somebody who in the end only was known as known as a background singer on Diana Ross’s hits
    I doubt Mary is bothered these days. She feels satisfied with where her legacy is at. She's a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. That's enough for her.
    Last edited by midnightman; 10-16-2018 at 10:56 AM.

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