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  1. #1

    If Florence Was Still Alive

    Does anyone think that if Florence was still alive and in good health that her and Mary might have something similar to the FLOS or at the very least occassionally perform together?

  2. #2
    Sure, why not? Other than she said she didn't trust her because Mary would say one thing and do another.

    But they were just kids. Nearly all the Supremes get along with perhaps the exception of one.

  3. #3
    I think had Flo not passed away when she did, she would have eventually gotten back into the music industry and started out on part two of her solo career, hopefully to much success, or at the very least, some success. Thus she would not need a FLOS group. Mary has been pretty adamant about reuniting the group only with Diana, so with Flo still alive, the three of them would have done RTL probably even sooner than 2000.

  4. #4
    hard to say...perhaps she had some writing potential and would have done work style wise more in the vain of Nona Hendryx. I am not a big fan of the voices of Flo, Lynda or Susaye for more than a featured cut here and there.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I think had Flo not passed away when she did, she would have eventually gotten back into the music industry and started out on part two of her solo career, hopefully to much success, or at the very least, some success. Thus she would not need a FLOS group. Mary has been pretty adamant about reuniting the group only with Diana, so with Flo still alive, the three of them would have done RTL probably even sooner than 2000.
    imagine if she was alive - would she have been invited to Motown 25?

    David Ruffin wasn't
    Eddie Kendricks wasn't
    Marvelettes weren't

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    imagine if she was alive - would she have been invited to Motown 25?

    David Ruffin wasn't
    Eddie Kendricks wasn't
    Marvelettes weren't
    After her public comments about Gordy after the news broke of her financial situation, there's a good chance she would not have been invited. There's also the chance that even if invited she would not have wanted to be a part of anything that remotely honored Berry Gordy. And yet still there's the chance that if she and Diana had forged an adult relationship after their conversation shortly before Flo's death, that maybe Diana might have insisted Florence be a part of the reunion. Also Suzanne was apparently behind the whole project and her days at Motown were post Flo, so it's also possible that she may not have come to the table with the kind of negative attitude some others might have. A whole lotta what ifs because there's so many people involved in this. And lets be real, where their relationships and feelings for one another go, you never know what's going down with the Motown Family. One day folks hate each other and suing each other and all of that, the next day they're attending each other's events and taking photos. So who knows how this would've played out?

  7. #7
    The amount of time allotted Mary Wells and Martha Reeves was an embarrassment. If Suzanne was assigning performance times for those who were performing, she flunked Early Motown History 101

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    The amount of time allotted Mary Wells and Martha Reeves was an embarrassment. If Suzanne was assigning performance times for those who were performing, she flunked Early Motown History 101
    Motown 25 was poorly put together. Some great moments for sure. But relegating Mary Wells, Martha and JR Walker to mere seconds was so disrespectful. Someone should have orchestrated a Marvelettes reunion. I think they all would've gotten together for that. The Contours...David and Eddie should've been there. I've seen it written in this forum about ratings and all of that; trying to pull in the most viewers, and I get that, but not for this type of program. Motown 25 came with a built in audience of multi millions. Motown was a defining chapter in the Baby Boomer history. The label and it's music was an important chapter in Black history. Diana Ross was still a hit making artist. Michael Jackson was in the midst of the success of the biggest selling album of all time. Hell, a tv special with just the two of them alone would've brought in a ratings bonanza! So who the hell needed Adam Ant and all these other non reasons why people love Motown? I don't object to Debarge and High Inergy, as a nod to the future of Motown, but as much as I love both acts, if anyone was to be cut down to seconds it should've been them. Let the legacy acts do what the people wanted to see.

    Suzanne gets an F for sure.

  9. #9
    Honestly without MJ and Marvin and the Tempts/Four Tops showdown, Motown 25 would've been a total joke.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Honestly without MJ and Marvin and the Tempts/Four Tops showdown, Motown 25 would've been a total joke.
    Diana and the Supremes were a headlining factor. On this one I can't blame Suzanne (except maybe she should've insisted on the full medley). The Supremes themselves messed up the Supremes reunion.

  11. #11
    unfortunately i was not there and, of course, have not seen the uncensored video

    when you read all of the various accounts and try to meld that into 1 true story of what happened, none of them women come across very well.

    D was disinterested, aloof. frankly didn't want to be there and that apparently came through clearly to M and C. She wrongly dismissed the idea of the medley and just assumed Someday would be sufficient. And she let her frustrations appear on stage with Mary's antics

    M wrongly took this opportunity to try and showcase herself that night. She skipped out on the agreed upon costume guidelines by wearing red, she conspired with Cindy to adjust their traditional choreography so that they were standing next to Diana, she decided to takeover singing lead. Also why didn't she speak up when Diana said "oh the girls will be fine with just doing Someday?" They did do a brief bit of rehearsal, why didn't she and C say "no ma'am we will not be standing 100 feet behind you. let's stand side by side and sing together!" Why did she and C not just be up front about it?

    C made the idiotic mistake of simply listening to M, which apparently she did again in 2000. Is Cindy not capable of having an intelligent thought of her own or expressing her own opinion? If she's foolish enough to simply follow whomever is standing closest to her then she's nothing more than a sheep being led to slaughter.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    unfortunately i was not there and, of course, have not seen the uncensored video

    when you read all of the various accounts and try to meld that into 1 true story of what happened, none of them women come across very well.

    D was disinterested, aloof. frankly didn't want to be there and that apparently came through clearly to M and C. She wrongly dismissed the idea of the medley and just assumed Someday would be sufficient. And she let her frustrations appear on stage with Mary's antics

    M wrongly took this opportunity to try and showcase herself that night. She skipped out on the agreed upon costume guidelines by wearing red, she conspired with Cindy to adjust their traditional choreography so that they were standing next to Diana, she decided to takeover singing lead. Also why didn't she speak up when Diana said "oh the girls will be fine with just doing Someday?" They did do a brief bit of rehearsal, why didn't she and C say "no ma'am we will not be standing 100 feet behind you. let's stand side by side and sing together!" Why did she and C not just be up front about it?

    C made the idiotic mistake of simply listening to M, which apparently she did again in 2000. Is Cindy not capable of having an intelligent thought of her own or expressing her own opinion? If she's foolish enough to simply follow whomever is standing closest to her then she's nothing more than a sheep being led to slaughter.
    very interesting . I can see how Mary would have felt that the ownership of The Supremes had long ago rightly become hers , and she'd be damned if she'd retreat to the back of the stage while Diana presumed she was entitled to instantly reclaim it.

  13. #13
    so why didn't she step up when whatever plans were being discussed that afternoon and say "hey now - no. Someday alone isn't going to be acceptable." or whatever. The different accounts seem to say that D just started calling the shots and M and C whispered angrily to each other.

    again, of course i wasn't there. but again according to the books and sources, the girls did do a brief, haphazard rehearsal. Why didn't C and M say something or take a stand? Or just simply say "fuck this shit - i'm out of here."

  14. #14
    could be personality. I know I am often taken off guard in the course of certain situations where only later do i realize ,"I shoulda said..."..., "I could've done..." Once Mary had assessed the developing situation, she put on her "oh ,ya?" hat , and plotted a way to regain control.

  15. #15
    The tribute and newer acts should have been kept to snippets...but how do you get Linda Rondstadt to agree to appear under those terms? it would have been smarter to do the 25th isolating the performances to the acts that built the company...of course, a special titled Motown beyond or something like it featuring the current day acts would have brought in a much smaller audience....but compensating Wells Reeves and Walker for the brief snippets and including more of the missing folks (Brenda, Kim, both Gladys's, Jimmy Ruffin, Contours) with a Yesteryear type special or a limited run series hosted by the featured acts would have been great.
    Back to Flo....had her presence been tolerated, she would have done it in a heartbeat. We are talking massive exposure here and that is a once in a lifetime / rare event for someone who has been out of the business (or in the case of Wells/Reeves/Walker, and Wilson) actively performing without a hit record for a very long time. 30 seconds is better than nothing with an TV audience that size.
    I don't think Mary was on a set mission to display her solo talents...but she sure as hell wasn't going to let it be forgotten the Supremes were a group and she and Cindy were not there for the sake of honoring DR as a solo artist
    Last edited by gman; 04-09-2019 at 05:25 PM.

  16. #16
    i think Flo would have been snubbed for 25. there was just too much, IMO, still bitter between her and Berry. But then eventually i think there would have been some sort of reconciliation with Berry. like how Martha and others did. and then things would have been better for subsequent Motown specials.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    unfortunately i was not there and, of course, have not seen the uncensored video

    when you read all of the various accounts and try to meld that into 1 true story of what happened, none of them women come across very well.

    D was disinterested, aloof. frankly didn't want to be there and that apparently came through clearly to M and C. She wrongly dismissed the idea of the medley and just assumed Someday would be sufficient. And she let her frustrations appear on stage with Mary's antics

    M wrongly took this opportunity to try and showcase herself that night. She skipped out on the agreed upon costume guidelines by wearing red, she conspired with Cindy to adjust their traditional choreography so that they were standing next to Diana, she decided to takeover singing lead. Also why didn't she speak up when Diana said "oh the girls will be fine with just doing Someday?" They did do a brief bit of rehearsal, why didn't she and C say "no ma'am we will not be standing 100 feet behind you. let's stand side by side and sing together!" Why did she and C not just be up front about it?

    C made the idiotic mistake of simply listening to M, which apparently she did again in 2000. Is Cindy not capable of having an intelligent thought of her own or expressing her own opinion? If she's foolish enough to simply follow whomever is standing closest to her then she's nothing more than a sheep being led to slaughter.
    Your second sentence is spot on. There's enough blame for this to go around. I know Diana was ill but she could've rehearsed a minute or so of a medley. And Mary at this point was certainly more than capable of helping carry the load, so Diana could've said "I'll do some of the medley but I'm not feeling 100 percent, so Mary how about you do this part of the medley...". Maybe even having Cindy do something. Whatever needed to be done to make sure Diana was comfortable while still maintaining the integrity of the show.

    I don't know if Mary was trying to showcase herself, but I do understand her idea that this isn't the 60s anymore. They were three very grown women with children. None of them should have been standing behind the other like it's a rewind of 15 years. I also understand Mary not wanting she and Cindy to barely be audible. Someone like me would've been upfront about what I will and won't do at this point, however, I can understand Mary being slightly hesitant to speak up if she feared that she would be in a dressing room shortly before the start of the show and be told that her services were no longer needed, with a huge security guard standing nearby to make sure she gets the message, simply because she voiced objection to a rewind of the clock. And Mary changing her dress at the last minute...I wonder how true this is. Cindy's dress doesn't look like it goes with what Diana has on either, and I don't think Cindy was in a place yet where she had all matters of gowns laying around to bring over with her. Even if Mary made a change I don't think it really mattered. As long as she still looked Supreme- and man did she ever- it shouldn't have mattered to anyone else.

    If it's true that Diana pushed Mary because Mary took steps forward, Diana was wrong. She honestly get's the witch award for the night because that's not the type of thing you do because someone refuses to stay put behind you. But I'm not sure this ever really happened. And then that part where so many fans cry because "Mary started singing Diana's lead", I believe Mary's story where she says that Diana seemed disoriented and had forgotten the words so Mary took over. In the released footage there's a point where Mary is singing lead and then as Smokey approaches, Diana joins in on the "wooh" and Mary turns to Diana, signaling to her as if to say "okay, you got it now" but Diana doesn't get back in and Mary goes on. IMO Mary was the professional in that moment. She knew the words when Diana didn't, so she sang. Good for her.

    But Mary knew she wasn't scheduled to call Berry down. Mary didn't have anything else scheduled for the show, so why would she call "Berry come on down"? Was she purposely being disruptive? Maybe. Was she caught up in the moment? Could be. And yet her doing that did not deserve Diana grabbing her mic or any of that childish nonsense. Diana could've simply added "Yes Berry, please come join us" and that would've been that.

    When the media spoke about the Supremes reunion it was full of controversy. Three extraordinary Black women who had done an extraordinary thing together many years before had given the world the wrong kind of show. That's sad. RTL was a great place to rectify this and they couldn't even do that right. That's even sadder.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Diana and the Supremes were a headlining factor. On this one I can't blame Suzanne (except maybe she should've insisted on the full medley). The Supremes themselves messed up the Supremes reunion.
    It might have worked better if they could have gotten together beforehand. I believe the other medleys in the show (Miracles, Tempts/Tops, J5) had the backup vocals and instrumentation pre-recorded. Why this didn't happen for the Supremes medley is unknown. As it was, DMC didn't even get together for rehearsal until 30 minutes before the audience was to be let into the auditorium. That's why Diana thought they should just do SOMEDAY. Perhaps if they had gotten together beforehand they could have smoothed out any tensions that happened during the taping.

  19. #19
    ^that's a good point. it shouldn't have been out of the question to at least have a conference call between the girls to say hi, we're going to do this special together, ain't that kinda of exciting! at least some sort of contact prior to the show itself

  20. #20
    Mary very clearly offered the lead back to Diana...you cannot miss that in the released footage….regardless of anticipating the standard attention ratio DR was used to getting, MW expected a much more professional acting groupmate....this wasn't DR's greatest moment. Many said she was unnerved about appearing because she knew the way many alumni felt about her success and resented Berry's dedication to her...but how was she to not show? that would be a total lack of gratitude to the company and a very personal disrespect to him....and mountains of bad press for her...she wasn't well that night, and her nerves clearly got the best of her. Even from her entrance running down the aisle, she doesn't look comfortable with any of it....even the haters have to admit we've never seen DR like that....not her night...and unfortunately, a high profile, widely reported and historically documented one.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Diana and the Supremes were a headlining factor. On this one I can't blame Suzanne (except maybe she should've insisted on the full medley). The Supremes themselves messed up the Supremes reunion.
    Right. Diana was sick and disoriented (and depressed because she knew the feeling with old Motown heads was they hated her), Mary was enacting on revenge and Cindy was caught in the middle going along with Mary. What a damn shame. But they were young then...I know that moment didn't bring good memories to any of them.

    Honestly Diana looked defeated there. And the press afterwards was worse.
    Last edited by midnightman; 04-09-2019 at 07:47 PM.

  22. #22
    Initially, it looked like her big "bitch!" moment...but I was younger too. Now, I feel she did the best she could at that moment, and knew it would be difficult...and that was if everything went perfectly...as the world know's, it didn't. Can you imagine how she felt in the days and weeks following this?....Unfortunately my RTL feelings haven't mellowed at all yet.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    Initially, it looked like her big "bitch!" moment...but I was younger too. Now, I feel she did the best she could at that moment, and knew it would be difficult...and that was if everything went perfectly...as the world know's, it didn't. Can you imagine how she felt in the days and weeks following this?....Unfortunately my RTL feelings haven't mellowed at all yet.
    Berry Gordy banned her from the after party. You will not find any pictures of her there. You can find pictures of him escorting Miss Ross and her daughters away!

  24. #24
    I do think if Flo was alive there would have been a supremes reunion eventually just not sure if it would have been at Motown 25. I feel she would have told Mary and Diana to both grow up if she was in the middle of that mess. Also I'd think that they'd use the original lineup as opposed to the DMC lineup considering that's the lineup the public knew the most.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    so why didn't she step up when whatever plans were being discussed that afternoon and say "hey now - no. Someday alone isn't going to be acceptable." or whatever. The different accounts seem to say that D just started calling the shots and M and C whispered angrily to each other.

    again, of course i wasn't there. but again according to the books and sources, the girls did do a brief, haphazard rehearsal. Why didn't C and M say something or take a stand? Or just simply say "fuck this shit - i'm out of here."
    I vote for your last sentence!!! So they go from 4 songs to one. I doubt there was any communication at the rehearsal. Was Ross really sick? The only power M and C had was to say let's get the f outta here. They didn't get paid anyway cause wasn't it all to be donated for Sickle Cell Anemia? The whole deal was planned for shit.

  26. #26
    To answer the question about if Flo wa still alive;
    No Flos.
    No Dreamgirls book.
    I don't think she would have been asked to Motown 25 so no Supreme reunion.
    No RTL.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    To answer the question about if Flo wa still alive;
    No Flos.
    No Dreamgirls book.
    I don't think she would have been asked to Motown 25 so no Supreme reunion.
    No RTL.
    I don't see what Flo's living would have to do with the 70s Supremes getting together. I think there would be a FLOS. I also think RTL would've happened. I prefer to imagine that Flo would've never turned down a million or more dollars to do the reunion.

    But I'm in total agreement about Dreamgirl. I've said it before, if Flo had lived Mary would've never written that book.

  28. #28
    This query regarding Florence is presented in the subjunctive verb tense. Hence, the correct title of this thread should be revised to 'If Florence Were Still Alive'. Seriously. Are we savages?

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I don't see what Flo's living would have to do with the 70s Supremes getting together. I think there would be a FLOS. I also think RTL would've happened. I prefer to imagine that Flo would've never turned down a million or more dollars to do the reunion.

    But I'm in total agreement about Dreamgirl. I've said it before, if Flo had lived Mary would've never written that book.
    I agree about the book DG. Not really sure when exactly Mary started waving the "flo was a martyr" flag but seems to me around the time of DG. But had Flo not died and there not been that tragic element to the story, then i think Mary's book would not have occurred.

    As for the group history, I think the 70s Sups wouldn't have been any different. Barely a year after Flo died, the group disbanded. and all of the nonsense and poor management was occur well before Flo's passing. so that aspect of the history wouldn't have changed. nor would Mary's solo activity during the 70s.

    I do not think Flo would have participated in Motown 25. i think they probably would have had Mary there, doing a little speech on the writers of motown (like she did but got cut). and then Diana would have just done Mountain. mary would have been part of the finale and there never would have been a Sup reunion.

    Also i don't know if Flo's professional career would have ever really been all that stupendous. Most accounts do have her starting to get her life together just prior to her death. So perhaps she would have made some headway with things. But she had a LOT of demons and i don't know that she had the resources or the perspective to deal with them properly. There might have been a little bit of resurgence but her timing was also poor, unfortunately. by 76 and 77, disco was the rage and Flo's voice really wouldn't have been a good fit for that IMO. It's quite possible that she would have remained in detroit, perhaps continuing on welfare or at the very least, living modestly.

  30. #30
    Wasn't Florence planning to write her own bio at the time of her death?

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Motown 25 was poorly put together. Some great moments for sure. But relegating Mary Wells, Martha and JR Walker to mere seconds was so disrespectful. Someone should have orchestrated a Marvelettes reunion. I think they all would've gotten together for that. The Contours...David and Eddie should've been there.
    Isn't Motown 25 when the Temptations reunited with David and Eddie? Or is that something that happened following the success of the special?

  32. #32
    The "Otis" temps reunited with David and Eddie prior to Motown 25. they did a Reunion package around 80/81. But basically the old feuds were not healed and by the time of M25, the two camps of David/Eddie and Otis/Melvin were at odds again

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Berry Gordy banned her from the after party. You will not find any pictures of her there. You can find pictures of him escorting Miss Ross and her daughters away!
    At that time, Diana and Berry were still beefing. By 1985, you'd see Diana and Berry at the afterparty photos for Motown Returns to the Apollo. So it's not surprising Berry didn't want her there in '83. Besides by the time it aired, people had forgotten about the Supremes spat and were spazzing out on MJ's moonwalk.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    I agree about the book DG. Not really sure when exactly Mary started waving the "flo was a martyr" flag but seems to me around the time of DG. But had Flo not died and there not been that tragic element to the story, then i think Mary's book would not have occurred.

    As for the group history, I think the 70s Sups wouldn't have been any different. Barely a year after Flo died, the group disbanded. and all of the nonsense and poor management was occur well before Flo's passing. so that aspect of the history wouldn't have changed. nor would Mary's solo activity during the 70s.

    I do not think Flo would have participated in Motown 25. i think they probably would have had Mary there, doing a little speech on the writers of motown (like she did but got cut). and then Diana would have just done Mountain. mary would have been part of the finale and there never would have been a Sup reunion.

    Also i don't know if Flo's professional career would have ever really been all that stupendous. Most accounts do have her starting to get her life together just prior to her death. So perhaps she would have made some headway with things. But she had a LOT of demons and i don't know that she had the resources or the perspective to deal with them properly. There might have been a little bit of resurgence but her timing was also poor, unfortunately. by 76 and 77, disco was the rage and Flo's voice really wouldn't have been a good fit for that IMO. It's quite possible that she would have remained in detroit, perhaps continuing on welfare or at the very least, living modestly.
    Regarding Dreamgirl, my thoughts exactly Sup. Without the tragedy of Florence the book isn't as meaty. Honestly I feel like a lot of the Rossers have over reacted to Mary's portrayal of Diana in the first book. While it definitely didn't paint the picture of a Diana Ross who was considerate nor one of a Ross who was always nice, I don't think Mary did a real hatchet job on Diana's character. Sure it was an unflattering memory at times, and it entered ass whooping territory a few times like when Mary would delve into Diana's dating history as if that was Mary's business to tell. But it wasn't a hatchet job. Mary needed Flo's rape, drinking problems, etc to keep the story well rounded. Had Flo lived I don't think she would've given Mary the green light to discuss rape or alcoholism. And of course Flo's death really makes the entire story come together. Any great story with highs and lows needs a tragic death to really push it over the top. Without those things, publishers are not interested and Mary would've done something else. Also keep in mind that when Mary's book did come out it was all basically her word against Diana's, which is a battle Mary figured she'd win on the knowledge that Diana really wasn't one to defend herself in the media very often and also because Diana's diva behavior was already known, it was easy to paint that picture and people automatically believe every word and thus would've given Diana the side eye had she come out and said that's not how things went down. Had Flo lived, she would've been in a position to speak on anything Mary got wrong or anything Mary said that Flo might feel the need to give a different perspective.

  35. #35
    I appreciated Mary's honesty in the book. She didn't set out to attack Ross and destroy her career (Diana at this point was already a living legend in the music industry), all she did was show "the other side" of Miss Ross. Did she exaggerate on some events? Yeah I can believe that but there was definitely some truth but honestly, I think Florence's book would've been more honest, it would've shown that despite their claims of being sisters, neither of them really look out for each other as they should've. Remember, they were brought together by a promoter when they were barely in high school, so save for Mary and Flo seeing each other from time to time and being acquaintances (and Flo recommending Mary to join the Primettes), they weren't very close until they were brought together. If there was a real sister bond, maybe the Supremes' story would've been a lot different.

    But then I think of how close the Beatles were AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM.

    You notice that no one ever rants about the fallout between the Liverpool giants of pop and rock but we're still debating about the fallout of America's most successful black vocal group?

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    Also i don't know if Flo's professional career would have ever really been all that stupendous. Most accounts do have her starting to get her life together just prior to her death. So perhaps she would have made some headway with things. But she had a LOT of demons and i don't know that she had the resources or the perspective to deal with them properly. There might have been a little bit of resurgence but her timing was also poor, unfortunately. by 76 and 77, disco was the rage and Flo's voice really wouldn't have been a good fit for that IMO. It's quite possible that she would have remained in detroit, perhaps continuing on welfare or at the very least, living modestly.
    I don't know if she had a lot of demons. Most folks point to one or two issues that seemed to weigh her down. Flo was never going to be a Diana Ross caliber star, but as I often say, when I go through my music collection and see names of singers who worked consistently, some with hits, some without hits, Flo wasn't any less a great talent than they were. Would Flo have had this big career? I don't know. That really is such a hard thing to speculate on. I like to think she would've because I'm a huge Flo fan and in a do over reality, I'd want her to succeed to her greatest possible capability.

    I happen to believe Flo would've been a great fit for disco. I can hear her on some of First Choice's stuff and Ruby Andrews. So her comeback might have been right on time had she lived. A disco comeback project like Esther Phillips.

    Welfare...remember by the time Flo died she had been off welfare for some time. No reason to think she was rushing to get back on it.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Wasn't Florence planning to write her own bio at the time of her death?
    I think that was one of Phony Turner's tall tales based off of the already public information that he had regarding the interviews Flo had with Peter Benjaminson.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    I appreciated Mary's honesty in the book. She didn't set out to attack Ross and destroy her career (Diana at this point was already a living legend in the music industry), all she did was show "the other side" of Miss Ross. Did she exaggerate on some events? Yeah I can believe that but there was definitely some truth but honestly, I think Florence's book would've been more honest, it would've shown that despite their claims of being sisters, neither of them really look out for each other as they should've. Remember, they were brought together by a promoter when they were barely in high school, so save for Mary and Flo seeing each other from time to time and being acquaintances (and Flo recommending Mary to join the Primettes), they weren't very close until they were brought together. If there was a real sister bond, maybe the Supremes' story would've been a lot different.

    But then I think of how close the Beatles were AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM.

    You notice that no one ever rants about the fallout between the Liverpool giants of pop and rock but we're still debating about the fallout of America's most successful black vocal group?
    If you pay attention to Flo's quotes (not necessarily Peter Benjaminson's personal "insights") in the Flo bio, she definitely doesn't hold back on her POV of Diana being a bitch during some of those Supremes days particularly during the 66-67 period. And of course the infamous reunion of the three original Supremes in 1968. However, Flo, who obviously knew and understood sister relationships after having so many, seemed adamant that most of their issues were that of sisters. You fight but you love. She seems genuinely confused when she talks about how it is three people (she said three, not two) could start off loving each other and then hate each other. Of course the answer is obvious: you put a man between two or more women and there's bound to be some ish. From my personal POV that's what went wrong: Gordy.

    As for the Beatles, it's my understanding that fans of that group have spats that make what happens with Supremes fans look like Disney Channel. But I do think there's an element of people out there who are invested in Black people beefin with one another, and an even more specific element of that segment who are invested in Black women beefin with one another.

  39. #39
    They do have an investment in that. It's quite pathetic. Flo is right, she spares no one in the group. Gordy was definitely a catalyst to what went wrong with the Supremes.

  40. #40
    I’ve never understood the big deal about Mary and Cindy having to stand behind Diana. In many shows for example on you tube they are standing next to each other...not always but often. And with no rehearsal time why shouldn’t they all stand together???

  41. #41
    Doesn't look like they rehearsed at all. All three women were going through something in 1983.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Regarding Dreamgirl, my thoughts exactly Sup. Without the tragedy of Florence the book isn't as meaty. Honestly I feel like a lot of the Rossers have over reacted to Mary's portrayal of Diana in the first book. While it definitely didn't paint the picture of a Diana Ross who was considerate nor one of a Ross who was always nice, I don't think Mary did a real hatchet job on Diana's character. Sure it was an unflattering memory at times, and it entered ass whooping territory a few times like when Mary would delve into Diana's dating history as if that was Mary's business to tell. But it wasn't a hatchet job. Mary needed Flo's rape, drinking problems, etc to keep the story well rounded. Had Flo lived I don't think she would've given Mary the green light to discuss rape or alcoholism. And of course Flo's death really makes the entire story come together. Any great story with highs and lows needs a tragic death to really push it over the top. Without those things, publishers are not interested and Mary would've done something else. Also keep in mind that when Mary's book did come out it was all basically her word against Diana's, which is a battle Mary figured she'd win on the knowledge that Diana really wasn't one to defend herself in the media very often and also because Diana's diva behavior was already known, it was easy to paint that picture and people automatically believe every word and thus would've given Diana the side eye had she come out and said that's not how things went down. Had Flo lived, she would've been in a position to speak on anything Mary got wrong or anything Mary said that Flo might feel the need to give a different perspective.
    i believe there were discussions on here (memory might be failing me) that Mary's original approach to Dreamgirls was to be less sensational. But the publisher and/or collaborator pushed her to amp up the dirt a bit as that was the trend at the time - think Mommie Dearest but within the Sups

    Certainly Mary had every right to tell her side of the story in whatever manner she desired. I do feel that the book is very one-sided and does lack a bit of a balanced perspective. of course that's not surprising - most people writing their story would do the same. But the general description of diana includes practically every snipe or diss she ever committed and barely addresses the fact that her voice and showmanship were one of the primary reasons as to why the group shot to super stardom. Now i'm not saying F and M weren't also quite responsible for the success too, especially early on. I absolutely believe that all 3 were very talented entertainers and as such created a truly unique group.

  43. #43
    Mary put it best when she once said "the group really started breaking down once outside influences started coming" (Berry, Tommy). I remember Smokey said that he blames a lot of Flo's downfall on Tommy because he believed he was getting in her ear.

    If Flo had lived I don't think she'd have been invited to Motown 25, from the way she talked of Berry in 1975 it sounds like they really had a huge dislike for one another. I feel Flo would have thrived in Broadway or on a sitcom. For some reason I can hear her tearing up the song "Burnin' Love". With Flo and Diana talking again shortly before her death, I do think eventually there would have been a successful reunion of the original group.

  44. #44
    Berry was all (or at least most) of the things everyone has mentioned here but Motown and the Supremes and all of the artists needed a Berry Gordy to help them be successful. Detroit was not the only place on the map that had all this talent in one neighborhood or one place. Ohio, Philly and Chicago had just as much talent and the timing was right in the 60's but we needed a Berry Gordy with that type vision.

    So if Florence was still still alive........Again I don't think the Former Ladies of the Supremes would have existed especially with the tag FLOS. (just my opinion)

    Diana first reaction if I remember to Mary about the book was "How dare you write that about our Friend" (This was Diana's reaction to Mary about the rape). Many years have gone by but that is how I remember her first reaction being. If Florence was still alive then that takes away from the tragic piece of her death and the rape would have never been known because I doubt Flo would have green light that.

    NO Dreamgirls - Flo contacted Diana later after the dismissal from the group and so that bond between them stilled existed.

    Supreme reunion ?? - naw not the way it came off and not without Flo and Diana sitting down and talking. I think there was a hard wedge between Flo and Berry and I think Suzanne would not have invited her for fear of Flo throwing Berry off the stage.

    I loved Flo but its hard to say whether she would have been a BIG MAJOR STAR. I believe she would have made more history but eventually fizzled out because I see Flo as more of a homebody or not one to give 200%. I listen to some of her adlibs on the outtakes of songs and she is sometimes very vocal in regard to "No More" or "Thats it".

  45. #45
    ^well stated

    Berry has faults just like any person. same with D, M, F, etc, etc. I do think he tried to focus on the necessary business decisions and not get too wrapped up in the emotional element. this "product" called the Supremes was in danger of collapsing due to ALL of the internal conflicts. at the end of the day, at the head of the company, he had to make some tough but required decisions. Sure he made some mistakes along the way and also contributed to the situation. But so did Flo. clearly she ended up the worst but she also made her share of errors. they all did

  46. #46
    ^ This. You beat me to the punch, sup_fan. I agree with captainjames and you.

  47. #47
    Oh wow. So Diana was pissed off at Mary for including Flo's rape?! That's why she stopped talking to her?! Would've made sense! Especially if Flo wasn't willing to mention it. I don't think she mentioned it to Peter when they were talking, did she???

    She probably didn't care what Mary said about her (or maybe she did, she's all about image too) but yeah if Florence wasn't ready to talk about the rape incident, that was wrong to bring up then. :/

  48. #48
    I don't know how upset Diana could really be about the rape because I believe there are court documents in Detroit on this case. going off of my memory here but i believe Bayou on here mentioned that Flo actually testified in front of her attacker. So technically it's a matter of public record

    that said, it could still be a point of taste and level of appropriateness to bring up such a deeply personal story for someone other than yourself

    but then given the potential impact it had on Flo and her personal and mental well-being and how she handled the highly stressful work load of a Supreme might have deemed it necessary. all of the books talk about Flo's moodiness and how her personality really controlled how everyone handled her. and with the massively stressful and high-pressure career, it at least provides some explanation as to why she was struggling so much

  49. #49
    if Flo were alive today,


    ... she would've been placed three rows behind Mary Wilson at the Motown 60 taping, seated there to watch Diana Ross still making goo goo eyes at Berry Gordy.

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    if Flo were alive today,


    ... she would've been placed three rows behind Mary Wilson at the Motown 60 taping, seated there to watch Diana Ross still making goo goo eyes at Berry Gordy.
    She'd probably be in jail for kicking their a**es!
    Last edited by marv2; 04-24-2019 at 07:31 PM.

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