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  1. #1

    Mary's lead on "Come and Get These Memories"

    I've always found it interesting that Mary and Flo, and perhaps later Mary and Cindy, were not each allowed at least one lead vocal per album.

    I am curious as to why Mary was given the lead on "Come And Get These Memories" on the "A-Go Go" album. Why was Mary allowed a lead vocal and Florence was not?

    Anyone know how Mary's lead came about? Also, were (are) there other non-Diana leads perhaps still in the vaults?

  2. #2
    It was my understanding that Mary Wilson would push for a lead. She'd go right to the producers and tell them.
    Last edited by marv2; 05-15-2019 at 07:46 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by mistercarter2u View Post
    I've always found it interesting that Mary and Flo, and perhaps later Mary and Cindy, were not each allowed at least one lead vocal per album.

    I am curious as to why Mary was given the lead on "Come And Get These Memories" on the "A-Go Go" album. Why was Mary allowed a lead vocal and Florence was not?

    Anyone know how Mary's lead came about? Also, were (are) there other non-Diana leads perhaps still in the vaults?
    Cindy wasn't going to get an album lead because I doubt anyone at Motown thought her voice lead capable. Also when Cindy came into the group she was there as a Supreme to Diana Ross perhaps a step up from being on the same level as a Vandella to Martha Reeves. They weren't the same kind of group they were when Flo was with them. This is probably also why Mary didn't get another album lead after Flo left, although she did record at least one full lead on "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You".

    Diana was the lead official lead singer when 10 of the 11 studio albums were released during the Flo years so it doesn't surprise me that not every album has a Flo and/or Mary lead, although I think most people agree that would've been the ideal situation, not only for the people involved but for us fans as well. Most fans seem to really enjoy when Flo and/or Mary are allowed a turn at the mic. Of the 11, six of the albums include either a Flo or Mary lead, or both, or partial leads, so that's not too bad. Also the ladies cut leads for a couple of the specialty albums that went unreleased, and also had their leads shelved for the Christmas album, so producers were certainly willing to work with them.

    Now how Mary ended up with "Come and Get These Memories", I do not know. She does not have the voice to pull that off. Florence should've done the lead on it. Hopefully there are some more non Diana leads yet to be discovered. It wasn't too long ago that Mary's Christmas lead was discovered, so fingers always crossed for a new discovery.

  4. #4
    It’s been said Florence was supposed to do lead on These Boots are made for walking.

  5. #5
    I think that's just a rumor about Boots. the only source of that is Tony Turner, which is suspect at best

    As much as people try to claim that "Flo was the original leader of the group" if you go off of the recorded material, it's simply not true.

    At Lupine they recorded 2 tracks (that we know of) of which Flo has a BRIEF lead line on Pretty Baby in the intro. M and D do the other leads

    At motown in 1960, they recorded 5 songs, of which Flo has 1 lead verse (After All) and Mary also had just the 1 lead verse

    61 - they recorded 12 songs and flo had 4 leads (Popcorn, Hey Baby, Save me a star and heavenly Father). Mary had 2 leads. So Diana had 6 leads

    62 - all leads (other than the shared leads on chorus of Breathtaking) are Diana's

    63 - all leads are diana's except Flo's lead adlibs on Long Gone Lover, the shared lead verses on Makes No Difference Now and Mary's lead on Sunset

    After this point, it's pretty much just M and F on occasion leads for their specialty albums

    Liverpool - Mary duets with Diana on You Really Got A Hold and Flo did lead on unreleased I saw him standing
    SAm Cooke - mary does the brief bass lines on Chain Gang leading into chorus and Flo does Good News
    There's a place - our day and people
    Xmas - Flo did a couple leads and Mary's demo on Xmas Song
    R&H - Falling in love and Manhattan

    The girls really had no decision in what was or wasn't released. they didn't produce the albums and so had no real input into which tracks were selected. Seems like all along that most of Flo's leads were canned, even on the specialty material.

  6. #6
    Dreamgirls is where the myth of Flo as original lead singer got started. Mary cleared that up in her book by pointing out how all three girls were lead singers in the beginning. Obviously every buck at Motown stopped with Gordy and by all accounts when it came to the Supremes he was most impressed with Diana. Seems like the girls worked almost exclusively with Gordy and Smokey as producers those first two years. I think Gordy produced all four of Flo's first leads, so he obviously heard something there that he liked as well. But I think he figured early on that Diana had that certain something that stood out, and thus was marketable. It just wasn't clear what that something was until HDH got ahold to them and the rest is history. But until Flo left, the Supremes were a group in the conventional sense, and all three girls were singing leads almost until the end. But it does suck that they didn't get to do even more lead singing. Like I said, most fans love the diversity.

  7. #7
    Mary's version of "Come and Get These Memories" was a highlight of the Go Go album to me. In my opinion, I thought it was a perfect fit to her voice timbre. Go Go was the first of the Supremes' albums I was able to purchase, and I recall how I would analyze (in my limited capability) every track. In fact, that's when I noticed that all tracks did not appear to be recorded in the same studio by the same musicians (which I learned later was true). Also, I recall trying to figure out who was doing the backgrounds on "Come and Get." I thought, "Did the lead singer of the group actually relegate herself to sing background or it that just Mary and Florence?" Unless I didn't read the cd expanded booklet thoroughly enough, I only saw the dates that the background voices were added, not who was singing background. To my ears, those voices are Mary and Florence; however, I know there are those here who were actually in the studio and may know for sure.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Dreamgirls is where the myth of Flo as original lead singer got started. Mary cleared that up in her book by pointing out how all three girls were lead singers in the beginning. Obviously every buck at Motown stopped with Gordy and by all accounts when it came to the Supremes he was most impressed with Diana. Seems like the girls worked almost exclusively with Gordy and Smokey as producers those first two years. I think Gordy produced all four of Flo's first leads, so he obviously heard something there that he liked as well. But I think he figured early on that Diana had that certain something that stood out, and thus was marketable. It just wasn't clear what that something was until HDH got ahold to them and the rest is history. But until Flo left, the Supremes were a group in the conventional sense, and all three girls were singing leads almost until the end. But it does suck that they didn't get to do even more lead singing. Like I said, most fans love the diversity.
    exactly - i think he thought each was a good enough singer. Flo had a big voice but it was definitely more r&b in sound than Diana. And from the very beginning, BG was looking for a female singer that could be enjoyed by everyone - black and white, old and young. i'm guessing but he probably figured Flo's sound was too black and therefore wouldn't immediately be a hit with the general public and white listeners.

    in the years years, i'd say that Diana was the predominant lead singer while Flo did some and mary a couple. IMO the term "shared" lead means more of a 50/50 split which clearly wasn't the case. I do think that they could have easily allowed M and F (and later C) to handle a bit more of the overall material. they could have had some speaking lines in the shows, more shows that highlighted the group, songs with verses traded off, etc

    it's curious on the EE of Copa that Flo didn't sing her line in Enjoy Yourself. I can't imagine that she'd refuse to sing it - really odd how she doesn't. perhaps it was in the act to be part of the "quiet one" routine but i certainly understand why they cut it song. Or if she couldn't/wouldn't sing it, that's shocking in a way. she already had barely any leads so why refuse even a small bit of spotlight? the whole thing was just odd

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post

    it's curious on the EE of Copa that Flo didn't sing her line in Enjoy Yourself. I can't imagine that she'd refuse to sing it - really odd how she doesn't. perhaps it was in the act to be part of the "quiet one" routine but i certainly understand why they cut it song. Or if she couldn't/wouldn't sing it, that's shocking in a way. she already had barely any leads so why refuse even a small bit of spotlight? the whole thing was just odd
    I thought it was odd as well. But I believe someone (I can't recall who) said that Flo was still suffering from the flu and didn't do her solo verse because she was somewhat hoarse. As it was, I think the Copa cd notes say that was the only performance of the song that was recorded so Flo might very well have done it during another show.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jobucats View Post
    Mary's version of "Come and Get These Memories" was a highlight of the Go Go album to me. In my opinion, I thought it was a perfect fit to her voice timbre. Go Go was the first of the Supremes' albums I was able to purchase, and I recall how I would analyze (in my limited capability) every track. In fact, that's when I noticed that all tracks did not appear to be recorded in the same studio by the same musicians (which I learned later was true). Also, I recall trying to figure out who was doing the backgrounds on "Come and Get." I thought, "Did the lead singer of the group actually relegate herself to sing background or it that just Mary and Florence?" Unless I didn't read the cd expanded booklet thoroughly enough, I only saw the dates that the background voices were added, not who was singing background. To my ears, those voices are Mary and Florence; however, I know there are those here who were actually in the studio and may know for sure.
    For me "Come and Get" is the worst vocal performance of Mary's Supreme years that I can think of off the top of my head. It's boring. I'm not a fan of "Baby Don't Go" but at least she brings some life to the song. And I adore her reading of "Our Day Will Come", which is one of my all time fav songs by anybody. I've never heard a bad version, and the Supremes' version ranks right up there with the best in my book. Mary did a fantastic job on it. But "Come"...yikes. To my ears it's just not a good fit. Now had HDH given it a ballad arrangement or a more mellow tempo to play up the sad mood, I think Mary would've been perfect on it. But as arranged on A Go Go, I think the song would've been better served with either Flo or Diana singing lead.

    I do agree with you on the background though. I've always thought it was Flo and Mary and the Andantes on background vocals. I don't hear Diana, though it's possible, I guess, that's she's there. I don't remember it being addressed in the A Go Go booklet, and if she isn't there it would be interesting to learn why not. It couldn't be because she's the lead singer and refuses to do background work anymore. It's after "Come and Get These Memories" that she and Flo sing backup for Mary on "Davy Crockett" (another great Mary lead...this time on an uptempo cut).

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    exactly - i think he thought each was a good enough singer. Flo had a big voice but it was definitely more r&b in sound than Diana. And from the very beginning, BG was looking for a female singer that could be enjoyed by everyone - black and white, old and young. i'm guessing but he probably figured Flo's sound was too black and therefore wouldn't immediately be a hit with the general public and white listeners.

    in the years years, i'd say that Diana was the predominant lead singer while Flo did some and mary a couple. IMO the term "shared" lead means more of a 50/50 split which clearly wasn't the case. I do think that they could have easily allowed M and F (and later C) to handle a bit more of the overall material. they could have had some speaking lines in the shows, more shows that highlighted the group, songs with verses traded off, etc

    it's curious on the EE of Copa that Flo didn't sing her line in Enjoy Yourself. I can't imagine that she'd refuse to sing it - really odd how she doesn't. perhaps it was in the act to be part of the "quiet one" routine but i certainly understand why they cut it song. Or if she couldn't/wouldn't sing it, that's shocking in a way. she already had barely any leads so why refuse even a small bit of spotlight? the whole thing was just odd
    Seems like the Primettes were a shared lead group. The Supremes for the first few years were a group with an unofficial lead singer who did most of the leads. And of course at certain point they became a group with an official lead singer who sang most but not all of the leads. They were never a group where Flo or Mary could've been considered the lead singer, and until Florence left, they weren't a group where only the official lead singer mattered, as it might have been for some other groups.

    I thought the "Enjoy Yourself" issue was very strange. For one, nothing about what has been recalled by others of Florence Ballard suggests that she would ever "shy" away from taking the lead that is offered to her. Couple that with the fact that for Gordy the first Copa engagement was the girls (and thus his own) highest achievement up to that point. He had those girls rehearse until they were half dead. So everything in that first show would've been planned down to the letter, including the stage patter. I think "Enjoy Yourself" was set up that way, for one reason or another. Perhaps it was to play up the "quiet one" routine, but I think it would've been far more charming to call her the quiet one and then have her sing, which was anything but quiet. In any case, I'm not buying Flo refusing to sing. If she couldn't sing "People" because she was getting over being sick, why would she be doing "Enjoy Yourself"? (Although I do recognize that one is a more vocally complicated song than the other.)

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    For me "Come and Get" is the worst vocal performance of Mary's Supreme years that I can think of off the top of my head. It's boring. I'm not a fan of "Baby Don't Go" but at least she brings some life to the song. And I adore her reading of "Our Day Will Come", which is one of my all time fav songs by anybody. I've never heard a bad version, and the Supremes' version ranks right up there with the best in my book. Mary did a fantastic job on it. But "Come"...yikes. To my ears it's just not a good fit. Now had HDH given it a ballad arrangement or a more mellow tempo to play up the sad mood, I think Mary would've been perfect on it. But as arranged on A Go Go, I think the song would've been better served with either Flo or Diana singing lead.

    I do agree with you on the background though. I've always thought it was Flo and Mary and the Andantes on background vocals. I don't hear Diana, though it's possible, I guess, that's she's there. I don't remember it being addressed in the A Go Go booklet, and if she isn't there it would be interesting to learn why not. It couldn't be because she's the lead singer and refuses to do background work anymore. It's after "Come and Get These Memories" that she and Flo sing backup for Mary on "Davy Crockett" (another great Mary lead...this time on an uptempo cut).
    actually i think Come and Get isn't half bad. fine for an lp track. nothing magical but enjoyable. And frankly i think the same way about Our Day Will Come. it's a good lead but not incredible.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Seems like the Primettes were a shared lead group. The Supremes for the first few years were a group with an unofficial lead singer who did most of the leads. And of course at certain point they became a group with an official lead singer who sang most but not all of the leads. They were never a group where Flo or Mary could've been considered the lead singer, and until Florence left, they weren't a group where only the official lead singer mattered, as it might have been for some other groups.

    I thought the "Enjoy Yourself" issue was very strange. For one, nothing about what has been recalled by others of Florence Ballard suggests that she would ever "shy" away from taking the lead that is offered to her. Couple that with the fact that for Gordy the first Copa engagement was the girls (and thus his own) highest achievement up to that point. He had those girls rehearse until they were half dead. So everything in that first show would've been planned down to the letter, including the stage patter. I think "Enjoy Yourself" was set up that way, for one reason or another. Perhaps it was to play up the "quiet one" routine, but I think it would've been far more charming to call her the quiet one and then have her sing, which was anything but quiet. In any case, I'm not buying Flo refusing to sing. If she couldn't sing "People" because she was getting over being sick, why would she be doing "Enjoy Yourself"? (Although I do recognize that one is a more vocally complicated song than the other.)
    clearly she was healthy enough to perform her parts on all of the other songs. and does so very nicely. her lovely soprano work on Somewhere and Make Someone Happy would lead me to believe that her voice was more than ok. and Enjoy Yourself is hardly a complex melody or lyric. It's not a very high part or extremely low - notes that might have been challenging with a bit of a hoarse voice.

  14. #14
    I enjoy Mary's plaintive lead on Come and Get These memories. I think she sounds like a young woman contemplating the loss of her first love. I agree that Mary and Flo should have had at least 1 lead per album-fans would have enjoyed it and I think it would have made all of them happy, it certainly would have helped the group spirit and certainly would not have diminished Diana in any way. Starting with Jean, Mary started to sing more leads and shared leads and Cindy would even have a few lead lines. I have to say that once the group was in its final incarnation with Mary, Scherrie and Susaye all singing leads it was nice to have the variety and did not diminish Scherrie as the main lead singer, I think Mary really wanted to have that group feeling and even stated in interviews that they were back to being 3 lead singers as the group originally started. This song was nice to hear Mary sing. I was never a fan of Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You but that was more about the song. I think Mary's wistful and reflective lead was great on Come and Get These Memories.

  15. #15
    the vocal on Come And Get reminded us why Diana Ross was the lead singer

  16. #16
    agreed Jim - Berry was so single-minded with Diana that it really did impact the group negatively with the public perception of Diana stealing the spotlight. She would probably have had a nicer and gentler public image when she went solo in 70 had they had a bit more equity within the group structure. not to mention everyone just would have been happier and it would have been a far more pleasant environment.

    i think in the live shows, some lp tracks. There are some little glimmers of it in the DRATS material

    on Bah Bah Bah isn't that Mary singing almost a duet with Diana? the low alto part?

    and on Can't Shake It Loose, mary is also dueting on a few lines, like leading up into the chorus. and at 1:04

    the group work on You've been So Wonderful is just that - wonderful

  17. #17

  18. #18
    group spirit?? lol Motown was a business not a recovery group..as to the 'they were all good enough', we needed someone 'better than' and we got her *** Diana Ross***

  19. #19
    Never did like Mary on “Come and get these memories”. After loving Martha and the Vandellas version it just couldn’t compare.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    agreed Jim - Berry was so single-minded with Diana that it really did impact the group negatively with the public perception of Diana stealing the spotlight. She would probably have had a nicer and gentler public image when she went solo in 70 had they had a bit more equity within the group structure. not to mention everyone just would have been happier and it would have been a far more pleasant environment.

    i think in the live shows, some lp tracks. There are some little glimmers of it in the DRATS material

    on Bah Bah Bah isn't that Mary singing almost a duet with Diana? the low alto part?

    and on Can't Shake It Loose, mary is also dueting on a few lines, like leading up into the chorus. and at 1:04

    the group work on You've been So Wonderful is just that - wonderful
    It eventually negatively affected Diane's reputation and career to where it is today. So no worries.........hehehehehehehe!

  21. #21
    Florence should've done Come and Get These Memories but maybe that's controversial to say around these parts?


  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    It eventually negatively affected Diane's reputation and career to where it is today. So no worries.........hehehehehehehe!
    Youre wrong again. Which other former Supreme has the following? Hehehehehehehehehe

    Ross was named the "Female Entertainer of the Century" by Billboard magazine. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Ross the most successful female music artist in history She was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 and thats just a few. Want me to list hundreds more?

    You peddle more BS than Trump on a daily basis.

  23. #23
    Anyway, the Supremes' version, no matter who sung it, was never gonna be better than the one sung by Martha and the Vandellas. Their version had the perfect mix of soul and pop that made Motown sizzle in those early years. IMHO they had found their winning formula with HDH and M&TV's when this song came out.

    I never liked this version. Should've been left off "A Go Go"...and Florence should've done the lead on "Boots", I agree.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    clearly she was healthy enough to perform her parts on all of the other songs. and does so very nicely. her lovely soprano work on Somewhere and Make Someone Happy would lead me to believe that her voice was more than ok. and Enjoy Yourself is hardly a complex melody or lyric. It's not a very high part or extremely low - notes that might have been challenging with a bit of a hoarse voice.
    Good point. She shines in the harmony on "Make Someone Happy". Sounds pretty clear vocally so if she could do that, she could've done "People". I think Mary is the only one who wrote that Flo was ill prior to the first Copa show and couldn't do "People". She may have been merging that with Gil Askey's recollection of "People" being removed from the act during a gig the following year after Flo was ill. So the question becomes whether "People" was ever planned for the first Copa gig, and if so, why does it appear that it wasn't performed during this engagement? I don't have the expanded edition. Is the "People" issue addressed at all in the booklet?

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    agreed Jim - Berry was so single-minded with Diana that it really did impact the group negatively with the public perception of Diana stealing the spotlight. She would probably have had a nicer and gentler public image when she went solo in 70 had they had a bit more equity within the group structure. not to mention everyone just would have been happier and it would have been a far more pleasant environment.

    i think in the live shows, some lp tracks. There are some little glimmers of it in the DRATS material

    on Bah Bah Bah isn't that Mary singing almost a duet with Diana? the low alto part?

    and on Can't Shake It Loose, mary is also dueting on a few lines, like leading up into the chorus. and at 1:04

    the group work on You've been So Wonderful is just that - wonderful
    "Bah" and "Wonderful" are two of my fav DRATS cuts. Definitely good reflections (no pun intended) of DRATS as a vocal group.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Florence should've done Come and Get These Memories but maybe that's controversial to say around these parts?

    Hey, you know some folks can't stand the idea of Flo getting any shine for some reason.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    Youre wrong again. Which other former Supreme has the following? Hehehehehehehehehe

    Ross was named the "Female Entertainer of the Century" by Billboard magazine. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Ross the most successful female music artist in history She was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 and thats just a few. Want me to list hundreds more?

    You peddle more BS than Trump on a daily basis.
    Roberta give it up. At this point let this dude troll himself. He doesn't even believe what he posts at this point. Stop feeding it. In 2019 no one should ever have to argue the legend that is Diana Ross. It speaks for itself.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Anyway, the Supremes' version, no matter who sung it, was never gonna be better than the one sung by Martha and the Vandellas. Their version had the perfect mix of soul and pop that made Motown sizzle in those early years. IMHO they had found their winning formula with HDH and M&TV's when this song came out.

    I never liked this version. Should've been left off "A Go Go"...and Florence should've done the lead on "Boots", I agree.
    As someone who likes but not loves Martha and the V's version, I have to say that if done right- and with Flo or Diana singing lead- the Supremes could've done a version that I love. But who covers a song to make it better anyway? We're talking art here.

    Flo should've definitely done "Boots". I love Diana's vocal, but Flo would've murdered that song. Right up her alley. I know Tony Tall Tales Turner in all likelihood made it up, but if the guys ever discover that there is a Flo "Boots" lead, I think I'd burn my Supreme wish list. I could forget everything just to have Flo's "Boots".

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimi LaLumia View Post
    group spirit?? lol Motown was a business not a recovery group..as to the 'they were all good enough', we needed someone 'better than' and we got her *** Diana Ross***
    while there are some die-hard Mary fans who prefer her, i think most of us would agree that Diana was truly special. But i do think it was the group environment that allowed her to develop and shine. I'm perfectly fine with her being the lead and even eventually becoming DRATS and then moving solo. but throughout the group years, there isn't really any reason that the others have a bit more involvement

    Look at Destiny's Child. B was the clear break-out star but the other girls often got bits of leads throughout many of their songs. and by surviver and destiny fulfilled, much of the material was co-leads. certainly didn't diminish B's star and added some interest to the group

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Good point. She shines in the harmony on "Make Someone Happy". Sounds pretty clear vocally so if she could do that, she could've done "People". I think Mary is the only one who wrote that Flo was ill prior to the first Copa show and couldn't do "People". She may have been merging that with Gil Askey's recollection of "People" being removed from the act during a gig the following year after Flo was ill. So the question becomes whether "People" was ever planned for the first Copa gig, and if so, why does it appear that it wasn't performed during this engagement? I don't have the expanded edition. Is the "People" issue addressed at all in the booklet?
    no. in the EE for Copa, it states that 6 shows were recorded and so those are the songs we know were done. and no People. and Enjoy Yourself i believe was only performed once in those 6 shows.

    I'm not sure what is true about People and their Copa debut. Tony goes into detail regarding it, and Mary touches on it. But Tony was also working for Mary around the time of Dreamgirl and is even mentioned briefly in her book. Mary needed help with remembering all of the stories and all for her book. so i'm not sure if it did happen, if it happened as written or what. Clearly Flo was still singing it over a year later, so the story that Berry took it away and gave it to Diana isn't correct. at least not permanently. Diana would occasionally do the bridge but other than that, no live versions of People have Diana doing lead. except when they were promoting the FG lp in 1968.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Roberta give it up. At this point let this dude troll himself. He doesn't even believe what he posts at this point. Stop feeding it. In 2019 no one should ever have to argue the legend that is Diana Ross. It speaks for itself.
    You know what youre 120% right. You cant argue with crazy or bitter or obsessed. Sad though that your lifes mission is to trash and diminish a legend. Movin on.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    You know what youre 120% right. You cant argue with crazy or bitter or obsessed. Sad though that your lifes mission is to trash and diminish a legend. Movin on.
    Roberta and RanRan - you are both right.

    But you do know he is a "planted troll?" A gadfly to keep the Forum vibrant and keep discussion exciting.

    He just talks trash but it is entertaining to pick apart his trash. It's like Donald Trump - people so enjoy telling him he's clueless and stupid.

    But at some point they go "he's just chatting and it's nothing but BS".

    I think you should continue to point out the weaknesses and foolishness.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post

    Look at Destiny's Child. B was the clear break-out star but the other girls often got bits of leads throughout many of their songs. and by surviver and destiny fulfilled, much of the material was co-leads. certainly didn't diminish B's star and added some interest to the group
    I see this mentioned from time to time. But This is in hindsight. The truth of the matter is that DC manager Matthew Knowles made these decisions based on what happened with Diana/the Supremes. What worked and what didn’t work. He didn’t want to repeat the same “mistakes”. Matthew was using the Ross/Gordy/Motown/Supremes blueprint. He just updated it with lessons learned. Often times when you are breaking down barriers or making history as Berry Gordy did, you are bound to make mistakes and have missteps. The important thing is that there are lessons learned. Matthew worked with the Motown blueprint and created the biggest female entertainer of this generation.

  34. #34
    Agreed; I also think there were more resources available in 2000 than 1960. And the other members of Destinys Child had more confidence than Mary did in 1968 and less trouble than Florence had ; and that made a difference

  35. #35
    I have to say this..................The ladies in DC could actually sing lead. When Motown did their Motown 40 Kelly Rowland was brought in as the lead not Mary or Cindy. Also, DC had more problems getting started than the Supremes ever had. There was a time I actually did not know who was in the group and who was suing who.

  36. #36
    Actually Kelly splits the lead with Mary. Cindy was the one that didn’t get the lead. But that was not the best performance being Mary just gotten out of the hospital and Cindy hadn’t perform in years.
    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    I have to say this..................The ladies in DC could actually sing lead. When Motown did their Motown 40 Kelly Rowland was brought in as the lead not Mary or Cindy. Also, DC had more problems getting started than the Supremes ever had. There was a time I actually did not know who was in the group and who was suing who.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    I have to say this..................The ladies in DC could actually sing lead. When Motown did their Motown 40 Kelly Rowland was brought in as the lead not Mary or Cindy. Also, DC had more problems getting started than the Supremes ever had. There was a time I actually did not know who was in the group and who was suing who.
    The Supremes could all sing lead also. DC had two members who IMO were vocally on the same page. I remember the conversations used to be who did any given person prefer vocally, Kelly or Beyonce? (I preferred Kelly, still do.) Latavia and Letoya did very little, although later Letoya proved she was as capable as the other two. And no one preferred Michelle, whose voice to me is like finger nails on a chalk board, a similar sentiment I've heard from others over the years. (Ultimately I never saw the big appeal of DC. I much preferred the female groups of the 90s like SWV and Xscape.)

    But the Supremes were all capable of using their gifts to entertain. As been said before, Flo and Mary singing leads on album tracks, live cuts, maybe even an odd single here and there would not have diminished Diana's star value. There was nothing that had the ability to do that. Pair giving Flo and Mary more shine time with cutting out Gordy's abuse and the Supremes would've probably worked much longer as the original trio.

  38. #38
    Maybe Mary Florence and Cindy ‘could’ sing lead but the album that each Florence and Mary released were lacking finesse and any commercial prospects.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Maybe Mary Florence and Cindy ‘could’ sing lead but the album that each Florence and Mary released were lacking finesse and any commercial prospects.
    Flo never released an album. You might have a point if their lack of solo success was an anomaly in the industry, where everyone with talent succeeds. Lots of talented singers flopped before finding success. The Supremes themselves are perfect examples of this. Look at someone like Anita Pointer. As a Pointer Sister she sang lead on some of their biggest stuff, legendary stuff, but when she put out her solo album and released singles, it was pretty much a flop. That didn't mean Anita's voice couldn't sale records. She had already proven that.

    Flo's story in particular should be difficult for anyone to conclude that she didn't have the goods based off of her first solo stint which consisted of two singles of four songs and some completed and incomplete recording sessions that wouldn't get a proper release for 30+ years. There just isn't a lot to go on. So much nuance in why some singers succeed and some do not, or why some succeed for awhile and fall off.

  40. #40
    I do agree that many talented people don’t make it; you need to be in the right place at the right time, work hard and have talent

    Florence’s product didn’t warrant release of an album; and Mary decided to try way too late in the game and hooked up with a loser for management

    If Mary had a different approach in 1968, like her efforts years later, she might have had some success

  41. #41
    singing the melody/lead lines of a song is very different from being the leader of a group. I think F definitely could lead the melody of a song although i don't think she's the magnificent and untapped potential star that people claim she was. her phrasing and intonation is far less dependable than Diana's was. perhaps if Flo had had the amount of studio time to train, practice, experiment and polish she could have been stronger. People say Flo was an Aretha Franklin that just never got her due - baloney. Florence Ballad is just not as accomplished of a musician an Aretha. Could she have done more than what she did? sure. Was Flo a strong entertainer? sure too.

    Mary is miscast in the role of a Pop/Top 40 singer. that's not the genre she sounds best in. i'd love to have heard her work and train into a blues or jazz cabaret singer. that might have been her calling

    Cindy i think it an extremely talented group singer. She, like mary, seem to have a great ear for harmonies and for blending. Those are not easy things to do and it's a credit to Cindy. imagine a group made up of Diana, Susaye and maybe Lynda or Scherrie - each woman has a VERY unique voice. there's nasality to their tones and they sort of "pierce" through orchestration. That's great when you're singing lead but to sing together as a group would be similar to a cat shrieking as it's having it's temperature taken.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    I do agree that many talented people don’t make it; you need to be in the right place at the right time, work hard and have talent

    Florence’s product didn’t warrant release of an album; and Mary decided to try way too late in the game and hooked up with a loser for management

    If Mary had a different approach in 1968, like her efforts years later, she might have had some success
    I think Flo's material was hit and miss. Most of it was not what I personally think was suited to her. I agree on Mary, to a point. I think better management could've gotten her some results even in the 80s, particularly when Dreamgirl was a big success. She probably would've gotten a hit record off the success of the book alone.

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    singing the melody/lead lines of a song is very different from being the leader of a group. I think F definitely could lead the melody of a song although i don't think she's the magnificent and untapped potential star that people claim she was. her phrasing and intonation is far less dependable than Diana's was. perhaps if Flo had had the amount of studio time to train, practice, experiment and polish she could have been stronger. People say Flo was an Aretha Franklin that just never got her due - baloney. Florence Ballad is just not as accomplished of a musician an Aretha. Could she have done more than what she did? sure. Was Flo a strong entertainer? sure too.

    Mary is miscast in the role of a Pop/Top 40 singer. that's not the genre she sounds best in. i'd love to have heard her work and train into a blues or jazz cabaret singer. that might have been her calling
    Non fans or non die hards (I think 99 percent of SD Supremes forum posters would fall in the die hard category) will argue Diana as lead singer. I think most of us here aren't interested in arguing whether Flo and/or Mary should have been the lead singer of the Supremes. Under Diana Ross' lead singing the group netted 12 number ones and some additional top 10s. Only an idiot, or someone just looking to argue, would argue against those results. Flo and Mary getting more time to shine is something else, and I think most fans think they should have and were certainly talented enough to warrant it.

    Flo Ballard was no Aretha Franklin. She was Flo Ballard and her talent was enough that either you dug it or you didn't. Some folks do, some folks don't. I'm a Supreme fan because I fell in love with Flo's voice. If it wasn't for Flo I'd be a fan of the Supremes in the same way I'm a fan of most classic Motown like Martha and the Vandellas or the Marvelettes or even the Four Tops, and clearly (judging by my amount of posts in the Supremes forum vs general Motown) there's a difference in my fandom. I adore Flo's voice as much as I adore Diana and Jean's (my three fav Supremes).

    As much success as Diana Ross has, there are still people (lots of people) who think she wasn't so hot vocally. They'll hear her and then hear Flo and make a comparison that isn't favorable to Diana. That's a matter of taste. So you say baloney, I say yeah, Flo was a great who didn't get her due. And Flo not having the success I think she should have had is not a knock on Diana or anyone else who has had success. In my mind there was room for a lot of successful people at Motown (and there were a lot of successful people at Motown) and in the world of music. No reason why Florence couldn't have been one of them.

  44. #44
    love hearing your perspective Ran and definitely appreciate your point of view. and if find these debates and exchanges fun and exciting with other members on here. enjoy hearing and comparing different thoughts and POVs. and sometimes i've changed my mind about things after hearing compelling discussions

    from my point of view regarding the recordings, where Diana really stands out isn't just in her odd and unique voice (which some love and some detest) but in her uncanny ability to phrase the lyric and really work the story of the song. the emotion she puts into her singing is what i find to be truly amazing.

    M and F both have times where they too strike magic - Good News is just a sensational lead from Flo and she not only hits every note but the emotional fiber of every word and phrase. perfect. But as for her Silent Night and O Holy Night, i find them a bit lacking. she's just sort of singing them but they don't grab me emotionally as Good News. that is except the 2015 version of O Holy (this was the second version of her lead they released). at 2:05 when she sings "A Niiiiiight, di-vine" i get chills. how she just slightly pulls back and caresses the word divine is wonderful

    And mary often just seemed to sort of sing along with the songs too. That's how i take her version of Memories and frankly even Falling in Love. But how she handle the Christmas Song we just got was sensational.

    So my thoughts are that M and F were good singers. but they didn't always really communicate the story of the lyrics

  45. #45
    Sup you're one of the ones I most enjoy having a discussion with because you have your opinion and you respect the rights of others to have theirs without taking it personal. I wish more of the forum were like you.

    Flo's early leads are hit and miss for me. "Popcorn" is a silly song, but Flo (and the band) rocks the hell out of it. I don't like any of the versions of "Hey Baby". For one the song seems like it would've been a better fit for a male group. For two, Flo doesn't bring anything worthwhile to it. So where an otherwise passable song about a popcorn addiction gets kicked up a notch by Flo's energy, "Hey Baby" just kind of drags along and Flo drags along with it. "Save Me a Star" and "Heavenly Father" are both nice, but I personally think Mary would've been a better fit.

    I love Flo's reading of the 1963 version of "Makes No Difference Now". She shows that she was definitely capable of slowing it down and singing sweetly. On the other hand, her vocal on the 1964 version of "Difference" is probably my favorite Flo lead. She nailed that verse. I think her strength really was in singing "soul". Not long after that she records her lead for "People" and while she let loose at the end, that song just doesn't fit her. Now had they given it a more soulful arrangement, I think it would've come across better for me. Of course apparently at the time it was viewed as a highlight of the show, so I guess one can't really argue that particular choice.

    I definitely agree with you on "Good News". I'm a Sam Cooke but for me there is no comparison between the versions. Flo killed that. I wonder what Sam would've thought had he been around to hear it. Regarding her Christmas leads, I've fallen out of love with her "Silent Night" in recent years. It's a good vocal but there isn't much there that separates it from every other version out there. I've loved her "Oh Holy Night" since it was released, but I do love the alternate version that was released a few years ago even better.

    Mary has a voice that on it's own doesn't always appeal to me, even though I tend to love "huskier" female voices as opposed to higher ones. But with the right song, like "Sunset" or "Our Day Will Come", I think when she finds her groove, she's very good. But for me nothing Supreme gets any better than Flo, Diana or Jean.

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