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  1. #51
    Sorry Sup, I gotta add my two cents before getting back to the initial topic. BG makes an excellent point about Otis and Melvin. Otis gets a lot of credit for keeping the Tempts together, but he had Melvin with him for some 20 odd years after Eddie and Paul left. That's two original members making that thing work. Mary was a woman alone, and on top of that she was a woman period, which meant she was never going to get the respect that an Otis or Melvin was going to get from Motown or the business in general. The two situations are not comparable.

    As far as Mary putting herself before the group...I need receipts. She says in her second book- and I believe her- that her confidence was still shaky even in the 1980s. Shaky confidence might allow a woman to dream of being Diana Ross, but shaky confidence will not allow a woman to attempt to be Diana Ross. Mary wanted more spotlight time as a Supreme, and who can blame her? She was smart enough to recognize that she had to look out for herself because clearly no one else was going to do it. But when is it documented that she demanded all the leads or most of the leads? Those last three albums are chocked full of Scherrie. And if Mary was all about self, why not jump ship when Motown basically gave her the finger when Jean and Lynda left? If she was that convinced she could be Diana Ross, why not go for it somewhere other than Motown (which obviously already had THE Diana Ross and didn't need another one), rather than basically beg the company to get behind yet another grouping of Supremes and deal with that mess for the next few years?

    I'm not convinced that Mary was ever going to be a superstar, but I figure I'm among the few dozen folks Maniac references as having a belief in Mary's talent. I think she had the goods to produce given the right material. I caution people to keep in mind that if not for the right material because of one man's obvious gut belief in Diana's abilities, we would not have had a Diana Ross. There's every reason to believe that if not for Gordy, had the Supremes either broken up before "Where Did Our Love Go" because of disillusionment or because Motown dropped them, Diana probably wouldn't have had much success anywhere else, and that's assuming that she could've gotten a foot in the door. I personally find it doubtful that pre "Where Did Our Love Go" Diana Ross could've walked into Stax, Atlantic, Columbia or any number of record companies and gotten signed. I'm not going to write Mary's talent off because she's not Diana Ross.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    ok - rather than getting into the mud slinging of who did or didn't do what, let's stick to the initial topic.

    Loved Ran's idea of doing an expanded version of the "you sing our hits, we'll sing yours" like on Sullivan.

    Another idea that MIGHT have worked would be having DRATS host a Motown Revue and various acts come on and interact with Diana and sometimes DRATS. sort of like the Smokey special a couple years later
    I actually think a televised Motown Revue would've been a great television special. Once TCB was the success that it was, rather than Motown following it up with GIT, it would've been nice if they had did something a bit more broader. How about David Ruffin opening the show? Maybe have Edwin Starr or Chuck Jackson do something. The Marvelettes- who were in desperate need of TV exposure- do their latest release. Gladys and the Pips, Marvin, Stevie, Martha and the Vandellas, Four Tops all do their thing. Have the Tempts do their set and then introduce DRATS who come out for "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" and "I'll Try Something New" before DRATS close the show. Maybe bring everybody out for a closing sing along.

  3. #53
    ^i think it would have been great too but the concept would have to be something to showcase Diana more. otherwise it never would have happened. TCB had a smattering of MOR content, lots of great Sup and Temp hits, plus some contemporary stuff. I think TCB would have been the one to do a revue hosted by Diana. But then the next special would have to be something that would have helped her entree into movie and stage. GIT was the right concept IMO but poorly executed. the silly skits were of their time of course (a la Laugh In) but haven't aged. maybe instead of the skits, they could have done musical scenes from popular stage shows. maybe in medley format or a full length production number. What about a version of South Pacific? I understand they probably wanted to limit too much acting, but scenes from shows and movies could have been fun.

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    very interesting! i'd read that there were a few shows that they did early on where Dennis only performed for part of the show. that seems weird to me. Wonder if there were other strong contenders they considered for David's replacement.

    Also if there was concern with the Temps not being on solid footing due to the personnel change, i wonder if during the planning they ever considered just having the Sups on and maybe invite other guest stars
    In the same interview Dennis said he was signed to Motown with the plan as being a replacement for a Contour or a Temptation which ever came first. Itís rather interesting that in 1966, Motown had the foresight to see a Temptation either leaving or being fired within a year or two of his signing.

    I find it odd Motown never gave the Supremes their own TV special. The Temptations got one as well as TCB and GIT. Iím surprised Gordy didnít take advantage of the opportunity to showcase Diana more within their own special. I envision having someone like Lena Horne or Ella Fitzgerald on as a guest. Can you imagine the duets between the Supremes and Lena or Ella?

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by paul_nixon View Post
    Without wishing to be discourteous to anyone this show always makes me squirm, Miss Ross is happy to share the leads with any one of the Temptations that sings lead. The rest of the Temptations are happy for any of their colleagues to sing a lead. It obviously didn't make her feel uncomfortable that despite the Temptations sharing leads she didn't.
    Dianaís comfort level? Berry Gordy decided 5 years earlier that Diana would be the sole lead singer and all agreed. There was no reason for any of The Supremes to feel any kind of way about leads as they all knew what Gordy had said. Additionally, The Tempts had 3 extremely talented and capable lead singers. I imagine Motown felt Mary and Cindy were not at the level of Paul, Dennis or Eddie.

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    I have to disagree with your assessment mostly if Mary really was trying to follow in Dianaís footsteps in being lead and eventually a solo career than she would have demanded that she was to be made lead as soon as she knew Diana was leaving and not 3 years later when she had to reform the group. Diana had it all but more importantly she had someone backing her up to make sure that she achieved something Mary didnít have.
    ĎI doubt very much Maryís demands would have meant anything to Gordy in any year. He had no interest in her as a singer and hated her work ethic. She wasnít even allowed to sing lead when Jean was ill so Lynda - in her debut show as a Supreme - did. That should tell you all you need to know about what Motown felt about Mary. Youíre correct - there was no one behind her and that is essential for successful artists.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Sorry Sup, I gotta add my two cents before getting back to the initial topic. BG makes an excellent point about Otis and Melvin. Otis gets a lot of credit for keeping the Tempts together, but he had Melvin with him for some 20 odd years after Eddie and Paul left. That's two original members making that thing work. Mary was a woman alone, and on top of that she was a woman period, which meant she was never going to get the respect that an Otis or Melvin was going to get from Motown or the business in general. The two situations are not comparable.

    As far as Mary putting herself before the group...I need receipts. She says in her second book- and I believe her- that her confidence was still shaky even in the 1980s. Shaky confidence might allow a woman to dream of being Diana Ross, but shaky confidence will not allow a woman to attempt to be Diana Ross. Mary wanted more spotlight time as a Supreme, and who can blame her? She was smart enough to recognize that she had to look out for herself because clearly no one else was going to do it. But when is it documented that she demanded all the leads or most of the leads? Those last three albums are chocked full of Scherrie. And if Mary was all about self, why not jump ship when Motown basically gave her the finger when Jean and Lynda left? If she was that convinced she could be Diana Ross, why not go for it somewhere other than Motown (which obviously already had THE Diana Ross and didn't need another one), rather than basically beg the company to get behind yet another grouping of Supremes and deal with that mess for the next few years?

    I'm not convinced that Mary was ever going to be a superstar, but I figure I'm among the few dozen folks Maniac references as having a belief in Mary's talent. I think she had the goods to produce given the right material. I caution people to keep in mind that if not for the right material because of one man's obvious gut belief in Diana's abilities, we would not have had a Diana Ross. There's every reason to believe that if not for Gordy, had the Supremes either broken up before "Where Did Our Love Go" because of disillusionment or because Motown dropped them, Diana probably wouldn't have had much success anywhere else, and that's assuming that she could've gotten a foot in the door. I personally find it doubtful that pre "Where Did Our Love Go" Diana Ross could've walked into Stax, Atlantic, Columbia or any number of record companies and gotten signed. I'm not going to write Mary's talent off because she's not Diana Ross.
    ‘I agree with you that Diana, like all singers, needed the correct material. There’s 100s of stories to support this: Aretha at Columbia for example. But you have to have someone invested in your ability to make that happen. Someone with a vision for a specific talent. Mary had Wexler. Ross had Gordy. Babs had Erlichman. Judy had Edens. Mary had no one then or later. They al, had the ability to creat magic - a special moment when fans sign on. Mary was fine on Hollywood Palace - so what? A good performance of an oversung pop tune. It was her chance to create a moment and it didn’t happen. It never happened in the 70’s. Mary’s killer moment on TV for me was HowvLucky Can You Get. She looked, sounded and performed off the chart. No one said, “I wanna work with that.” I cannot agree with those who fault Gordy for not promoting anyone he didn’t believe in.

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    ĎI doubt very much Maryís demands would have meant anything to Gordy in any year. He had no interest in her as a singer and hated her work ethic. She wasnít even allowed to sing lead when Jean was ill so Lynda - in her debut show as a Supreme - did. That should tell you all you need to know about what Motown felt about Mary. Youíre correct - there was no one behind her and that is essential for successful artists.
    Youíve got this all wrong. He hated Maryís work ethic? Where did he ever say that or is that just your personal assessment? I gather itís the latter.

    She wasnít allowed to sing lead when Jean was ill? Thatís wrong too. You think Motown gave a crap about the group at this time and who was going to sing lead when Jean was sick? No one told Mary she couldnít. It was Mary herself who approached Lynda about singing the lead because Mary knew she couldnít do it herself.

    Get your facts straight.

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    Youíve got this all wrong. He hated Maryís work ethic? Where did he ever say that or is that just your personal assessment? I gather itís the latter.

    She wasnít allowed to sing lead when Jean was ill? Thatís wrong too. You think Motown gave a crap about the group at this time and who was going to sing lead when Jean was sick? No one told Mary she couldnít. It was Mary herself who approached Lynda about singing the lead because Mary knew she couldnít do it herself.

    Get your facts straight.
    You make a great point brad. I saw a quote recently that Mary asked Lynda to sing lead because she didn't feel she could do it. A recent rehearsal clip appeared on youtube and you can hear growth in Mary's vocals and imo prove that she could step up in a pinch. It was also easier for Lynda to do the lead and Mary & Cindy sing background. Cindy already knew the background parts so all they needed to do was concentrate on Lynda learning the lead. In that Copa clip I hear Lynda sing singing Cindy's note in a few spots but quickly adjusted.

    On another note was Floy Joy recorded with Mary, Jean & Cindy sharing lead vocals because in the same Copa clip, before it cut off Cindy takes a verse

  10. #60
    Floy Joy was written with Mary in mind. As far as it’s known it was just a duet between Mary and Jean

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    In the same interview Dennis said he was signed to Motown with the plan as being a replacement for a Contour or a Temptation which ever came first. It’s rather interesting that in 1966, Motown had the foresight to see a Temptation either leaving or being fired within a year or two of his signing.

    I find it odd Motown never gave the Supremes their own TV special. The Temptations got one as well as TCB and GIT. I’m surprised Gordy didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to showcase Diana more within their own special. I envision having someone like Lena Horne or Ella Fitzgerald on as a guest. Can you imagine the duets between the Supremes and Lena or Ella?
    Yeah that has been something that's been bothering me for years. The Supremes were capable of doing their OWN special yet they had to have the Temptations too. I wonder if Motown didn't give them the respect they deserved (Supremes) on their own because they were women? It's been bugging me. They were the most successful American vocal group in music history, why did they have to do a tag team special??? Even the Miracles and the Jackson 5 (and the Temptations themselves if I'm not mistaken) had their OWN special. They did give Diana her own specials but not the Supremes. I don't get that...

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    You’ve got this all wrong. He hated Mary’s work ethic? Where did he ever say that or is that just your personal assessment? I gather it’s the latter.

    She wasn’t allowed to sing lead when Jean was ill? That’s wrong too. You think Motown gave a crap about the group at this time and who was going to sing lead when Jean was sick? No one told Mary she couldn’t. It was Mary herself who approached Lynda about singing the lead because Mary knew she couldn’t do it herself.

    Get your facts straight.
    They are straight as an arrow. I read an interview with Gil Askey who spoke about Mary’s incessant tardiness to rehearsals and that Diana could learn a routine or song by the time Mary showed up. Mary said in one of her books that she was hurt by the fact Motown felt she didn’t try hard enough. Mary has referred o her tardiness in her books - a trait, I might add, she continues to exhibit to this very day. When we are lunching next month, we know she will be late. She almost always is for anything but a performance. Ask any former Supreme (except Susaye) and they will verify this. I don’t know about Dusaye because we’ve never discussed it but certainly she experienced it.

    Lynda told me that Motown had her sing lead in Hawaii -The Supremes had a manager - Mary was not in a position to make that decision. Read her books. The following year, when Jean was ill at The Copa and didnt even Tell Mary she was leaving for LA, Motown decided Lynda would sing lead or cancel. There was no discussion about Mary singing lead. These events are in Mary’s own books.

  13. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Unnecessary to have Mary and Cindy off stage. I agree with the suggestion that Diana just do the song as a solo. Never mind the fact that IMO "Somewhere" was in the act too long and they damn sure didn't need it on TCB, but Ross was perfectly capable of handling it alone. Mary and Cindy really add nothing special to it.

    What did everyone think of Ross singing "Respect"? When I watched TCB for the first time and realized Diana Ross was getting ready to go there, I groaned. I just knew she was getting ready to embarrass herself. Not because I was convinced that she couldn't do any Aretha material. I love Ross' "Call Me" as much- maybe more- than I love the Queen's studio version. But "Respect"? Uh uh. But I had to give it to Diana, she sang that. The "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" part was the one problematic spot, but honestly I've yet to hear anyone other than Aretha nail that part of the song, I don't care how good they are on the rest of it. Diana didn't nail it, and Paul should've probably done it, but the rest of what she sang on the song was spot on. It's also one of my favorite parts of the show.
    I. Too, dreaded Respect - I played that 45 to a thin, light grey plastic disc. To my surprise, I was fine with all of it and still am today and actually like it. I wish I could plug into her I Love You, Call Me the way so many others do. I love the elegance of it, and parts of her vocal, but at times itís too high and her voice seems heavily filtered like maybe she was hoarse.

    i disagree totally about Somewhere. To me, it brings dignity, respect and a solemnity to the proceedings with the message, ďyes, we broke records, we broke barriers, weíre here instead of your laugh-In because we deserve to be - but donít forget itís just a start - a teeny baby step.Ē I think it was exquisite television and ballsy as all hell putting those two pieces together in a pop music special. Plus, it gave us a chance to see Diana alone on stage and get used to it. I was too stupid to see they were grooming her to be a solo, but I loved seeing her solo because I thought Mary and Cindy were a snore without Flo. I dug the routines and group numbers, but on ballads and such, I like her alone - especially on Somewhere. I donít think the question is why couldnít they be there, but why should they be? They could add nothing but distraction to this statement.

    I knew David was gibe from a The Tempts and was certain iíd reject the new guy like I had Cindy, but Dennis killed it and David was all but forgotten.

    That special accomplished ALOT!

  14. #64
    I think part of the reason for Lynda singing lead is that all of the orchestra charts are for a soprano lead singer which Mary isnít. If Mary did the leads then Lynda would have to have learned the alto BG part. Given their time crunch it would be easier for her to sing the melodies rather than a complex harmonizing line.

  15. #65

    around the 4:58 mark no mention of their manager asking. Only Mary asking Lynda if she could do it.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    I think part of the reason for Lynda singing lead is that all of the orchestra charts are for a soprano lead singer which Mary isnít. If Mary did the leads then Lynda would have to have learned the alto BG part. Given their time crunch it would be easier for her to sing the melodies rather than a complex harmonizing line.
    You are probably correct, sup fan. Musically, an arrangement has to be in the right key (and there are 12 possible keys for a song). That's why an artist can not go into the studio and lay his/her lead vocal on any backing instrumental tracks lying around and expect the results to be stellar. Back in the day, transposing the key of a song to another key for a band/orchestra could be a tedious task. Today, it's not quite as difficult being that music scores are often digitally entered and all one has to do is take the digital score and move it up or down as needed. Of course, there may have to be some tweaking that goes on after doing this process.

    Also having two artists to come together to perform a duet can be challenging for the same reasons. The producers, before deciding on a song for the pair to record, must determine if it's doable based on each artist's vocal range OR if the arrangement will need to have transitions within the song where the key modulates within the arrangement to accommodate the two artist's voices. You can see this quandary in a live performance where a guest singer (or someone from the audience) is asked to sing impromptu with the artist on stage. Oftentimes, that guest singer may have to sing out of his/her comfort zone in order to sing the song in the same key that the band is playing.

  17. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Yeah that has been something that's been bothering me for years. The Supremes were capable of doing their OWN special yet they had to have the Temptations too. I wonder if Motown didn't give them the respect they deserved (Supremes) on their own because they were women? It's been bugging me. They were the most successful American vocal group in music history, why did they have to do a tag team special??? Even the Miracles and the Jackson 5 (and the Temptations themselves if I'm not mistaken) had their OWN special. They did give Diana her own specials but not the Supremes. I don't get that...
    Motown and Schlatter/Friendly might have felt that teaming the Supremes and Tempts would make a much more impressive package to sell to NBC.

  18. #68
    Every company needed someone like Mr. Gordy but, in the same vein that Gordy needed an artist with a similar drive and talent to carry that dream forward. Gordy I believe saw that in Mary Wells at first and then in Diana Ross.
    TCB was a good vehicle especially during the time of the civil rights movement. If there was a Temptation that I think Gordy could have moved forward I would have put my money on Paul Williams. All the Tempts were good but Paul had that something special.

    However, I don't think Berry could handle multiple projects like this. Another good example was Michael Jackson. Yet, in all fairness to BG, he did what he set out to do.

    TCB on national TV was an evolution for America at this time. GIT to me was watch us cross over.

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    Every company needed someone like Mr. Gordy but, in the same vein that Gordy needed an artist with a similar drive and talent to carry that dream forward. Gordy I believe saw that in Mary Wells at first and then in Diana Ross.
    TCB was a good vehicle especially during the time of the civil rights movement. If there was a Temptation that I think Gordy could have moved forward I would have put my money on Paul Williams. All the Tempts were good but Paul had that something special.

    However, I don't think Berry could handle multiple projects like this. Another good example was Michael Jackson. Yet, in all fairness to BG, he did what he set out to do.

    TCB on national TV was an evolution for America at this time. GIT to me was watch us cross over.
    That's true! Those specials WERE iconic for its time.

  20. #70
    Personally....I loved it.
    Lived the opening with TCB.Stop!YKMHO.
    Lavish.i can skip the afro dance routine.
    My only complaint was songs performed by the Supremes same songs on Talk of The Town. Would prefer new songs instead repeating same.
    Why us this not on dvd

  21. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post

    around the 4:58 mark no mention of their manager asking. Only Mary asking Lynda if she could do it.
    Well that proves nothing one way it the other. Mary us asking her if she thinks she CAN do it - like she’d already been asked - not if she WOULD do it as a request from Mary. It’s all in her books.

    im so glad you posted this it’s my favevJML TV clip and mist like how they were. Jean is very relaxed and natural, all 3 look sensational and Mary’s interview style is spot on. Love Mary and Jeans hair. Plus, this is my fave Jean performance in TV - this group was dynamite.

  22. #72
    Who can refresh my memory which is bad at anytime, what outtakes from TCB have been officially released and where. Mas Que Nada was one but for the life of me I cannot find where it has been released

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by paul_nixon View Post
    Who can refresh my memory which is bad at anytime, what outtakes from TCB have been officially released and where. Mas Que Nada was one but for the life of me I cannot find where it has been released
    here is another

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post

    here is another
    Wonderful but where (on which CD) have they been released?

  25. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by paul_nixon View Post
    Who can refresh my memory which is bad at anytime, what outtakes from TCB have been officially released and where. Mas Que Nada was one but for the life of me I cannot find where it has been released
    The only official outake release of anything TCB related was the "I'm The Greatest Star" studio run through that was put on the end of the digital Funny Girl expanded edition. Mas & Lovelight have been floating around as bootlegs only since the late 80's before there was a crackdown on who got access to the vaulted material.

  26. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by Glenpwood View Post
    The only official outake release of anything TCB related was the "I'm The Greatest Star" studio run through that was put on the end of the digital Funny Girl expanded edition. Mas & Lovelight have been floating around as bootlegs only since the late 80's before there was a crackdown on who got access to the vaulted material.
    Release blindness then I could have sworn they were out....

  27. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by Glenpwood View Post
    The only official outake release of anything TCB related was the "I'm The Greatest Star" studio run through that was put on the end of the digital Funny Girl expanded edition. Mas & Lovelight have been floating around as bootlegs only since the late 80's before there was a crackdown on who got access to the vaulted material.
    Do you know where each of the three tracks fitted?

  28. #78
    Mad Que Nada was in the pantsuit medley, lovelight preceeded come see about me, funny girl was intended for the symphony medley spot.

  29. #79
    DR sounds like Minnie Mouse.

  30. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    ‘I agree with you that Diana, like all singers, needed the correct material. There’s 100s of stories to support this: Aretha at Columbia for example. But you have to have someone invested in your ability to make that happen. Someone with a vision for a specific talent. Mary had Wexler. Ross had Gordy. Babs had Erlichman. Judy had Edens. Mary had no one then or later. They al, had the ability to creat magic - a special moment when fans sign on. Mary was fine on Hollywood Palace - so what? A good performance of an oversung pop tune. It was her chance to create a moment and it didn’t happen. It never happened in the 70’s. Mary’s killer moment on TV for me was HowvLucky Can You Get. She looked, sounded and performed off the chart. No one said, “I wanna work with that.” I cannot agree with those who fault Gordy for not promoting anyone he didn’t believe in.
    Let me be clear also, my comment about Ross, particularly her walking into a record company and not being signed, was not meant to imply that she was not vocally talented or that record labels wouldn't have thought her vocally talented. (Not that you Maniac took my comment that way, but it's clarity for anyone who might have.) She became a member of the Primettes because she was vocally talented. I just personally believe that someone with a special ear for her voice would have to hear what exactly made her special in order to get behind it. You mention Aretha and Barbra but I don't think anyone had to have a special ear to recognize that kind of talent, even if they still needed the "right" material to be paired with in order to be successful.

    Personally I find Mary's performance of "Eyes" on Hollywood Palace and most other sources to be rather boring. (The exception being the Live In Japan album version, which I think Mary killed.) And I've never cared for that "Lucky" song either. IMO there are singers who can sing someone else's song and make it theirs. Aretha is famous for it. She'd take someone's song and you would barely remember- if you remember at all- that there was a version before it. Diana Ross has a voice that lends well to covering other folks' songs because she's a master at interpretation, but I don't know if one ever forgets that someone sang it before she did. Mary does not have that kind of voice IMO. She can occasionally do good covers (I love her on "Our Day Will Come" and the studio version of "Eyes" is nice as well), but to me she really only outdoes the originals of the two Dionne Warwick songs she sang lead on, "Teardrops" and "Heart of Me", the former IMO could've been a single. (She definitely has the superior version of "A Heart Like Mine" but the two versions are so different and from different eras and sounds that it's not hard to compare.) Mary also has what is probably my favorite version of "The Way We Were" (a song I mostly hate) that she performed on a TV show after she left the group, but the average person was not going to forget Barbra Streisand, or even Gladys Knight, after hearing it.

    Mary needed that person who hears what I hear. Sucks that she never came across them. Like I said, I'm not convinced she was ever going to be a superstar or even a household name. But I think she was good enough to be a decent seller in the Phyllis Hyman, Angela Bofill, Brenda Russell type of way with the material written and produced especially for her. She just needed the confidence, the connection and for everything to line up to her advantage. Unfortunately Mary is the norm for people making a go at a singing career, no matter how talented. Most people never get a big break. And most people who get a big break in a group never get a big break as a soloist. Sucks but it is what it is.

  31. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Motown and Schlatter/Friendly might have felt that teaming the Supremes and Tempts would make a much more impressive package to sell to NBC.
    I think so too. Remember that at this point the Tempts were nearly as popular as the Supremes. Current singles wise, they were more so. So while it might be a ratings success to give either the Supremes or the Tempts an entire special, it was a guaranteed ratings explosion to pair the two groups together. I also think pairing them together on Sullivan was a test run, a result of a conversation about the prospects of a television special pairing the two groups. When it went over well, TCB was on the to do list.

  32. #82
    ^i think it was also about cross exposure and ratings. The temps would bring in a younger and more black audience while the Sups would guarantee the older and white audience.

  33. #83
    I finally finished watching the show (in about 18 different parts ) and really enjoyed it, much more than I thought I would. You can tell the show was first and foremost about showcasing Diana, but I think it did well in balancing that with airtime for The Supremes and Temptations. What really came across for me though was that Diana was (is) truly an amazing showwoman and performer.

    I thought the whole thing was pretty great, although some of the songs were a bit boring but even those I came to enjoy... eventually I was surprised at how funny it was at times, and how natural this seemed too. (I started watching the Smokey Robinson show shortly after, this did not come across quite as natural... )

    I do think it was unnecessary to have Mary and Cindy sing backup on "Somewhere" and then have them not on stage. I say, either have them sing, and have them on stage, or don't, and don't.

  34. #84
    great point - diana just has/had a very natural stage presence. you can tell that she's thrilled to be there but she isn't overcompensating. natural, relaxed, sincere.

    not sure if that's talent or training. or both

  35. #85
    Sup and others: I was inspired by Toms post about never fully watching TCB and Realized it had been years since I have done that. So I did it. And now I see what everyone is saying: it DOES look like the diana ross show and nothing but. While is is also a tremendous showcase to shoehorn Dennis into our hearts, it does establish Diana as a separate entity and does it brilliantly. Of course, both Dennis and Diana had to have the goods in order to take advantage of the opportunity, and both nailed it.

    When TCB aired, Love Child was #1, Cloud 9 was hitting huge and I’m Gonna Make You Love Me was the #1 add across the country. The groups could not have picked better timing - especially DR&TS who had a slew of albums on the charts: Greatest Hits, Love Child, Join The Tempts, Funny Girl, Talk Of The Town and TCB just out of the gate.

    i still think the show is as perfect as one could hope for, and far more than achieved every one of its lofty objectives.

  36. #86
    why is this NOT on dvd offically,damn it

  37. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Let me be clear also, my comment about Ross, particularly her walking into a record company and not being signed, was not meant to imply that she was not vocally talented or that record labels wouldn't have thought her vocally talented. (Not that you Maniac took my comment that way, but it's clarity for anyone who might have.) She became a member of the Primettes because she was vocally talented. I just personally believe that someone with a special ear for her voice would have to hear what exactly made her special in order to get behind it. You mention Aretha and Barbra but I don't think anyone had to have a special ear to recognize that kind of talent, even if they still needed the "right" material to be paired with in order to be successful.

    Personally I find Mary's performance of "Eyes" on Hollywood Palace and most other sources to be rather boring. (The exception being the Live In Japan album version, which I think Mary killed.) And I've never cared for that "Lucky" song either. IMO there are singers who can sing someone else's song and make it theirs. Aretha is famous for it. She'd take someone's song and you would barely remember- if you remember at all- that there was a version before it. Diana Ross has a voice that lends well to covering other folks' songs because she's a master at interpretation, but I don't know if one ever forgets that someone sang it before she did. Mary does not have that kind of voice IMO. She can occasionally do good covers (I love her on "Our Day Will Come" and the studio version of "Eyes" is nice as well), but to me she really only outdoes the originals of the two Dionne Warwick songs she sang lead on, "Teardrops" and "Heart of Me", the former IMO could've been a single. (She definitely has the superior version of "A Heart Like Mine" but the two versions are so different and from different eras and sounds that it's not hard to compare.) Mary also has what is probably my favorite version of "The Way We Were" (a song I mostly hate) that she performed on a TV show after she left the group, but the average person was not going to forget Barbra Streisand, or even Gladys Knight, after hearing it.

    Mary needed that person who hears what I hear. Sucks that she never came across them. Like I said, I'm not convinced she was ever going to be a superstar or even a household name. But I think she was good enough to be a decent seller in the Phyllis Hyman, Angela Bofill, Brenda Russell type of way with the material written and produced especially for her. She just needed the confidence, the connection and for everything to line up to her advantage. Unfortunately Mary is the norm for people making a go at a singing career, no matter how talented. Most people never get a big break. And most people who get a big break in a group never get a big break as a soloist. Sucks but it is what it is.
    I agree with your thoughts on Marys career. I recently watched her version of Eyes from Hollywood Palace or Sullivan, the last Supremes performance, anyway ,her performance of Eyes has no emotion what so ever. bland and lifeless yet she nailed it on Live In Japan.
    her solo lp Red Hot has 2 songs I liked Pick Up The Pieces and warm Summer Night. both were good while the rest was throw away.
    I also feel Mary never studied her craft until after the fact, but I do see the effect Scherrie and Susaye had on her by the time MSS lp was released.You Are The Heart Of me is really good while I cringe on her lead on Hes My Man.just my opinion

  38. #88
    according to Mary's book, when she moved out west she began taking vocal lessons with a private teacher. I'm not aware of how that progressed, how long she took, etc.

    One thing that i would say is that practice makes perfect. Look at how both jean and diana progressed as vocalists as they continued to record material. Jean really become much more nuanced and experimental as a vocalist - look at the recordings on RO vs Touch vs Jimmy Webb. I'm not saying she is bad on the RO material. i love that album. but she approaches most of the material is a very similar way. that's not the case with the tracks on Touch.

    For mary, it would probably have benefited her to NOT have stuck with Can't Take My Eyes. yes she improved on the song over the years but she didn't benefit from being able to grow as a vocalist by experimenting with a range of songs and material. she seems to have just done her 1 song and that was that.

    During the Scherrie years she began to take on much more volume and range of material. and as with any vocalist, it's a mixed bag of successes and blahs.

  39. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    according to Mary's book, when she moved out west she began taking vocal lessons with a private teacher. I'm not aware of how that progressed, how long she took, etc.

    One thing that i would say is that practice makes perfect. Look at how both jean and diana progressed as vocalists as they continued to record material. Jean really become much more nuanced and experimental as a vocalist - look at the recordings on RO vs Touch vs Jimmy Webb. I'm not saying she is bad on the RO material. i love that album. but she approaches most of the material is a very similar way. that's not the case with the tracks on Touch.

    For mary, it would probably have benefited her to NOT have stuck with Can't Take My Eyes. yes she improved on the song over the years but she didn't benefit from being able to grow as a vocalist by experimenting with a range of songs and material. she seems to have just done her 1 song and that was that.

    During the Scherrie years she began to take on much more volume and range of material. and as with any vocalist, it's a mixed bag of successes and blahs.
    I think Mary worked with her voice teacher (Guiseppe ???) for quite some time. She mentioned that she had also worked briefly with famed vocal coach Seth Riggs but that it was Gusieppe who really made her voice stronger. She also wrote that during Cindy's second tenure with the group, she asked Cindy to take vocal lessons which she did for a short while before dropping out.

    Re CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU, Cholly Atkins mentioned that he had other songs that he thought Mary should do. But she had fallen in love with CAN'T TAKE... and wouldn't stop doing it.

  40. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    I agree with your thoughts on Marys career. I recently watched her version of Eyes from Hollywood Palace or Sullivan, the last Supremes performance, anyway ,her performance of Eyes has no emotion what so ever. bland and lifeless yet she nailed it on Live In Japan.
    her solo lp Red Hot has 2 songs I liked Pick Up The Pieces and warm Summer Night. both were good while the rest was throw away.
    I also feel Mary never studied her craft until after the fact, but I do see the effect Scherrie and Susaye had on her by the time MSS lp was released.You Are The Heart Of me is really good while I cringe on her lead on Hes My Man.just my opinion
    I think eventually Mary fell into a similar trap that Diana would fall into in the 80s, as far as not knowing what suited her best. Mary's voice is not a good fit for disco IMO, although she does have some surprisingly good moments with it. That Red Hot album was all wrong. The only song I make a point to play is "Pick Up the Pieces" which is exactly the kind of material Mary's album should have been chocked full of. Had it been released and promoted as a single in the US I think she may have had at least a modest hit with it. (I'm thinking about revisiting Mary's first album in it's entirety just to see if I end up with a more positive view of it.) Had the Dudgeon album been completed, I think it might have been a turn around of fortunes for Mary because she does that material very well also. Real good fit. But then as the 80s progressed, whenever Mary wasn't falling back on the Supremes, she was doing rock/pop numbers that I don't think was her strength. It's unfortunate that, for whatever reason, the deal with Atlantic Records fell through because the demos she did for them were in the vein of what I would want to hear from Mary during that period of time, some real nice, slow r&b tunes. I suspect the decision to do that was Atlantic's and not Mary's or we would've gotten more "Don't Get Mad Get Even" crap. When Mary entered her jazz faze it was good news because that's right up her alley also. But in the 80s she had just a little bit of time to get something going and she spent most of it on her book and songs that didn't do her any favors.

  41. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post

    Re CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU, Cholly Atkins mentioned that he had other songs that he thought Mary should do. But she had fallen in love with CAN'T TAKE... and wouldn't stop doing it.
    The Supremes were always hanging on to songs too long. "Somewhere", "You're Nobody", "Sam Cooke Medley"...all in the act too long. Even Diana resurrected "Somewhere" for her act in 73. Sure she didn't do it like she did as a Supreme (and Mary's "Eyes" changed direction over the years also) but it's still the same song. Sometimes it made the act a little stale IMO. (Although the Supremes do a killer version of the Sam Cooke Medley I think in Amsterdam in 68, particularly "Shake".)

  42. #92
    So much of Maryís story is about all the deals that fell through and what if this potential connection had occurred

    In the end, the only story that attracts attention is her connection to Diana Ross, the Supremes, Motown and Berry Gordy

  43. #93
    ^and the story of the fall of Florence. IMO after Flo died Mary used that relationship to help boost interest in the Sups and herself.

  44. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    The Supremes were always hanging on to songs too long. "Somewhere", "You're Nobody", "Sam Cooke Medley"...all in the act too long. Even Diana resurrected "Somewhere" for her act in 73. Sure she didn't do it like she did as a Supreme (and Mary's "Eyes" changed direction over the years also) but it's still the same song. Sometimes it made the act a little stale IMO. (Although the Supremes do a killer version of the Sam Cooke Medley I think in Amsterdam in 68, particularly "Shake".)
    I guess they figured if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It is interesting how little the act changed. I like to read through old reviews and /or watch old videos and I was surprised to see that they were doing things like QUEEN OF THE HOUSE as late as 1968. But when JML reverted to TCB and SOMEWHERE, that was too much. Even as late as 1976, when Diana dropped THE LADY IS A TRAMP from the act (after 10 years), Berry made her put it back in.

    I agree though that the Sam Cooke Medley was killer in Amsterdam. I only wish there was also video of Flo doing it with them and not the weirdly-done version in the Orient video. I also liked how instead of doing of her own tried and true rendition of SOMEWHERE (complete with monologue), for her 1973 act, Diana did Aretha's version.

  45. #95
    i guess for the supperclub set, there probably wouldn't have been too much recognition of similar song lists. if you were in NYC in the 60s and saw their 65, 66 and 67 shows at the Copa, odds are you wouldn't have noticed that Somewhere was in there again and again. it was a huge song of the era. You're there drinking martinis, smoking cigs. the girls certainly delivered powerhouse performances each time

    it seems like the show had minor adjustments year to year.

    Copa 65 - the big show we're all familiar with
    Roostertail 66 - they added a few Beatles numbers and the Symphony medley
    Copa 67 - the addition of the Millie/Rose/Mame medley and the R&H medley
    Talk of the Town - show has been revamped around a series of medleys: Symphony, Millie, hits, Sam cooke
    Farewell - the big audience participation number of Sunshine, Diana solo numbers, Mary lead numbers

    I'm not saying these are massive changes each year. they seemed to always keep the 4 most recent or so hits in full (or close to full) form.

    I think the problem was the change in public tastes from 65 - 69 is very different than then change in public tastes from 69 - 73. each is a four year span but the changes that took place in what people were wanting to do and where they went for entertainment changed considerably.

  46. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    So much of Mary’s story is about all the deals that fell through and what if this potential connection had occurred

    In the end, the only story that attracts attention is her connection to Diana Ross, the Supremes, Motown and Berry Gordy
    Well Mary's story is intricately tied to the stories of all those you mentioned, especially the Supremes (seeing how she was a founding member). Unfortunately, and this is the travesty, Mary never got the benefit of being able to create a legacy totally separate and apart from all you mention. Even Diana with all that she's done since leaving the Supremes can't have an article or tv segment presented without referring to her as a Supreme in some form or another ("Supreme singer Diana Ross"..."Lead Singer of the Supremes"..."The Supreme Diana Ross"...etc.). If she can't do it with all of her accomplishments, there's no chance in hell for Mary to do it. But to Mary's credit, no one can get by on riding the coattails so long. Mary is still visible because there is more to her than Supremes, Motown and Ross. Barbara Martin could never command the same attention by exploiting her connection. Honestly neither could Cindy Birdsong. Mary is definitely a great case of "when life hands you lemons...".

  47. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I guess they figured if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It is interesting how little the act changed. I like to read through old reviews and /or watch old videos and I was surprised to see that they were doing things like QUEEN OF THE HOUSE as late as 1968. But when JML reverted to TCB and SOMEWHERE, that was too much. Even as late as 1976, when Diana dropped THE LADY IS A TRAMP from the act (after 10 years), Berry made her put it back in.

    I agree though that the Sam Cooke Medley was killer in Amsterdam. I only wish there was also video of Flo doing it with them and not the weirdly-done version in the Orient video. I also liked how instead of doing of her own tried and true rendition of SOMEWHERE (complete with monologue), for her 1973 act, Diana did Aretha's version.
    The bootleg of the Orient video is what we all got, chopped up and all. But there's every reason to believe that the uncut, unchopped version of it still exists, right? I thought I saw a clean version of a few clips on a TV special at some point, if I'm not mistaken.

  48. #98
    it's possible that the original unedited tape might exist somewhere. my understanding is the the Orient video was commissioned so that they would run a TV special back in the states using it. But it could very well be that the only remaining footage is what was compiled for the special. it's a home movie and would have required that it be properly stored all these years. certainly home movies from the 60s have survived. but not all do

  49. #99
    I remember we were so exciting about this show after seeing the newspaper ads and in TV Guide. We all watched, the whole family and I only have good memories of it the first time around. Looking at it today, not so much.

  50. #100
    TCB was groundbreaking and history for us. I have memories of the TCB LP being played loud in the neighborhood for everyone to hear. This was BIG.

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