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  1. #1

    Did any of Flo Ballards go into show business and do they receive any royalties?

    Also, is there a Florence Ballard Fan Club, managed by her daughters?

  2. #2
    There definitely is something on Facebook if you go looking

    No royalties but they wouldn’t get much these days anyway

  3. #3
    Yeah, Appleton is a rapper:


  4. #4
    Here's another one of his cuts:


  5. #5
    A few thousand a year would be nice for anybody. I don’t understand why an attorney doesn’t take on A Ballard claim.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    A few thousand a year would be nice for anybody. I don’t understand why an attorney doesn’t take on A Ballard claim.
    For a starter, even if she had a valid claim that she didn't sign away, she has been dead 43 years and the claims would be statute barred.

  7. #7
    I have to imagine that Flo's children have pursued the idea of securing royalties for themselves and most likely found that they have no recourse. Flo's release agreement with Motown was legally binding. She signed her rights to royalties away. I really don't think the girls have a legal legit claim to any royalty money. The only thing I could see them reaping the benefits of is any use of their mother's likeness, and I'm not familiar with exactly how that works in the legal sense.

    Now morally, I think it's obvious that somebody should've reinstated Flo's rights to royalties the minute it made the rounds of the Motown circle that Flo's daughters were in a bad financial situation back in the 90s. I know I shouldn't be, but I'm always amazed at the lack of people's interest in doing the right thing.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I have to imagine that Flo's children have pursued the idea of securing royalties for themselves and most likely found that they have no recourse. Flo's release agreement with Motown was legally binding. She signed her rights to royalties away. I really don't think the girls have a legal legit claim to any royalty money. The only thing I could see them reaping the benefits of is any use of their mother's likeness, and I'm not familiar with exactly how that works in the legal sense.

    Now morally, I think it's obvious that somebody should've reinstated Flo's rights to royalties the minute it made the rounds of the Motown circle that Flo's daughters were in a bad financial situation back in the 90s. I know I shouldn't be, but I'm always amazed at the lack of people's interest in doing the right thing.
    Good point......I do not understand the legalities of the likeness issue. The album covers in Dreamgirls alone are a complete ripoff of the original artwork. I have heard that as long as something is 10% different than the original there isn't a prob. I think the Dreamgirls movie/play was plagiarism. To me is wasn't just a girl group deal, but the Sups story was changed a bit for the "Flo/Effie" Character.
    Last edited by detmotownguy; 11-19-2019 at 06:09 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    What world are you living in?

    “I think it's obvious that somebody should've reinstated Flo's rights to royalties the minute it made the rounds of the Motown circle that Flo's daughters were in a bad financial situation back in the 90s.”

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Circa 1824 View Post
    What world are you living in?

    “I think it's obvious that somebody should've reinstated Flo's rights to royalties the minute it made the rounds of the Motown circle that Flo's daughters were in a bad financial situation back in the 90s.”
    An evil, demonic one?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Circa 1824 View Post
    What world are you living in?

    “I think it's obvious that somebody should've reinstated Flo's rights to royalties the minute it made the rounds of the Motown circle that Flo's daughters were in a bad financial situation back in the 90s.”
    Yes the Directors on the Universal Board who owe a fiduciary duty to the shareholders of the company and who’ve never heard of Florence Ballard or have a clue what her voice sounded like - they definitely would give away money

  12. #12
    I get tired of the younger generation's over victimizing of Flo, and believing Dreamgirls is the Gospel...Florence punched her own ticket out of the group. Her talent and fan base appeal wasn't going to be taken into much consideration weighing on the problems and risk factors she was incorporating into the group. Being un-cooperative, disrespecting and challenging the big boss and making trouble for the top earner will get you bounced WITHOUT a 2nd chance in most organizations. It was the company's flagship act, and BIG business. When she signed away royalty payments, that was it, legally, for that very unfortunate issue. She was, however, wronged by not being able to identify and promote herself as a Supreme. Perhaps her behavior and seemingly unprofessional ways would still be considered a risk to the groups reputation....and it was undeterminable if she'd be able to "get a grip" at the time. But there should have been a 2 year limitation to her not being able to promote herself as a former group member.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by detmotownguy View Post
    Good point......I do not understand the legalities of the likeness issue. The album covers in Dreamgirls alone are a complete ripoff of the original artwork. I have heard that as long as something is 10% different than the original there isn't a prob. I think the Dreamgirls movie/play was plagiarism. To me is wasn't just a girl group deal, but the Sups story was changed a bit for the "Flo/Effie" Character.
    I don't think Flo's girls would have a case against Dreamgirls. That might have been a general Motown issue. I was referring to anything that uses Flo's image at all, like any products being created and sold with her photo on it, be it alone or with the Supremes. Again, I'm not sure how that works legally, particularly with official merch from Motown, but I do think it's a bit shady when I see people selling products over the net with the Supremes emblazoned on the product knowing that in all likelihood the Supremes are not being compensated, if they have a legal right to compensation. Maybe one of our legal eagles can help out with this understanding.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Yes the Directors on the Universal Board who owe a fiduciary duty to the shareholders of the company and who’ve never heard of Florence Ballard or have a clue what her voice sounded like - they definitely would give away money
    Rob I call bullshit on your snarky response to what I said. Now someone correct me if I'm wrong, but even though Gordy sold Motown, I assume he did not sign away his rights to royalties. And assuming that when Flo signed away her rights to hers, those royalties went into Gordy's account, which means that any monies of Flo's share of Supreme royalties is being banked by Gordy. Now mind you this is all assumption on my part. It's possible the royalties were diverted elsewhere immediately, or maybe Gordy gambled them away years later. But keeping with this assumption and my ending thought of people doing what is morally right, in my mind I think that when Gordy heard that Florence's daughters were in a bad spot back in the 1990s that he might have- if he had the heart to do so- thought "Let me reinstate Florence's royalties so that her daughters may have a better financial position, since I'm reaping millions every year from my Motown legacy". Legally he didn't have to do anything, but my statement was about morality.

    I wouldn't have thought you were one of those people I was referring to at the end of my original post. Welcome to Trump's America everybody, where the right thing doesn't even cross our minds.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    I get tired of the younger generation's over victimizing of Flo, and believing Dreamgirls is the Gospel...Florence punched her own ticket out of the group. Her talent and fan base appeal wasn't going to be taken into much consideration weighing on the problems and risk factors she was incorporating into the group. Being un-cooperative, disrespecting and challenging the big boss and making trouble for the top earner will get you bounced WITHOUT a 2nd chance in most organizations. It was the company's flagship act, and BIG business. When she signed away royalty payments, that was it, legally, for that very unfortunate issue. She was, however, wronged by not being able to identify and promote herself as a Supreme. Perhaps her behavior and seemingly unprofessional ways would still be considered a risk to the groups reputation....and it was undeterminable if she'd be able to "get a grip" at the time. But there should have been a 2 year limitation to her not being able to promote herself as a former group member.
    As usual, I counter your argument regarding Flo's behavior and how it relates to her job with Berry's behavior and how it related to his. Can you imagine the HR problem that Gordy might have in any other organization with the boss hurling insults? Of course you can. So if we're going to finger point, let's use all available fingers.

    Now to the broader point, I think most thinking people get why the decision was ultimately made to fire Florence. I also think most thinking people can figure out how the entire situation could've been avoided in the first place, but for the sake of this conversation we'll leave that for another discussion. Speaking for myself, I get the rationale of firing Florence and ultimately, once things got out of control, it made good business sense to do so and it wasn't taken lightly. What isn't understandable, outside of understanding that what followed was personal and all about greed, is that the decision was made to screw this woman out of her royalties and then on top of that, forbid her to publicize her recent work history. There is nothing ethical about those two things.

    Barring Flo for any amount of time, two years or forever, from promoting herself as a Supreme had no bearing whatsoever on her ability to tell the world her side of the Supremes story. All it did was prevent her from using her connection with the Supremes as a promotional tool. For instance, her publicist couldn't send out press releases utilizing the connection nor would she ever be able to bill herself as "Flo Ballard of the Supremes". This of course did not prevent the press from bringing it up and it didn't stop Flo from talking about it. But it certainly hindered her from capitalizing fully off of it, though it's important to point out that it was not a death sentence for her career, especially when examining her solo go in totality. There were far bigger non Motown problems with that. But it was intended to impede her progress, and that was nasty on Gordy's part. It was punitive.

    Flo was a victim of Gordy's greed and his ability to make business personal. Whether the "younger generation" overstates this or not is up for someone else's debate.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I don't think Flo's girls would have a case against Dreamgirls. That might have been a general Motown issue. I was referring to anything that uses Flo's image at all, like any products being created and sold with her photo on it, be it alone or with the Supremes. Again, I'm not sure how that works legally, particularly with official merch from Motown, but I do think it's a bit shady when I see people selling products over the net with the Supremes emblazoned on the product knowing that in all likelihood the Supremes are not being compensated, if they have a legal right to compensation. Maybe one of our legal eagles can help out with this understanding.
    There have been songs that included Florence Ballard's name and then there was the short story "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band", Stephen King, through the late disc jockey Alan Freed, includes Ballard as one of the deceased artists who performs in a town called "Rock and Roll Heaven". There have been documentaries and tele-bios made about Florence and the Supremes.
    I am not sure if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame gives or gave any type of financial assistance to inductees or their estates,but without them the Hall would be empty!
    Last edited by marv2; 11-20-2019 at 08:43 AM.

  17. #17
    Although I do not know how much Florence's solo album sold once it was finally release, but I wonder where the royalties from it (if any) went. The masters were destroyed in that Universal warehouse fire in 2008.

  18. #18
    Motown is not a charity organization. there's no obligation for them to help out the descendants of a former employee who left on bad terms

    1. Flo left the group partially from her own free will. she wanted out and so they put her out. yes there was blame to go all around. but her behavior definitely gave motown all the reason in the world to terminate her
    2. flo foolishly didn't have legal counsel when she signed her first separation agreement
    3. flo foolishly didn't find an entertainment lawyer for when she renegotiated her release
    4. flo foolishly allowed others to manage her money and she also willingly provided financial support to a very large, extended family
    5. flo was mentally unable to move on after the supremes and ABC. her mental decline wasn't really motown's fault. she's hardly the first person to be terminated from a job. yes it sucks but at some point you have to move on. she was never able to do that
    6. poverty is often cyclical. after flo left the group and declined, she created an environment that would be challenging for a child to grow up and out of. Not blaming her for this. this happens unfortunately far too often. once in that environment, it's very hard to break free.

    so the fact that Flo's children struggled as they became adults isn't shocking. sad and unfortunate but not shocking. Diana set up trusts for the girls and also helped financially when one had medical problems. Mary has been supportive of the girls. don't know if Berry has had any involvement - there have been rumors over the years that he provided the money for when Flo started to get back on her feet in 75, that he paid for the funeral. who knows - perhaps he's made some financial assistance.

    But Flo's kids are adults. they have also made their own choices and their own lives. for better or worse. Did they have singing talents? or musical talent? or other gifts? that's for them to know and for them to pursue.

  19. #19
    Oh my gosh...this conversation is always so exasperating because people keep reading too much into the details. I didn't say Motown was a charity organization or had a legal obligation to do anything. I'm sorry, but am I the only one that thinks about certain issues on a morality level? Diana Ross had no obligation to Florence or her children either, but for some reason she felt the need to set up a trust for them. Sometimes doing a good deed is just the right thing to do. Flo's daughters don't seem to beg on TV for help. I think they all have jobs and raising families and carrying on with their lives as normal every day folks who just happened to have a famous mother. But in the 90s, like when they got evicted from the home they were living in, to see that and shrug knowing that they could've paid rent with royalty money that would've rightfully been theirs after their mother's passing, that's just weird to me.

    Again, just in case folks missed it the first 12 times, I am not talking about anyone being legally obligated to do a damn thing. Folks weren't legally obligated to contribute to Mary Wells' medical bills, but they did it anyway. I'm talking about folks being just. It sucks that there are people benefiting from Flo's hard work while her daughters get nothing from it. Gordy wouldn't stand for his children being in that situation, so why shouldn't the conversation focus on Flo's children being similarly considered?

  20. #20
    Oh Ran, you're so silly...
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Oh my gosh...this conversation is always so exasperating because people keep reading too much into the details. I didn't say Motown was a charity organization or had a legal obligation to do anything.
    You think people read instead of going straight to their preconceived notions?

    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I'm sorry, but am I the only one that thinks about certain issues on a morality level?
    And what was one of the first songs Berry Gordy co-wrote? "Morality, That's What I Want"? Is that the exact title?

    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Sometimes doing a good deed is just the right thing to do.
    Have you seen who the PЯЗsideиT of the United States is right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Again, just in case folks missed it the first 12 times,
    Forum rules clearly state something must be stated 13 times for people to pay attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I'm talking about folks being just.
    Justice in this country only exists for the rich. See point 3 above.

    Flo shoulda known all this stuff even though she was never taught anything about business, there was active work to hide Supremes income, she came from a terribly underprivileged background, and she died. Companies have every right to exploit people as much as they can, alive or dead. Welcome to Corporate America.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    Motown is not a charity organization. there's no obligation for them to help out the descendants of a former employee who left on bad terms

    1. Flo left the group partially from her own free will. she wanted out and so they put her out. yes there was blame to go all around. but her behavior definitely gave motown all the reason in the world to terminate her
    2. flo foolishly didn't have legal counsel when she signed her first separation agreement
    3. flo foolishly didn't find an entertainment lawyer for when she renegotiated her release
    4. flo foolishly allowed others to manage her money and she also willingly provided financial support to a very large, extended family
    5. flo was mentally unable to move on after the supremes and ABC. her mental decline wasn't really motown's fault. she's hardly the first person to be terminated from a job. yes it sucks but at some point you have to move on. she was never able to do that
    6. poverty is often cyclical. after flo left the group and declined, she created an environment that would be challenging for a child to grow up and out of. Not blaming her for this. this happens unfortunately far too often. once in that environment, it's very hard to break free.

    so the fact that Flo's children struggled as they became adults isn't shocking. sad and unfortunate but not shocking. Diana set up trusts for the girls and also helped financially when one had medical problems. Mary has been supportive of the girls. don't know if Berry has had any involvement - there have been rumors over the years that he provided the money for when Flo started to get back on her feet in 75, that he paid for the funeral. who knows - perhaps he's made some financial assistance.

    But Flo's kids are adults. they have also made their own choices and their own lives. for better or worse. Did they have singing talents? or musical talent? or other gifts? that's for them to know and for them to pursue.
    Perfectly stated all around. I may have used the adverb 'disingenuously' in place of 'foolishly' but that would be my own editorial choice. If Florence's daughters need jobs maybe Mary can hire them as her backup singers, tour managers, etc? We keep hearing here about how phenomenally successful Mary is, so this would be a natural fit.

  22. #22
    Had Flo left on her own, wouldn't she be in violation of her contract?

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    Had Flo left on her own, wouldn't she be in violation of her contract?
    That would depend upon the exact terms of her contract and the willingness of both parties to dissolve the contract. J-Rob, care to comment?

  24. #24
    Well apparently mary still is since you’re still checking for her.
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    Perfectly stated all around. I may have used the adverb 'disingenuously' in place of 'foolishly' but that would be my own editorial choice. If Florence's daughters need jobs maybe Mary can hire them as her backup singers, tour managers, etc? We keep hearing here about how phenomenally successful Mary is, so this would be a natural fit.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Rob I call bullshit on your snarky response to what I said. Now someone correct me if I'm wrong, but even though Gordy sold Motown, I assume he did not sign away his rights to royalties. And assuming that when Flo signed away her rights to hers, those royalties went into Gordy's account, which means that any monies of Flo's share of Supreme royalties is being banked by Gordy. Now mind you this is all assumption on my part. It's possible the royalties were diverted elsewhere immediately, or maybe Gordy gambled them away years later. But keeping with this assumption and my ending thought of people doing what is morally right, in my mind I think that when Gordy heard that Florence's daughters were in a bad spot back in the 1990s that he might have- if he had the heart to do so- thought "Let me reinstate Florence's royalties so that her daughters may have a better financial position, since I'm reaping millions every year from my Motown legacy". Legally he didn't have to do anything, but my statement was about morality.

    I wouldn't have thought you were one of those people I was referring to at the end of my original post. Welcome to Trump's America everybody, where the right thing doesn't even cross our minds.
    I was responding generally, not to you.

    When Florence signed her royalties away, any money saved went to Motown Record Corporation. It's shareholders were Berry and his family I gather, maybe a few others.

    But all of their shares are gone - Motown is owned by the Universal Company. I imagine it's a public company any of us can buy shares in. It has a CEO. It has a Board of Directors. They are responsible to the shareholders of Universal and I bet there are pension funds that own some shares and a bunch of rich people. The Board is there to make money for the shareholders.

    They are not going to give away royalties to anyone. The CEO would be making that decision and he'd never do it. And they are too busy trying to find new areas to market into because as we see, they put nothing into Expanded Motown Editions. The royalties on Motown music aren't so much anymore.

    Way way back, R. Dean Taylor was on here and he said the money he got from Love Child was next to nothing; it was divided between 27 different people and just didn't amount to much. And that was before CDs died.

    I recall Diana Ross set up some money for Florence's children; maybe others tried or did.

    But the children have no claim to anything from Berry Gordy, Motown, or Universal. And Universal owns everything. And they would never set a precedent by giving it away.

    P.S. Regarding Flo leaving of her own volition, I guess Motown would have been thrilled if she had and then she would have got absolutely nothing; but sure, it would depend on her contract. If Diana had bailed on Motown and gone to Columbia, they sure would have sued her and asked for injunctions to bar recording etc. But Flo wasn't Diana.
    Last edited by jobeterob; 11-20-2019 at 05:34 PM.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    I was responding generally, not to you.

    When Florence signed her royalties away, any money saved went to Motown Record Corporation. It's shareholders were Berry and his family I gather, maybe a few others.

    But all of their shares are gone - Motown is owned by the Universal Company. I imagine it's a public company any of us can buy shares in. It has a CEO. It has a Board of Directors. They are responsible to the shareholders of Universal and I bet there are pension funds that own some shares and a bunch of rich people. The Board is there to make money for the shareholders.

    They are not going to give away royalties to anyone. The CEO would be making that decision and he'd never do it. And they are too busy trying to find new areas to market into because as we see, they put nothing into Expanded Motown Editions. The royalties on Motown music aren't so much anymore.

    Way way back, R. Dean Taylor was on here and he said the money he got from Love Child was next to nothing; it was divided between 27 different people and just didn't amount to much. And that was before CDs died.

    I recall Diana Ross set up some money for Florence's children; maybe others tried or did.

    But the children have no claim to anything from Berry Gordy, Motown, or Universal. And Universal owns everything. And they would never set a precedent by giving it away.

    P.S. Regarding Flo leaving of her own volition, I guess Motown would have been thrilled if she had and then she would have got absolutely nothing; but sure, it would depend on her contract. If Diana had bailed on Motown and gone to Columbia, they sure would have sued her and asked for injunctions to bar recording etc. But Flo wasn't Diana.
    Thanks for the attorney-ese talk, JRob - I knew you would have real info & expertise to offer. It's a lovely thought that any business would give life-long royalties to family members of performers on 50+ year-old product, but is disingenuous at best. The lesson to be learned from Florence Ballard is, and always has been: READ WHAT YOU SIGN. As to familial loyalty, see: Carly Simon and Simon & Schuster. ps: Have to wonder ... why does no one ask about royalties for the children of David Ruffin? Hmmm ...

  27. #27
    What I believe is remarkable about Motown, Berry and the Gordy’s, Diana, Smokey and Stevie is that they have helped many people who were with Motown - they did help Flo, and Mary Wells and Diana did help Mary Wilson. And I’ve seen an article about the number of requests Stevie gets for financial assistance.

    It was a family and not just a public company who’s only goal was profit.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by thanxal View Post
    Oh Ran, you're so silly...


    You think people read instead of going straight to their preconceived notions?



    And what was one of the first songs Berry Gordy co-wrote? "Morality, That's What I Want"? Is that the exact title?


    Have you seen who the PЯЗsideиT of the United States is right now?


    Forum rules clearly state something must be stated 13 times for people to pay attention.

    Justice in this country only exists for the rich. See point 3 above.

    Flo shoulda known all this stuff even though she was never taught anything about business, there was active work to hide Supremes income, she came from a terribly underprivileged background, and she died. Companies have every right to exploit people as much as they can, alive or dead. Welcome to Corporate America.
    There's nothing here for me to argue with Thanx. A spot on post.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    Had Flo left on her own, wouldn't she be in violation of her contract?
    If she quit and left the group in a bind, yeah she would've been in breech of contract, I imagine.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    I was responding generally, not to you.

    When Florence signed her royalties away, any money saved went to Motown Record Corporation. It's shareholders were Berry and his family I gather, maybe a few others.

    But all of their shares are gone - Motown is owned by the Universal Company. I imagine it's a public company any of us can buy shares in. It has a CEO. It has a Board of Directors. They are responsible to the shareholders of Universal and I bet there are pension funds that own some shares and a bunch of rich people. The Board is there to make money for the shareholders.

    They are not going to give away royalties to anyone. The CEO would be making that decision and he'd never do it. And they are too busy trying to find new areas to market into because as we see, they put nothing into Expanded Motown Editions. The royalties on Motown music aren't so much anymore.

    Way way back, R. Dean Taylor was on here and he said the money he got from Love Child was next to nothing; it was divided between 27 different people and just didn't amount to much. And that was before CDs died.

    I recall Diana Ross set up some money for Florence's children; maybe others tried or did.

    But the children have no claim to anything from Berry Gordy, Motown, or Universal. And Universal owns everything. And they would never set a precedent by giving it away.

    P.S. Regarding Flo leaving of her own volition, I guess Motown would have been thrilled if she had and then she would have got absolutely nothing; but sure, it would depend on her contract. If Diana had bailed on Motown and gone to Columbia, they sure would have sued her and asked for injunctions to bar recording etc. But Flo wasn't Diana.
    A lot of this makes sense. Like I said before, my thought was based on an assumption that Gordy still receives royalties from the royalties signed away from other artists. If he doesn't, then there's no conversation about reinstating royalties. My argument hinged on Gordy still receiving Flo's portion of royalties and had nothing to do with anonymous Universal execs with no connection to Florence or her family. That was not something introduced in this conversation by me.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post

    P.S. Regarding Flo leaving of her own volition, I guess Motown would have been thrilled if she had and then she would have got absolutely nothing; but sure, it would depend on her contract. If Diana had bailed on Motown and gone to Columbia, they sure would have sued her and asked for injunctions to bar recording etc. But Flo wasn't Diana.
    If Gordy didn't bar Mary Wells or any other high profile act that left the company from recording again, he wouldn't have done so to Diana. And I would be shocked if he could legally bar anyone from recording elsewhere after leaving. Wasn't that the point of tying some artists up in lengthy contracts even though there was clearly no desire from the label to churn out tons of music for said artists during their tenure?

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    What I believe is remarkable about Motown, Berry and the Gordy’s, Diana, Smokey and Stevie is that they have helped many people who were with Motown - they did help Flo, and Mary Wells and Diana did help Mary Wilson. And I’ve seen an article about the number of requests Stevie gets for financial assistance.

    It was a family and not just a public company who’s only goal was profit.
    I think the family thing is a myth. I think what all the Motowners feel is a bond through the experience of Motown in the golden age. So even though you might have someone like Martha Reeves who clearly isn't the biggest fan of Diana Ross, if Diana were to need her, I bet Martha would be there. I'm sure Diana is sick and tired of Gladys Knight's tired stories about what Diana supposedly did to her a million years ago, but if Gladys were in need, Diana would surely help. But family? Nah. Motown, as is constantly pointed out in threads like this, was a business first. You can't "yank" my royalties, write books about my dirty laundry, or impede my quest for success and then consider yourself family.

    On second thought, this is exactly how some families operate, so maybe you have a point.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    Had Flo left on her own, wouldn't she be in violation of her contract?
    She did not leave on her own gordy fired her on july 1. But she could have claimed her spot if she wanted to b ecause she was told his firing was not binding but she did not fight it. So she probably wantrd out because of all the attention going t diana ross and flo was sick o f it mary was able to tolerate it flo being a lead singer was not. I am from the old school and i think li k e the young ppl do. Ross grandstanding tore t heart out of the supremes and flos drinking added to t pot

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    Had Flo left on her own, wouldn't she be in violation of her contract?
    She did not leave on her own gordy fired her on july 1. But she could have claimed her spot if she wanted to b ecause she was told his firing was not binding but she did not fight it. So she probably wantrd out because of all the attention going t diana ross and flo was sick o f it mary was able to tolerate it flo being a lead singer was not. I am from the old school and i think li k e the young ppl do. Ross grandstanding tore t heart out of the supremes and flos drinking added to t pot

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    On second thought, this is exactly how some families operate, so maybe you have a point.
    Does this mean I get to replace my siblings with the Andantes? Pretty please?

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    P.S. Regarding Flo leaving of her own volition, I guess Motown would have been thrilled if she had and then she would have got absolutely nothing; but sure, it would depend on her contract. If Diana had bailed on Motown and gone to Columbia, they sure would have sued her and asked for injunctions to bar recording etc. But Flo wasn't Diana.
    Exactly David Ruffin tried to leave and Motown was able to hold him to his contract. he made a big stink about it in the media and of course, this doomed his solo career

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by franjoy56 View Post
    She did not leave on her own gordy fired her on july 1. But she could have claimed her spot if she wanted to b ecause she was told his firing was not binding but she did not fight it. So she probably wantrd out because of all the attention going t diana ross and flo was sick o f it mary was able to tolerate it flo being a lead singer was not. I am from the old school and i think li k e the young ppl do. Ross grandstanding tore t heart out of the supremes and flos drinking added to t pot
    Gman wasn't suggesting Flo wasn't fired, he was wondering about what would happen had Flo simply quit.

    Flo had no real power as a Supreme. None of them did. If Gordy had wanted to ditch all three of them and replaced them with someone else, he could have, just as he did with Flo. And had he done so, he would've had to settle with each of them the way that he did with Flo. But ultimately Gordy held all the power. So there was nothing for Flo to reclaim as all the Supremes spots technically belonged to Berry. Diana had a fragile power that hinged on her place as lead singer and her place in Berry's master plan, as well as the sexual/love relationship she shared with him. The biggest power Flo and Mary had was in both being extremely popular and in the Supremes being introduced to the world as three equal partners and the public viewing them that way, more or less. Thus it made it difficult for Gordy to willy nilly swap Supremes, which is why firing Florence came after a particularly bad spell for her professionalism the first time, and supposedly the second time, and wasn't taken lightly. The biggest power the group had as a collective was in standing together against Berry's shenanigans, but they imploded. Each one contributed to this, but if anyone "tore (the) heart out" of the group, it was Gordy, not Diana.

  38. #38
    When Berry Gordy fired Florence Ballard from the Supremes, she was still under contract to Motown. I know if they had a way of voiding that contract, but it was later learned that Motown offered to record her as a solo act ala David Ruffin. If that were true, I am certain, it would have been just to avoid a lawsuit and nothing would have been released on Florence and definitely she would not have been promoted.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by thanxal View Post
    Does this mean I get to replace my siblings with the Andantes? Pretty please?
    Since music history has taught us that the Andantes only replaced irrelevant people, if irrelevancy describes your siblings, I'm sure the Andantes could be persuaded to stand in during the holidays at least. After all, they once stood in for a whole holiday album recording, so I've been told.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Gman wasn't suggesting Flo wasn't fired, he was wondering about what would happen had Flo simply quit.

    Flo had no real power as a Supreme. None of them did. If Gordy had wanted to ditch all three of them and replaced them with someone else, he could have, just as he did with Flo. And had he done so, he would've had to settle with each of them the way that he did with Flo. But ultimately Gordy held all the power. So there was nothing for Flo to reclaim as all the Supremes spots technically belonged to Berry. Diana had a fragile power that hinged on her place as lead singer and her place in Berry's master plan, as well as the sexual/love relationship she shared with him. The biggest power Flo and Mary had was in both being extremely popular and in the Supremes being introduced to the world as three equal partners and the public viewing them that way, more or less. Thus it made it difficult for Gordy to willy nilly swap Supremes, which is why firing Florence came after a particularly bad spell for her professionalism the first time, and supposedly the second time, and wasn't taken lightly. The biggest power the group had as a collective was in standing together against Berry's shenanigans, but they imploded. Each one contributed to this, but if anyone "tore (the) heart out" of the group, it was Gordy, not Diana.
    Had Mr. Gordy tried to ditch Mary and Flo and had they been older, more experienced, you would have had a huge mess like what happened with RTL! I know Mary would have fought it and went on every television show around to tell what the deal was.

    Motown owned their name. This is why the could prevent Flo from using it in the promotion of her solo career. It is also why Mary Wilson fought so hard years later to get ownership. Motown was very shrewd with their contracts. They would not allow the artists to take them outside of the company's offices to be reviewed by lawyers. They had to sign them then and there!
    Last edited by marv2; 11-21-2019 at 04:21 PM.

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    When Berry Gordy fired Florence Ballard from the Supremes, she was still under contract to Motown. I know if they had a way of voiding that contract, but it was later learned that Motown offered to record her as a solo act ala David Ruffin. If that were true, I am certain, it would have been just to avoid a lawsuit and nothing would have been released on Florence and definitely she would not have been promoted.
    Oh hell no, Motown wasn't going to release anything with Flo singing unless she was bringing up the background. That solo release offer was what I mentioned earlier, with Motown signing Flo to keep her tied up in a contract that would've prevented her from recording somewhere else. She probably would've gone into the studio to record some tracks which wouldn't see the light for 50 years (and probably end up better than anything she did at ABC). The young-should've-been-business-savvy-at-24-Florence Ballard has been described as foolish with her business decisions, but one thing she surely got right was turning down that solo offer from Motown. If Gordy was the least bit interested in Florence as a solo singer, he would've promoted that while Flo was a Supreme. That solo offer was intended to do Flo dirty. But they were a family.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Had Mr. Gordy tried to ditch Mary and Flo and had they been older, more experienced, you would have had a huge mess like what happened with RTL! I know Mary would have fought it and went on every television show around to tell what the deal was.

    Motown owned their name. This is why the could prevent Flo from using it in the promotion of her solo career. It is also why Mary Wilson fought so hard years later to get ownership. Motown was very shrewd with their contracts. They would not allow the artists to take them outside of the company's offices to be reviewed by lawyers. They had to sign them then and there!
    Pretty much everything Gordy did where his female artists is concerned, only worked because most of them were very young. Hell naw he wouldn't have gotten away with half the shit he did in the 60s with those same women in the 70s. Even Diana got to the point where she started telling Gordy to kiss her ass. At some point the ladies grow up and start asking questions and having enough life experience to stop falling for smooth talk like "I'll always take care of you". That's some master manipulator type shit there.

    Remember Mary discovered that as of the mid 70s Motown didn't own the name. It had never been registered. I wonder if had Flo's suit against Motown gone forward in 1971, if this might have been discovered and Flo had a case for owning the name since she picked it.

  43. #43
    I always felt Berry in some ways manipulated and psychologically abused every original Supremes member... he didn't allow them to read their contracts, each member's parents were concerned about how Gordy was handling things, and he put them on a salary so they wouldn't complain too much about getting instant money that they would only get little of and have to split it four times initially and then three times. Sure took advantage of the more savvy Diana Ross by promising he was gonna make her a Streisand/Judy Garland type of multi-dimensional superstar but still left her and her two Supremes partners financially stranded.

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Pretty much everything Gordy did where his female artists is concerned, only worked because most of them were very young. Hell naw he wouldn't have gotten away with half the shit he did in the 60s with those same women in the 70s. Even Diana got to the point where she started telling Gordy to kiss her ass. At some point the ladies grow up and start asking questions and having enough life experience to stop falling for smooth talk like "I'll always take care of you". That's some master manipulator type shit there.

    Remember Mary discovered that as of the mid 70s Motown didn't own the name. It had never been registered. I wonder if had Flo's suit against Motown gone forward in 1971, if this might have been discovered and Flo had a case for owning the name since she picked it.
    In a sense it looks like some pimping going on. He basically owned the girls by controlling their money. Shit they basically paid their own way by being charged for damn near everything according to wht I have heard and read. I cant imagine anyone signing a contract wo a legal review. As Mary said, her mother could not read nor write which definitely worked in Motown's favor.

  45. #45
    All the artists paid their own way - for sure. That's what they all did in those days and probably still do now.

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Since music history has taught us that the Andantes only replaced irrelevant people, if irrelevancy describes your siblings, I'm sure the Andantes could be persuaded to stand in during the holidays at least. After all, they once stood in for a whole holiday album recording, so I've been told.
    Dreams DO come true here on Soulful Detroit.

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by detmotownguy View Post
    In a sense it looks like some pimping going on. He basically owned the girls by controlling their money. Shit they basically paid their own way by being charged for damn near everything according to wht I have heard and read. I cant imagine anyone signing a contract wo a legal review. As Mary said, her mother could not read nor write which definitely worked in Motown's favor.
    It has a pimp-esque quality to it, for sure. But that was the industry at that time. The Supremes were probably the rule and not the exception for women- or girls, as was the case when the Supremes signed their original contracts- in the industry. And Motown surely wasn't the only company that dealt in these shenanigans. Of course even men in the industry had their lack of business sense taken advantage of by unscrupulous recording companies.

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by detmotownguy View Post
    In a sense it looks like some pimping going on. He basically owned the girls by controlling their money. Shit they basically paid their own way by being charged for damn near everything according to wht I have heard and read. I cant imagine anyone signing a contract wo a legal review. As Mary said, her mother could not read nor write which definitely worked in Motown's favor.
    Wasn't that the same with Lurlee?

    I think Ernestine read it and tried to get Diana to turn it down...or something like that but Diana was like "no let me sign, please?"

    Berry signed girls still in sophomore, junior and senior classes in high school (save for Barbara, I guess, but she was still a minor at 18).

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by detmotownguy View Post
    In a sense it looks like some pimping going on. He basically owned the girls by controlling their money. Shit they basically paid their own way by being charged for damn near everything according to wht I have heard and read. I cant imagine anyone signing a contract wo a legal review. As Mary said, her mother could not read nor write which definitely worked in Motown's favor.
    DET, You know where John R. is right? Well that was where Berry Gordy ran his girls when he was a pimp! That was in the old days, it is nothing like that around there now.

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Wasn't that the same with Lurlee?

    I think Ernestine read it and tried to get Diana to turn it down...or something like that but Diana was like "no let me sign, please?"

    Berry signed girls still in sophomore, junior and senior classes in high school (save for Barbara, I guess, but she was still a minor at 18).
    Mrs. Ballard could read, now whether or not she understood that legal document is another matter. Barbara Martin's mom didn't want her to be there. Freda and Scherrie Payne's mom refused to sign the contract for Freda. Had she done so, Freda would have been the first female solo artist on Motown. Ms. Farley (Freda's mom) worked at the Gordy's grocery store, so she knew the Gordy's very well. A bit of trivia, Berry Gordy knew Scherrie before he'd ever met any of the original Supremes.

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