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  1. #1

    Flo and Mary Not On Reflections per Eddie Holland

    I can't find the thread in which a lively debate took place a few months ago regarding "Reflections" and who is singing background, so I'll just start this new post. In the Hollands' book Eddie admits that Diana is the only Supreme on "Reflections". Trusting that his memory of this is intact, I say this should be placed in the "fact" category.

    After the "Did Any Of Flo Ballards Go Into Show Business..." thread I gave myself a well deserved break from this forum. Who needs the frustration of people twisting and turning one's words or reading things unsaid? Not I and I'm so disgusted that I'd rather not participate in the forum at all. My self imposed break is still intact, but I am currently reading the Hollands' book and after the debate surrounding "Reflections" in whatever thread we discussed it, I felt it necessary to pop back in and let Brad know that Eddie has confirmed what Brad has said all along.

    No doubt there will be some who won't accept this, and there will be even more who will use it to say "Nah-nah-nah-nah, Diana was the only Supreme who mattered".

    To the doubters I say this: Get over it. There were times when the producers used session singers in place of one or more Supremes for a variety of reasons. If you love "Reflections", as I do, knowing Diana is the only Supreme present should not affect your love of the song very much. (Admittedly, the song has dropped a notch or two for me with this new information, but Diana's vocal and the instrumentation are so great that I could never be forced into disliking such a fantastic cut.) Continue to rest in the knowledge that the original trio is still overwhelmingly the voices on tracks labeled "Supremes" up until Cindy's entrance.

    To the "Na-Na-Na" group: Nothing I say will stop you from doing that. Diana Ross was the official lead singer of the Supremes, and as such, she was the most important vocal component to the group and it's success. That's a fact. But the presence of the Andantes or other background singers can't be used to diminish the importance of Flo and Mary. After all, Florence is the only Supreme on "Silent Night", backed by the Andantes, and Mary is the only Supreme on "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" (group studio version, not duet with Eddie or any live version). And try as I might to hear her, but I'm betting Diana is nowhere to be found on "Come And Get These Memories"; it's Mary, Flo and the Andantes. Which all leave me to believe that even if Flo and Mary's leads in the group doubled or tripled, there would be times that they too would be backed by singers who were not Supremes. It's the way Motown did business regardless of the lead singer- group or solo.

    Anyway, just wanted to let Brad have his "I told you so" moment, if he chooses-- and it's back to ignoring this forum for me.

  2. #2
    actually i heard only Flo was missing from the Reflections session. Mary i believe is on it and it's probably Marlene again

  3. #3
    also your absence here has been noticed and missed. I know some of the discussed, unfortunately, get heated. do hope that you'll stay around - love your posts

  4. #4
    He was trippin'. You hear Mary Wilson on "Reflections". So not to waste too much of your time on this...AGAIN, go to 2:11 and listen. You'll hear Mary Wilson's low voice echoing the lyrics sung by Diana Ross. Now get back to watching the Impeachment hearings :


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    actually i heard only Flo was missing from the Reflections session. Mary i believe is on it and it's probably Marlene again
    Mary is on it. Listen to the video below.

  6. #6
    I've also noticed and missed your presence. The posts and posters can get truly ridiculous, even disgusting. But this is still a valuable forum for my love of Motown, The Supremes and Diana Ross. I hope you will continue to check in. I really appreciate your thoughtful posts.

  7. #7
    Well the Supremes seem to be on less and less as the years since 1970 creep by.

    But one of the reasons many of us really enjoyed the Supremes was because of songs like Manhattan, Nothing but Heartaches, Come See About Me, It's All Your Fault and many others - where clearly there was an interplay between especially Diana and Florence. And they all did have a look and a style that worked and that Motown played up especially from 1964 to 1967.

    I remember that Andy once privately said the group was over in 1967 and that seems to be what is gradually coming out to the fans.

    Again, not very many people care - just the fans interested in historical information. And I guess to those emotionally involved (which apparently doesn't include most of the Supremes!)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    He was trippin'. You hear Mary Wilson on "Reflections". So not to waste too much of your time on this...AGAIN, go to 2:11 and listen. You'll hear Mary Wilson's low voice echoing the lyrics sung by Diana Ross. Now get back to watching the Impeachment hearings :

    Marv you are so funny! If he said Mary and Florence were on it. You would be saying you are taking the word of someone who was there and the producer and song writer. But since it isnít what you want to hear he must be trippin! Lol lol. I swear this is too funny.

  9. #9
    Interesting enough a few years back the BBC did a series of programs on the radio breaking down motown songs discussing various instrumentals and such. Reflections was one of the songs talked about. Also they had audio of some of the sessions when you hear the chatter between Brian and Lamont and Diana and Mary in the studio. No Flo.

  10. #10
    Now it is possible since Diana usually recorded her vocals separately from the girls that’s what he meant. And if I’m correct usually Lamont handles working the background vocals with Mary and whoever was with her lol.

  11. #11
    It’s funny that he’s so interested in the impeachment hearings when he has the same exact thought process as Donald Trump as you just pointed out in your post…… There’s no integrity in his arguments whatsoever on any topic…… The same people he credits for supporting his opinions he discredits when they don’t support his opinions just like Donald Trump does…… His loyalties are like a fart in a blizzard.

    that being said, I agree with Marv that it does sound like Mary at 2:11, however, I have been the odd-man out for over 50 years because this song just doesn’t do it for me - I don’t know why I wish it did… everyone else sweats it...But one of my problems with it is that I don’t like the sound of the background vocals they don’t seem to Have the personality that Mary and Flo have…… And I have never believed that Mary and Flo on the record since I found out about the use of the andantes in the 80s. I love the AnDantes on many supreme’s records but I do not care for them on any of the singles from this album.

  12. #12
    It would be interesting to know when the background vocals were actually recorded and when Florence was suspended from the group and their touring schedule.

  13. #13
    Since we've not received a Reflections EE and booklet, some of this info is most likely incomplete.

    April
    4/7 - 9 Twin Coaches, Belle Versnon PA
    4/16 We Couldn't Get Along Without You vocals
    4/20 In and out of love session (don't know if vocals, backing track, etc)
    4/21 Forever came today session (ditto)
    4/21 U of Tenn, Knoxville, TN
    4/23 Loyola Field House, New Orleans. This is the date Flo was too drunk to perform and M and D did a duet act
    4/26 lead on A Dream Is a Wish, Supercalif..., Toyland, If Won't be long till Xmas, Chim Chim Cheree
    4/29 Hollywood Bowl show (Cindy's debut)

    May
    5/7 Ed Sullivan
    5/9 Reflections session
    5/11 - 24 Copa NYC
    5/21 What's My Line
    5/22 Tonight Show
    5/26 Amory Fieldhouse, Cincinnati
    5/29 Minneapolis Auditorium
    5/30 Duluth Arena

    ** a session for It's Going All The Way occurred May too but don't have date

    June
    6/1 - 10 Shoreham Hotel, Washington DC
    6/11 Symphony Hall, Newark NJ
    6/12 It's Going all the way session again
    6/13 - 26 Coconut Grove LA
    6/29 - 7/19 Flamingo Hotel Vegas

  14. #14
    I dont post much on here but do read the occasional thread. The threads can get too hefty for me sometimes lol. I think it's not right by saying we have to take this as a fact and the doubters have to get over it. Everyone has their own opinion and views, please respect that. These songs were recorded more than 50 years ago and I'm sure Eddie, Mary, the Andantes and the rest can't remember every single session at the studio. That's only human after all. Mary wrote in her book that this was the last single Flo appears on, now Eddie says neither of them were on the single. Are there any other biographies, books with contradicting memories of these sessions?

    Who sang background for the Supremes has become Fan fiction on this forum. Just my opinion. The intro on Reflections was Florence's mobile phone so she left the studio to answer it. The Andantes and Diana were half way through the song just for Mary to interrupt and join in. Eddie went to toilet and left to get a sandwich afterwards so never saw Mary joining the session. Oh and I happened to be there that day. Even though I was born 30 years after the release of this single. I mean 20 lol. Just knocked 10 years of my age.
    Last edited by TYK1986; 12-04-2019 at 05:02 PM. Reason: missed out word.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by SatansBlues View Post
    It would be interesting to know when the background vocals were actually recorded and when Florence was suspended from the group and their touring schedule.
    Any word on this issue in the liner notes of Reflections EE if it finally meets the light of day will fully resolve it for me, that is if Andy and George are willing to add fuel to the fire of this looney bin. I can completely understand why they would not want to touch this issue.
    Last edited by thanxal; 12-05-2019 at 11:43 AM.

  16. #16
    Can you just imagine them discussing it.
    Andy:"Shall we add who sang background on the songs?".
    George:"................NO!"

  17. #17
    they probably will not state directly.

    in A Go Go booklet, they state that on July 5 Flo was a no-show. they list that they recorded "Song A, song B, C and others"

    then in the liner notes of the booklet, they list the vocal sessions for YCHL as July 5. so technically they did reveal it but they didn't directly come out and say "Flo was not at the recording session for You Can't Hurry Love."

    odds are they'll handle Reflections in a similar manner, if it is the case that she wasn't there

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    Since we've not received a Reflections EE and booklet, some of this info is most likely incomplete.

    April
    4/7 - 9 Twin Coaches, Belle Versnon PA
    4/16 We Couldn't Get Along Without You vocals
    ...
    Additional info & dates and corrections (and pictures!) at
    http://dianarosssupremes.free.fr/Timeline%201967.htm
    (the twin Coach engagement is shortened to 7-9 in the booklet of HDH Expanded. It's 7-15 according the Pittsburgh Press of April 7, 1967)
    The recording date of Reflections is also in there (as it is in the booklets of the Supremes 50th Anniversary single collection & HDH Expanded)

  19. #19
    Who knows the truth really. Eddie says that Where Did our Love Go was written for the Supremes..originally Mary. Lamont says it was for the Marvelettes. They were both there, why the discrepancy?

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by drlorne View Post
    Who knows the truth really. Eddie says that Where Did our Love Go was written for the Supremes..originally Mary. Lamont says it was for the Marvelettes. They were both there, why the discrepancy?
    They also said that Florence Ballard is on that record, although I have never heard her voice on it. The discrepancy could come from age.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    they probably will not state directly.

    in A Go Go booklet, they state that on July 5 Flo was a no-show. they list that they recorded "Song A, song B, C and others"

    then in the liner notes of the booklet, they list the vocal sessions for YCHL as July 5. so technically they did reveal it but they didn't directly come out and say "Flo was not at the recording session for You Can't Hurry Love."

    odds are they'll handle Reflections in a similar manner, if it is the case that she wasn't there
    You're absolutely correct. Anyone who can read can understand what they write, but they don't directly come out and say "Mary and Flo are on this, not that". Anyone with any level of reading comprehension can figure it out, as you have, which is why I try to only reply to the crazy around here with "go read the liner notes".
    Last edited by thanxal; 12-04-2019 at 06:02 PM.

  22. #22
    Keep in mind Eddie and Lamont gave different stories on Where Did Our Go

  23. #23
    This is from that guy Johnny Midnight or Midnight Johnny that use to be a member here:


  24. #24
    If the stories over the years are correct, Eddie only worked with Diana while Lamont worked with Mary and Flo and since Diana usually records her leads separately I’m not surprised Eddie said that. Whether it’s true or no that’s a different story.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    Additional info & dates and corrections (and pictures!) at
    http://dianarosssupremes.free.fr/Timeline%201967.htm
    (the twin Coach engagement is shortened to 7-9 in the booklet of HDH Expanded. It's 7-15 according the Pittsburgh Press of April 7, 1967)
    The recording date of Reflections is also in there (as it is in the booklets of the Supremes 50th Anniversary single collection & HDH Expanded)
    this is great! thanks! i've taken all of the liner notes from the booklets and made a spreadsheet at work (sometimes things are a bit slow here lol). but i haven't been able to do the "bound" sets like TITS, 50th Anniv and Let Yourself because I don't have those in digital format. the others are all easy to scan in.

    and i foresee some more slow days ahead so i'll be updating my file!

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    If the stories over the years are correct, Eddie only worked with Diana while Lamont worked with Mary and Flo and since Diana usually records her leads separately I’m not surprised Eddie said that. Whether it’s true or no that’s a different story.
    Another interesting thing that came to mind after reading your post. Whenever Mary Wilson sings "Reflections" in concert, she sings the line "Just a handful of promises is all that's left BECAUSE NOTHINGS REAL........" instead of "Just a handful of promises are all that's left of LOVING YOU....". She does that because that is the way she learned the song when they recorded her background parts! I always wondered why she did that and now it makes sense.

  27. #27
    Funny how when people who were there say anything about a Supremes recording, the conversation goes left or right depending on that person's opinion on what they think they heard.

    I heard the song on the #1 compilation and when I heard the end, I did think "yep, that's definitely the Andantes".

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    716
    Mary and Flo are not on Reflections. The song
    ‘s greatness did not need them.

  29. #29
    Oh boy, in this case silence is not golden. With all due respect to Mr Holland's memory, Mary is on "Reflections."

  30. #30
    I always find it funny how everyone has their own opinion about it. When someone who worked for Motown favours their opinion it becomes hardcore fact.

    I tried to listen to the instrumental version but I'm not very good at distinguishing voices. I don't seem to hear Florence and I hear Mary buried behind, I guess one or all of the Andantes, but more audible half way through the song. Just my opinion not fact.

  31. #31
    Thank you George

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by George Solomon View Post
    Oh boy, in this case silence is not golden. With all due respect to Mr Holland's memory, Mary is on "Reflections."
    You must enjoy punishing yourself!
    Thank you for this clarification. Settles it for me.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by TYK1986 View Post
    I always find it funny how everyone has their own opinion about it. When someone who worked for Motown favours their opinion it becomes hardcore fact.

    I tried to listen to the instrumental version but I'm not very good at distinguishing voices. I don't seem to hear Florence and I hear Mary buried behind, I guess one or all of the Andantes, but more audible half way through the song. Just my opinion not fact.
    In the Wiki article for the song, Mary and Marlene are credited for the backgrounds.

  34. #34
    Thanks midnightman. I try to avoid wiki, especially Supremes related articles.
    Would be nice to hear the Andantes separately as to know how they sound. I don't mean as an ensemble.

    The more prominent voice sounds similar to songs recorded, according to the a Go Go expanded, by Marlene.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    In the Wiki article for the song, Mary and Marlene are credited for the backgrounds.
    Wiki is slightly more reliable than Marv - but nothing worth going to very often.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by George Solomon View Post
    Oh boy, in this case silence is not golden. With all due respect to Mr Holland's memory, Mary is on "Reflections."
    Hey George any update on when/if the Reflections Expanded Edition might be released? Has the liner notes been completed? Were the background vocals on Reflections isolated to confirm Marlene's and Mary's bg vocals?

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by George Solomon View Post
    Oh boy, in this case silence is not golden. With all due respect to Mr Holland's memory, Mary is on "Reflections."
    Ok George thank you! I hear Mary clearly.

  38. #38
    Amen! Thanks George.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by George Solomon View Post
    Oh boy, in this case silence is not golden. With all due respect to Mr Holland's memory, Mary is on "Reflections."
    Well stated! And good to hear.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by SatansBlues View Post
    Hey George any update on when/if the Reflections Expanded Edition might be released? Has the liner notes been completed? Were the background vocals on Reflections isolated to confirm Marlene's and Mary's bg vocals?
    Obviously not a release this year but we're hoping that things will be rolling by early next year. Yes, liner notes written, yes vocals have been isolated and yes, definitely Mary!

  41. #41
    DONT LEAVE ME RANRAN, I CANT DO THIS PLACE WITHOUT YOOOOOOUuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    He was trippin'. You hear Mary Wilson on "Reflections". So not to waste too much of your time on this...AGAIN, go to 2:11 and listen. You'll hear Mary Wilson's low voice echoing the lyrics sung by Diana Ross. :

    thanks for the aural tutorial Marv !!

    I think it's Mary's voice 'reflecting' Diana's words continuously throughout the song, thus giving this number a strongly authentic "Supremes" sound .
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 12-07-2019 at 01:55 AM.

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    thanks for the aural tutorial Marv !!

    I think it's Mary's voice 'reflecting' Diana's words continuously throughout the song, thus giving this number a strongly authentic "Supremes" sound .
    You're welcome. I never ever would have guessed that as a kid way back in 1967 that one day I would have people arguing about whether or not the Supremes are singing on their own records and getting pissed when they find out that, yes they are! LOL!

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    You're welcome. I never ever would have guessed that as a kid way back in 1967 that one day I would have people arguing about whether or not the Supremes are singing on their own records and getting pissed when they find out that, yes they are! LOL!
    funnier yet, the stress from such debates is so overwelming they have to take a break from the forum to recover !! lol!!!
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 12-07-2019 at 03:01 AM.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    funnier yet, the stress from such debates is so overwelming they have to take a break from the forum to recover !! lol!!!
    It gets ridiculous at times like when this one guy just continues to argue what he interpreted Andy S. to have said in an internet radio interview nearly 10 years ago. The question had been answered, settled but he still could not let it go! He wishes that the Supremes were not on certain records even though he claims to be a Supremes fan and loved the record. LOL! Koo koo......

  46. #46
    So Florence is not on this song?

  47. #47
    Bingo. Mary and Marlene Barrow were the ones in it.
    Quote Originally Posted by khansperac View Post
    So Florence is not on this song?

  48. #48
    Now this is just a theory but maybe the reason why you can't hear Flo talking is because she stopped talking to Diana and Mary when she came back. Just a theory.

  49. #49
    No it’s pretty clear Flo isn’t there.
    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    Now this is just a theory but maybe the reason why you can't hear Flo talking is because she stopped talking to Diana and Mary when she came back. Just a theory.

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    No it’s pretty clear Flo isn’t there.
    Maybe she had heard that it was going to be released with the new group name "Diana Ross & the Supremes".

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