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  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Mary wasn't ready to go solo. She's said her confidence was not up to the task. Continuing the group made the most sense, though I do think it's a worthy debate about whether Jean should've joined the group or not. If not, I definitely think she should've been signed as a solo.

    An interesting scenario I've pondered regarding Cindy is what would have happened to Cindy if after Flo was brought back into the group while Motown worked out Cindy's contract situation, Flo had straightened up and decided to get with the program? Motown would have thus bought out Cindy's contract for shits and giggles. Either the label would've had to write that expense off and send Cindy on her merry way (surely not back to the Bluebelles), or perhaps Cindy might have joined the Marvelettes when Gladys left, or the Vandellas when Roz exited. I think Cindy might have made an interesting addition to the Vandellas.
    i think the more accurate statement is mary wasn't capable of a solo career at that time because 1) she didn't have the vocal chops to handle it and 2) motown had 0 interest in her as a soloist.

    for the first reason, mary just wasn't, vocally, up to the job. the leads at the time were competent. but that's all. she didn't have the range or consistency with her performances

    as for the 2nd, mary made MAJOR improvements and growth throughout the 70s with her singing capabilities. and even then, motown didn't want anything to do with her. she was ready to assume full lead of the Sups in 73 and motown said "nope." Even as she continued in the mid 70s, they still wanted scherrie

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    oh i'm sure you're right. there are probably volumes of info on what's not been told.

    I can't remember who brought it up and with what old thread, but i remember someone sharing some info from talking with Gil. he said both M and D were crushed as they watched F deteriorate. both girls were really trying to keep her going and keep it from Berry. it just unfortunately got to a point where they just couldn't any longer. But the picture that's been painted of Diana scheming Flo out of the group is not only not accurate but slanderous. sure all the girls had squabbles and tiffs. good lord - who wouldn't. Diana definitely wanted M and F as part of the group until it simply became unrealistic to continue
    Mary actually writes in her first book that both she and Diana tried to help Flo curb her drinking and both were hiding bottles from her. The myth of the cold, heartless Diana Ross doesn't play out when people who were actually there talk about what went down. That thing is only popular with people who believe everything they hear and read, or folks who have an axe to grind. That's not to say Diana was innocent or a totally benevolent being. I think where Mary messes up sometimes is in publicizing some of the worst parts of Diana during this time, and not speaking enough about the better qualities. Likewise, some of the folks like Shelly Berger and them will never say Diana did anything wrong and because that usually insults the intelligence of the average bear, it leads to people leaning toward the Diana must have been Evilene if some folks are working so hard to paint her as Saint Supreme. (And I exaggerate with the "saint", but I'm sure you get what I mean.)

    Flo says they were like sisters and they fought like sisters. If she can say that after everything she went through with Diana, why in the hell would I ever take the word of someone who never even met Florence or Diana, attempting to tell me Diana Ross was the most horrible person who ever lived?

  3. #53
    Hence thats why Motown only offered mary to be a co-lead
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i think the more accurate statement is mary wasn't capable of a solo career at that time because 1) she didn't have the vocal chops to handle it and 2) motown had 0 interest in her as a soloist.

    for the first reason, mary just wasn't, vocally, up to the job. the leads at the time were competent. but that's all. she didn't have the range or consistency with her performances

    as for the 2nd, mary made MAJOR improvements and growth throughout the 70s with her singing capabilities. and even then, motown didn't want anything to do with her. she was ready to assume full lead of the Sups in 73 and motown said "nope." Even as she continued in the mid 70s, they still wanted scherrie

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i think the more accurate statement is mary wasn't capable of a solo career at that time because 1) she didn't have the vocal chops to handle it and 2) motown had 0 interest in her as a soloist.

    for the first reason, mary just wasn't, vocally, up to the job. the leads at the time were competent. but that's all. she didn't have the range or consistency with her performances

    as for the 2nd, mary made MAJOR improvements and growth throughout the 70s with her singing capabilities. and even then, motown didn't want anything to do with her. she was ready to assume full lead of the Sups in 73 and motown said "nope." Even as she continued in the mid 70s, they still wanted scherrie
    But none of that matters if she doesn't believe in herself. You can't deal with any of that other stuff if the singer doesn't have the mental ability to approach the job. And keeping it real, but this is the label that signed Little Lisa, so ability alone wasn't always a determining factor in the label's interest.

    I posted in another thread Mary's words regarding when she was singing leads during the Supremes 75 sessions and how she lost her voice, chalking it up to a psychological issue. If she could have that problem in 1974, there's no way in hell Mary would've been able to take over lead duties for the group or as a soloist in 1970.

    If you listen to Mary's leads from 1960-1965, she mostly sounds like a confident vocalist. She had a really good voice, a nice range, and her tone was incredible IMO. And then all of a sudden she sometimes sounds shaky at worst, or lacks command at best. I do believe her story about Berry telling her that she couldn't sing. She comes across as a text book example of someone who was once confident but then has her confidence shaken. Had Mary had all the confidence she has today in 1970, giving her material suited to her voice, she would've been as capable as anyone else.

    But forget all of that, what about Cindy in 1967? Flo is in and not going anywhere, what do you think happens to Cindy?

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    But forget all of that, what about Cindy in 1967? Flo is in and not going anywhere, what do you think happens to Cindy?
    Motown gives Cindy a substantial amount of money for her trouble because there was no way she could return to the Bluebelles. With that money, maybe she'd pursue her original career path, nursing I believe. They wouldn't sign her to a solo contract because she didn't have a lead voice. As someone else posted, maybe they might have her hang around to replace a Marvelette, Vandella, or Velvelette. But Flo's coffin was probably nailed after she threw that drink in Berry's face.

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Motown gives Cindy a substantial amount of money for her trouble because there was no way she could return to the Bluebelles. With that money, maybe she'd pursue her original career path, nursing I believe. They wouldn't sign her to a solo contract because she didn't have a lead voice. As someone else posted, maybe they might have her hang around to replace a Marvelette, Vandella, or Velvelette. But Flo's coffin was probably nailed after she threw that drink in Berry's face.
    That was me who suggested she might replace Gladys or Roz, although my money is on her replacing Roz. I didn't consider Motown might pay Cindy for her trouble. Since she eventually pursued a solo career in the 80s, I wonder if she may have attempted to do that if the Supremes didn't pan out. She may have also looked for work joining another singing group or maybe becoming a background session singer.

    I don't think it was over for Flo until that last night in Vegas. I think even Gordy would've rather sucked it up and continued to deal with someone he didn't personally care for if it meant the Supremes could move forward without a shakeup in the lineup. Of course that hinged on Flo "behaving", and Gordy figured she'd slip up eventually, hopefully after Cindy's contract had been taken care of. And when she did slip up, she was out and Cindy was in.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    That was me who suggested she might replace Gladys or Roz, although my money is on her replacing Roz. I didn't consider Motown might pay Cindy for her trouble. Since she eventually pursued a solo career in the 80s, I wonder if she may have attempted to do that if the Supremes didn't pan out. She may have also looked for work joining another singing group or maybe becoming a background session singer.

    I don't think it was over for Flo until that last night in Vegas. I think even Gordy would've rather sucked it up and continued to deal with someone he didn't personally care for if it meant the Supremes could move forward without a shakeup in the lineup. Of course that hinged on Flo "behaving", and Gordy figured she'd slip up eventually, hopefully after Cindy's contract had been taken care of. And when she did slip up, she was out and Cindy was in.
    i think flo was pretty much done in April when they met with Berry at his house. don't buy the idea that the subsequent dates with Flo were really anything more than they needed her. not that they wanted her. i think by that time the working relationship between the 3 and between Flo and Berry was ruined. it's not like this all happened overnight. she'd been skipping recording sessions and performances since early 66 - like when she missed the tour where Marlene subbed, missed the deb party at Grosse Point, missed the recording sessions in July with You Can't Hurry love and others.

    the group had a jam-packed schedule and they simply couldn't finalize the release of Cindy in time. she jumped in for that 1 date in late April but then they had all of the tours and tv performances for May and June.

    also Flo's name was on those contracts, for each gig and appearance. Every date the girls had was set by a contract. So to officially change the name of one of the performers might have taken a little time. they could start to implement that change eventually but probably not for every date.

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    But none of that matters if she doesn't believe in herself. You can't deal with any of that other stuff if the singer doesn't have the mental ability to approach the job. And keeping it real, but this is the label that signed Little Lisa, so ability alone wasn't always a determining factor in the label's interest.

    I posted in another thread Mary's words regarding when she was singing leads during the Supremes 75 sessions and how she lost her voice, chalking it up to a psychological issue. If she could have that problem in 1974, there's no way in hell Mary would've been able to take over lead duties for the group or as a soloist in 1970.

    If you listen to Mary's leads from 1960-1965, she mostly sounds like a confident vocalist. She had a really good voice, a nice range, and her tone was incredible IMO. And then all of a sudden she sometimes sounds shaky at worst, or lacks command at best. I do believe her story about Berry telling her that she couldn't sing. She comes across as a text book example of someone who was once confident but then has her confidence shaken. Had Mary had all the confidence she has today in 1970, giving her material suited to her voice, she would've been as capable as anyone else.

    But forget all of that, what about Cindy in 1967? Flo is in and not going anywhere, what do you think happens to Cindy?
    sure in the late 60s mary's confidence and abilities were probably stifled. but she was getting a little more representation - she had the duet with Eddie on Together, Can't Take was also added to their shows as was Falling in Love. She even had a small duet with Diana on Can't Shake Loose (sort of like duet on Really Got A Hold On Me). it's not a lot but some at least.

    during the Jean years, she had much more exposure. but when J and L left, motown STILL had no interest in her as a full lead singer. that's rather telling. she'd been a signed artist for 13 years, recorded a zillion songs with them, quite a few as lead (especially post Diana), a gazillion concert appearance that often included multiple leads, and yet still 0.

    when they first signed, they were kids. so they can be forgiven to some extent for foolish decisions, immaturity or just following the company dictate. By the time Diana left, they were 25. at this point, Mary should have been taking a much more assertive approach with her career. but she wasn't. she continued to rehash Can't Take My Eyes, she wasn't pushing a new image for the group. Why would motown bother investing in someone that wasn't pushing 110%?

  9. #59
    It’s easy for you to say that seeing you’re commenting on it years after the fact. Why would she push for it when she knew she wasn’t ready. Letting Jean come in was a good choice. By fall 73 I’m assuming that mary felt like ready or not I have to do this. Motown not offering her the full lead does make you wonder, but letting her do part of the lead and scherrie do the other at shows they might work with her.
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    sure in the late 60s mary's confidence and abilities were probably stifled. but she was getting a little more representation - she had the duet with Eddie on Together, Can't Take was also added to their shows as was Falling in Love. She even had a small duet with Diana on Can't Shake Loose (sort of like duet on Really Got A Hold On Me). it's not a lot but some at least.

    during the Jean years, she had much more exposure. but when J and L left, motown STILL had no interest in her as a full lead singer. that's rather telling. she'd been a signed artist for 13 years, recorded a zillion songs with them, quite a few as lead (especially post Diana), a gazillion concert appearance that often included multiple leads, and yet still 0.

    when they first signed, they were kids. so they can be forgiven to some extent for foolish decisions, immaturity or just following the company dictate. By the time Diana left, they were 25. at this point, Mary should have been taking a much more assertive approach with her career. but she wasn't. she continued to rehash Can't Take My Eyes, she wasn't pushing a new image for the group. Why would motown bother investing in someone that wasn't pushing 110%?

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    It’s easy for you to say that seeing you’re commenting on it years after the fact. Why would she push for it when she knew she wasn’t ready. Letting Jean come in was a good choice. By fall 73 I’m assuming that mary felt like ready or not I have to do this. Motown not offering her the full lead does make you wonder, but letting her do part of the lead and scherrie do the other at shows they might work with her.
    oh of course - hindsight makes all the difference.

    but what i was saying was it's unclear just how much she was preparing for it. I'll be the first to admit that i wasn't there so, like everyone else here, i don't have the full story. and i'm asking it more as a question vs a accusation. maybe she really was pushing behind the scenes to take on more. some sources don't seem to support that but again, weren't there.

    It does seem that once jean was onboard, she did take over more of the management of the group. and even though i think that was part of the source of her conflicts with jean, she was definitely stepping up more. Which just makes the issue more evident in 73. it had been 4 years since D left and still not much progression

  11. #61
    I've also wondered what would have happened had to Cindy had Flo kept herself in check. I think she would have made a great addition to the Vandellas. If Flo had stayed, I do see the Supremes breaking up sooner than later. Diana would have left in 1968 rather than 1970.

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    oh of course - hindsight makes all the difference.

    but what i was saying was it's unclear just how much she was preparing for it. I'll be the first to admit that i wasn't there so, like everyone else here, i don't have the full story. and i'm asking it more as a question vs a accusation. maybe she really was pushing behind the scenes to take on more. some sources don't seem to support that but again, weren't there.

    It does seem that once jean was onboard, she did take over more of the management of the group. and even though i think that was part of the source of her conflicts with jean, she was definitely stepping up more. Which just makes the issue more evident in 73. it had been 4 years since D left and still not much progression

    I am not going to write a long dissertation, because I don't have time. I'll just say, you weren't there and clearly have not spoken to someone that was, so I can't get upset with all your assumptions even though I know they are nowhere near the truth. I will say this, Mary Wilson is the only one that is constantly singing and performing paid audiences around World year in and year out! I know you will argue the point "but what about Diana, she's still performing too", she does not do as many gigs as Mary Wilson does EVERY year, all year.

  13. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i think flo was pretty much done in April when they met with Berry at his house. don't buy the idea that the subsequent dates with Flo were really anything more than they needed her. not that they wanted her. i think by that time the working relationship between the 3 and between Flo and Berry was ruined. it's not like this all happened overnight. she'd been skipping recording sessions and performances since early 66 - like when she missed the tour where Marlene subbed, missed the deb party at Grosse Point, missed the recording sessions in July with You Can't Hurry love and others.

    the group had a jam-packed schedule and they simply couldn't finalize the release of Cindy in time. she jumped in for that 1 date in late April but then they had all of the tours and tv performances for May and June.

    also Flo's name was on those contracts, for each gig and appearance. Every date the girls had was set by a contract. So to officially change the name of one of the performers might have taken a little time. they could start to implement that change eventually but probably not for every date.
    The problem with all of that, is that Flo would've been dropped the minute Cindy was free from her contract. There's no reason to believe that Cindy's freedom coincidentally coincided with Flo messing up on stage that night. Gordy needed a legit cause to get rid of Flo. She gave it to him. Had she not, had she had some type of "I've seen the light" moment, this is where the "what if" comes into play. Would a "new" Flo still have gotten the boot from Gordy? Would Diana and Mary go along with that? (As if they really had a choice.) It's an interesting "what if" to ponder.

    That debutante party was in 1965. There's no evidence that Flo and the Supremes were having any real issues that early in time. I assume Florence was ill. She seems to have suffered a few illnesses while with the group. Of course it's easy for some to jump to the conclusion that these "illnesses" were alcohol related or mental, but there are some people who seem to be more susceptible to becoming sick than others. And then one time Florence had walking pneumonia and was still expected to do her job. That's crazy.

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    sure in the late 60s mary's confidence and abilities were probably stifled. but she was getting a little more representation - she had the duet with Eddie on Together, Can't Take was also added to their shows as was Falling in Love. She even had a small duet with Diana on Can't Shake Loose (sort of like duet on Really Got A Hold On Me). it's not a lot but some at least.

    during the Jean years, she had much more exposure. but when J and L left, motown STILL had no interest in her as a full lead singer. that's rather telling. she'd been a signed artist for 13 years, recorded a zillion songs with them, quite a few as lead (especially post Diana), a gazillion concert appearance that often included multiple leads, and yet still 0.

    when they first signed, they were kids. so they can be forgiven to some extent for foolish decisions, immaturity or just following the company dictate. By the time Diana left, they were 25. at this point, Mary should have been taking a much more assertive approach with her career. but she wasn't. she continued to rehash Can't Take My Eyes, she wasn't pushing a new image for the group. Why would motown bother investing in someone that wasn't pushing 110%?
    To be fair, when Jean and Lynda left, Motown wasn't interested in the Supremes period. I had to concede Marv's point in another thread that even when Scherrie joined, Motown still was reluctant to re-sign the group.

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    oh of course - hindsight makes all the difference.

    but what i was saying was it's unclear just how much she was preparing for it. I'll be the first to admit that i wasn't there so, like everyone else here, i don't have the full story. and i'm asking it more as a question vs a accusation. maybe she really was pushing behind the scenes to take on more. some sources don't seem to support that but again, weren't there.

    It does seem that once jean was onboard, she did take over more of the management of the group. and even though i think that was part of the source of her conflicts with jean, she was definitely stepping up more. Which just makes the issue more evident in 73. it had been 4 years since D left and still not much progression
    Unfortunately, unless someone does a Q and A, it always seems like our deep understanding of the goings on with this group go unaddressed. I agree, it is unclear what Mary was doing. So often with the group, people who do talk about what was happening focus on Diana, and when they focus on Flo it's regarding her "issues", and Mary is often an afterthought. Had it not been for Florence saying so, we never would have known she was the reason the Supremes were singing "People" and "I Am Woman". I think we all figured that was Gordy. But no one ever said anything.

    I definitely hear a difference in Mary's vocal abilities by 1973. That version on Live In Japan of "Eyes" is fantastic. She needed focus. No one was there.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    she does not do as many gigs as Mary Wilson does EVERY year, all year.
    And there's a good reason for that: per Mary's own mouth, she works because she has to. Diana doesn't. Don't get me wrong, I certainly believe that even if Mary were a gazillionaire she'd still travel the country- if not the world- singing and entertaining audiences. Mary is a gifted singer who only seems to get better with time, as opposed to most of her peers who seem to have hit some vocal snags over the years, to one degree or another. She loves singing, always has. But she probably wouldn't do nearly as many gigs at this point if she didn't have to. Aint nothing wrong with that. We all got bills to pay. But none of this makes Mary special. There are many others her age still working, some of whom are working jobs they do not enjoy half as much as Mary enjoys hers.

  17. #67
    Of course another interpretation could be that showrooms were closing due to the lack of drawing power by acts like the Who-premes. Just sayin'.

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    I've also wondered what would have happened had to Cindy had Flo kept herself in check. I think she would have made a great addition to the Vandellas. If Flo had stayed, I do see the Supremes breaking up sooner than later. Diana would have left in 1968 rather than 1970.
    Or Cindy may have stayed a BB, though I don't think she would have been comfortable as a Labelle member. I think '68 may have been too early for Diana's departure; those extra 2 years gave the public time to adjust to her talent as a solo and then become a 'new decade' phenom.

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    The problem with all of that, is that Flo would've been dropped the minute Cindy was free from her contract. There's no reason to believe that Cindy's freedom coincidentally coincided with Flo messing up on stage that night. Gordy needed a legit cause to get rid of Flo. She gave it to him. Had she not, had she had some type of "I've seen the light" moment, this is where the "what if" comes into play. Would a "new" Flo still have gotten the boot from Gordy? Would Diana and Mary go along with that? (As if they really had a choice.) It's an interesting "what if" to ponder.

    That debutante party was in 1965. There's no evidence that Flo and the Supremes were having any real issues that early in time. I assume Florence was ill. She seems to have suffered a few illnesses while with the group. Of course it's easy for some to jump to the conclusion that these "illnesses" were alcohol related or mental, but there are some people who seem to be more susceptible to becoming sick than others. And then one time Florence had walking pneumonia and was still expected to do her job. That's crazy.
    if i read this right, i think we're saying the same thing. I think Flo was done and gone with the group. IMO that decision came about, for the most part, in April 67. there's some potential that if she made a complete 180, she MIGHT have remained with the group. But i think it was pretty clear that wasn't going to happen and given her complete unreliability during the period, was just a matter of time. Once Cindy's contract was cleared, she was on tour with them at Vegas.

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    To be fair, when Jean and Lynda left, Motown wasn't interested in the Supremes period. I had to concede Marv's point in another thread that even when Scherrie joined, Motown still was reluctant to re-sign the group.

    completely agree. i don't think motown had ANY intention of the supremes continuing at this point. Mary simply refused to let the group stop.

    now one thing that is interesting is motown did not DROP the group. the supremes were still touring during 74 and so there must have been some remnants of the old contract still in place. otherwise wouldn't motown have tried to stop her from touring and using the name, since she didn't own it?

  21. #71
    The decision for Flo to leave the Supremes was made in April 1967. Cindy Birdsong signed with Motown to be a Supremes member in May 1967 but they still had to work with the Bluebelles' manager (Bernard Montague, who later managed the Delfonics after Birdsong officially left, leaving the other Bluebellles - Patti, Nona and Sarah - hiring another manager) to let Cindy go (the other Bluebelles were unaware that Cindy was negotiating to leave them and only found out when they were going onstage one night in July 1967 when they heard that Cindy had officially joined the Supremes; Nona Hendryx for many years wanted to beat Cindy's butt while Patti felt betrayed.)

    As for the Supremes itself, I think Jean Terrell's 1973 exit and the quick exit from Lynda and then Scherrie's entry made things difficult for the group to renegotiate with Motown. 1974 might've been the final year of the old contract so that's why they couldn't enter a recording studio and kept on touring. By the time they did resign in 1975, the writing was on the wall for them.

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    if i read this right, i think we're saying the same thing. I think Flo was done and gone with the group. IMO that decision came about, for the most part, in April 67. there's some potential that if she made a complete 180, she MIGHT have remained with the group. But i think it was pretty clear that wasn't going to happen and given her complete unreliability during the period, was just a matter of time. Once Cindy's contract was cleared, she was on tour with them at Vegas.
    I agree that Flo's firing in April was intended to be a permanent deal. Had it not been for Cindy's contract issue, they never would have asked Flo to come back. But there's no way Flo agreed to come back in order to do the group- and by extension, Gordy- a favor by helping them transition the chick taking her place. Despite the talk of Flo no longer wanting to be a Supreme at that point, she agreed to come back, when she would've been well within her rights to tell them to kiss her ass.

    That period between Flo returning and her being fired again is referred to as probationary, so had she fulfilled the terms of the probation (no screw ups), it may have led to an interesting turn of events for everyone involved. Of course Gordy was banking on Flo messing up, and both he and Diana probably baited her on occasion- he for strategic reasons, Diana just being herself- so Gordy, a betting man, put his money on Cindy. It's just interesting to ponder the scenario where he loses.

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post

    now one thing that is interesting is motown did not DROP the group. the supremes were still touring during 74 and so there must have been some remnants of the old contract still in place. otherwise wouldn't motown have tried to stop her from touring and using the name, since she didn't own it?
    Excellent point! I hadn't thought of that.

    I wonder how different things might have been had Mary been able to secure the name before Motown got to it. I wonder how different the story would have been had Flo, Diana and Mary had wise counsel who pushed them to secure the rights to the name before Motown had a chance. If Mary's story is true, despite the Supremes being Motown's bread and butter in the 60s, it wasn't until the 70s that Motown actually took the trouble of legally securing the name Supremes, which is strange IMO. A name that important, you'd think Motown would have had all the I's dotted and T's crossed.

    If I recall correctly, part of Flo's 1971 lawsuit was about the name. Too bad the suit didn't get to go as far as it should have. It would've been interesting to see the way the judge dealt with the name and who had a right to it.

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Nona Hendryx for many years wanted to beat Cindy's butt
    Nona may have wanted to, but she was no fool. I'm paraphrasing extremely loosely, but Patti basically said don't let the pretty face fool ya. Cindy wasn't the one.

  25. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Nona may have wanted to, but she was no fool. I'm paraphrasing extremely loosely, but Patti basically said don't let the pretty face fool ya. Cindy wasn't the one.
    I read that in her book. Cindy can deliver a can of whoopa$$. LOL

  26. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    The decision for Flo to leave the Supremes was made in April 1967. Cindy Birdsong signed with Motown to be a Supremes member in May 1967 but they still had to work with the Bluebelles' manager (Bernard Montague, who later managed the Delfonics after Birdsong officially left, leaving the other Bluebellles - Patti, Nona and Sarah - hiring another manager) to let Cindy go (the other Bluebelles were unaware that Cindy was negotiating to leave them and only found out when they were going onstage one night in July 1967 when they heard that Cindy had officially joined the Supremes; Nona Hendryx for many years wanted to beat Cindy's butt while Patti felt betrayed.)
    Patti has mentioned not knowing that Cindy was leaving and joining the Supremes until Cindy called to say she would be missing a show but not to worry because she was ok. Then they received a call from Motown saying Cindy was now a Supreme.

    It doesn't seem likely that Cindy could have stood in for Flo in April of 1967, then shadow the group at the Copa and Vegas without the Bluebelles knowing about it until July. Would Montague have really been able to keep that news from them for that many months? Surely the Bluebelles had their own gigs during that time so Cindy would have had to miss more than the one show that Patti mentioned.

    I wasn't there so I don't know for sure. But for Cindy to even entertain the idea of standing in for Flo at the Hollywood Bowl gig, Berry must have promised her Flo's spot. I don't think she would have done a one-time only gig just as a favor. Then when they had issues with getting her out of her contract, maybe Motown swore Montague to secrecy until everything was settled. Then there was probably the issue of getting her out of her Atlantic contract as well, although David Nathan wrote that Cindy's name still appears on Bluebelles session logs as late as 1968, although she obviously wasn't there.

  27. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Excellent point! I hadn't thought of that.

    I wonder how different things might have been had Mary been able to secure the name before Motown got to it. I wonder how different the story would have been had Flo, Diana and Mary had wise counsel who pushed them to secure the rights to the name before Motown had a chance. If Mary's story is true, despite the Supremes being Motown's bread and butter in the 60s, it wasn't until the 70s that Motown actually took the trouble of legally securing the name Supremes, which is strange IMO. A name that important, you'd think Motown would have had all the I's dotted and T's crossed.

    If I recall correctly, part of Flo's 1971 lawsuit was about the name. Too bad the suit didn't get to go as far as it should have. It would've been interesting to see the way the judge dealt with the name and who had a right to it.
    I don't think Motown itself knew the potential value of names at the start, although they owned it in some contracts.

    Otis of the Tempts wrote that the Tempts' never gave their name to Motown. But someone suggested they register their name. Otis sent off the paperwork only to receive a letter that an "Esther Gordy Edwards" had registered the name not long before. They were shocked but didn't complain at the time. Of course, this later became a problem when the guys wanted to leave Motown and Smokey had to help them leave with their name.

  28. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Excellent point! I hadn't thought of that.

    I wonder how different things might have been had Mary been able to secure the name before Motown got to it. I wonder how different the story would have been had Flo, Diana and Mary had wise counsel who pushed them to secure the rights to the name before Motown had a chance. If Mary's story is true, despite the Supremes being Motown's bread and butter in the 60s, it wasn't until the 70s that Motown actually took the trouble of legally securing the name Supremes, which is strange IMO. A name that important, you'd think Motown would have had all the I's dotted and T's crossed.

    If I recall correctly, part of Flo's 1971 lawsuit was about the name. Too bad the suit didn't get to go as far as it should have. It would've been interesting to see the way the judge dealt with the name and who had a right to it.
    hahaha - ok you listed about 10 dissertations worth of topics there lol

    I'm going to assume that Mary's story is right, if for no other reason that the documents and the dates on them would be a matter of public record. so anyone would be able to see that late date that motown filed. Now as for the story of her lawyer sneaking behind her back, have no idea. i'd assume it's true but then again many of the stories in her book are rather one-sided. so who knows

    but back to my original point

    just very curious that Motown didn't officially drop the group. perhaps they were just waiting until whatever contract with Mary came due. there is that story of her fight with Abner (i think) and mike Roshkind about their claiming she wasn't a Sup because her contract hadn't been signed. so sometime in early-spring 1974, she was negotiating. because motown finalized the contracts around the time she got married in late spring 74.

  29. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Patti has mentioned not knowing that Cindy was leaving and joining the Supremes until Cindy called to say she would be missing a show but not to worry because she was ok. Then they received a call from Motown saying Cindy was now a Supreme.

    It doesn't seem likely that Cindy could have stood in for Flo in April of 1967, then shadow the group at the Copa and Vegas without the Bluebelles knowing about it until July. Would Montague have really been able to keep that news from them for that many months? Surely the Bluebelles had their own gigs during that time so Cindy would have had to miss more than the one show that Patti mentioned.

    I wasn't there so I don't know for sure. But for Cindy to even entertain the idea of standing in for Flo at the Hollywood Bowl gig, Berry must have promised her Flo's spot. I don't think she would have done a one-time only gig just as a favor. Then when they had issues with getting her out of her contract, maybe Motown swore Montague to secrecy until everything was settled. Then there was probably the issue of getting her out of her Atlantic contract as well, although David Nathan wrote that Cindy's name still appears on Bluebelles session logs as late as 1968, although she obviously wasn't there.

    i'm going to guess that people's memories just aren't exactly positive of the dates and timing. Of course information didn't flow as freely then (no internet or emails). And during the H Bowl appearance, Diana did NOT introduce Cindy to the audience. Not sure if reviews commented that "Cindy Birdsong" stood in for Florence. And they sort of did her hair and makeup like Flo's. So it is possible that they were stealth enough about it to keep it on the DL.

    I have zero personal info on the amount of touring and recording that the Bluebelles did. They certainly were not at a level of DRATS or even MRATV. so it's quite possible that their activities weren't 24/7/365. So maybe her absence wasn't fully noticed. Clearly Cindy had been meeting with motown and D&M for a while. and it definitely was a surprised to the Bluebelles, whether it occurred in May or July

  30. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i'm going to guess that people's memories just aren't exactly positive of the dates and timing. Of course information didn't flow as freely then (no internet or emails). And during the H Bowl appearance, Diana did NOT introduce Cindy to the audience. Not sure if reviews commented that "Cindy Birdsong" stood in for Florence. And they sort of did her hair and makeup like Flo's. So it is possible that they were stealth enough about it to keep it on the DL.

    I have zero personal info on the amount of touring and recording that the Bluebelles did. They certainly were not at a level of DRATS or even MRATV. so it's quite possible that their activities weren't 24/7/365. So maybe her absence wasn't fully noticed. Clearly Cindy had been meeting with motown and D&M for a while. and it definitely was a surprised to the Bluebelles, whether it occurred in May or July
    I vaguely recall reading that one of the local papers (maybe the LA Times?) reviewed the Hollywood Bowl show and called Cindy "a strong sub."

    Patti has said that the Bluebelles worked a lot but for "peanuts." They were booked by the William Morris Agency as well as Queen Booking so they probably were rather busy, even without having hits.

    In Peter Benjamin's book, Flo is quoted as saying that when they got to the Copa in May of '67, Cindy was there. As you say, memories can be faulty, especially as the years pass. I just find it hard to believe that Cindy did the Bowl gig, then was at the Copa the next month, and then Vegas the month after that, with the Bluebelles being none the wiser.
    Last edited by reese; 02-14-2020 at 05:11 PM.

  31. #81
    After years of salacious books, faulty memories and flat out fake news. I have to question what is the source for the story of the Hollywood Bowl regarding Cindy not being introduced?

  32. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by khansperac View Post
    After years of salacious books, faulty memories and flat out fake news. I have to question what is the source for the story of the Hollywood Bowl regarding Cindy not being introduced?
    i believe it was in one of Randy's book, where Gill and/or Berry told Diana to not mention Cindy. but i could be mistaken.

    They performed Back In My Arms and Diana didn't use Flo's name. In listening to the concert, Diana does not introduce the girls. so the audience was not formally told of Cindy being there. I do believe i remember that review though where they said Cindy was a strong sub

    but also keep in mind, Patti most likely did NOT have a subscription to the LA Times lol. and this wouldn't have been on the evening news or anything. So the fact that it happened in LA could have been to the benefit. maybe word hadn't trickled back to Patti yet

  33. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I vaguely recall reading that one of the local papers (maybe the LA Times?) reviewed the Hollywood Bowl show and called Cindy "a strong sub."......
    Wow "Strong Sub" was the exact headline of that LA Times Review. Great memory.

    Sorry I couldn't post it upright or in full, but the top of it has the headline "Strong Sub"

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  34. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by khansperac View Post
    After years of salacious books, faulty memories and flat out fake news. I have to question what is the source for the story of the Hollywood Bowl regarding Cindy not being introduced?
    In DREAMGIRL, Mary wrote that the night before the Bowl gig, Cholly Atkins made a point of telling Diana not to mention that Cindy was standing in for Flo.

    She went on to say that the show went so well that the next day they all went on a shopping spree at a Rodeo Drive store in Beverly Hills.

  35. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by milven View Post
    Wow "Strong Sub" was the exact headline of that LA Times Review. Great memory.

    Sorry I couldn't post it upright or in full, but the top of it has the headline "Strong Sub"

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    Indeed. And a nice find. And ... of course a rave for Diana.

  36. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    I read that in her book. Cindy can deliver a can of whoopa$$. LOL
    Cindy has been known to lay hands at the right moments.........hehehehehehehe! She was from Camden after all.

  37. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    The decision for Flo to leave the Supremes was made in April 1967. Cindy Birdsong signed with Motown to be a Supremes member in May 1967 but they still had to work with the Bluebelles' manager (Bernard Montague, who later managed the Delfonics after Birdsong officially left, leaving the other Bluebellles - Patti, Nona and Sarah - hiring another manager) to let Cindy go (the other Bluebelles were unaware that Cindy was negotiating to leave them and only found out when they were going onstage one night in July 1967 when they heard that Cindy had officially joined the Supremes; Nona Hendryx for many years wanted to beat Cindy's butt while Patti felt betrayed.)

    As for the Supremes itself, I think Jean Terrell's 1973 exit and the quick exit from Lynda and then Scherrie's entry made things difficult for the group to renegotiate with Motown. 1974 might've been the final year of the old contract so that's why they couldn't enter a recording studio and kept on touring. By the time they did resign in 1975, the writing was on the wall for them.
    Patti said they were about to go on stage one night when they got a phone call. It was from Cindy. She said "I'm in Detroit. I'm going with the Supremes. I'm sorry". That was it, that was all. The rest of the group was very angry.

  38. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Mary Wilson is the only one that is constantly singing and performing paid audiences around World year in and year out! I know you will argue the point "but what about Diana, she's still performing too", she does not do as many gigs as Mary Wilson does EVERY year, all year.
    As much as I like and admire Mary, would her total crowd number for a year equal the audience in even one of Diana's concerts?

  39. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    As much as I like and admire Mary, would her total crowd number for a year equal the audience in even one of Diana's concerts?
    Per usual Mary Wilsons gown and wig expert is wrong. In 2020 Marys got 12 or so more dates this year plus a week long Malt Cruise in November.Diana has 33 remaining gigs in the US and the UK and Europe. All of this can be verified on ticketmaster and Marys website and Dianas Facebook page.

  40. #90

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