[REMOVE ADS]




Results 1 to 49 of 49
  1. #1

    New ways but love stays . Vocal question

    I知 sure this question was asked before but I have to ask again. As far as everyone knows JMC recorded everything on this album except Is there a Place. My question is how much are the Andantes added into this album(I知 not including Stoned Love since we had a battle discussing that one months ago) and did the ladies of the undisputed truth (Brenda and Billie) add any background vocals. Andy and George I know you can answer this question.

  2. #2
    that's a tough question. sometimes you can tell because since the backgrounds would have been recorded at separate times, they might be mixed into the mix differently. For instance, IMO you can pick out much of the Andantes on Floy Joy lp by listening to which channel (left or right) that background vocals are coming through.

    I haven't done that on NW but in looking at the recording dates, we MIGHT get some clues.

    everyone - please note i'm just speculating here. so don't get your panties all in a wad

    4/2
    Stoned Love BGs

    4/18
    On this date they did background vocals for Time to break down and then lead & backgrounds for Come Together. so maybe that means MJC?

    5/3
    BG vocals on Together, Thank Him and Bridge

    5/15
    lead and BG on Shine On Me

    5/26 additional background vocals on Time to break down and Na Na backgrounds.

    6/8 additional BV on Time to break down - maybe this is just Andantes?

  3. #3
    By biggest question is I wish I were your mirror. A friend and I have a disagreement. I told him that M and C did do the with a slight help from the andantes. He said it’s only the andantes which I know that ain’t true.

  4. #4
    lol and of course that's the only one i don't have info on But i went to "Don't Forget The Motor City" website and they state Mirror was completed on 4/18

    that's the same day that Time and Come Together were recorded. It doesn't seem like Frank completely skipped using M and C on records (like other producers). Even if he added other singers, it seems Mary and Cindy are still there

    So i'm guessing you're right. Mary and Cindy are on Mirror and perhaps there are some vocal embellishments or supplements from Andantes.

    But it could also be that he recorded MJC on backgrounds, which would give it a more full sound. And he was also sometimes having the girls do multiple backgrounds and layering them. And then sometimes adding Andantes on top of that too! lolol

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    By biggest question is I wish I were your mirror. A friend and I have a disagreement. I told him that M and C did do the with a slight help from the andantes. He said it’s only the andantes which I know that ain’t true.
    Mary and Cindy are definitely singing the very first "look at me" in the intro, and they are definitely doing the chorus "I wish that I were your mirror". I believe I hear Jean in there also. But the Andantes are definitely present during the verses on lines like "cuz when you look at me"...that "me" is an Andantes trademark sound, to my ears.

    I would definitely put this in the Supremes with the Andantes category.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post

    But it could also be that he recorded MJC on backgrounds, which would give it a more full sound. And he was also sometimes having the girls do multiple backgrounds and layering them. And then sometimes adding Andantes on top of that too! lolol
    Someone in the forum claimed that Jean claims she never sang backup (which I assume is a claim that is applied to singing backup to her leads, since she is so clearly present in the background for Mary leads). If Jean really did claim that, I believe she is mistaken. There are definitely a few cuts that I can hear her with the girls on.

  7. #7
    i don't know that Jean always recorded with M and C on backgrounds. Bayou has mentioned that she absolutely did and would often sing the Soprano 1 part. Like on Stoned Love when the backgrounds did that incredible woo-ooo right when the lead sing "i pray for love and peace, Amen." that top note is jean.

    I think that's part of why the MJC lineup is so loved. the vocals were outstanding. when Jean was doing the backgrounds with M and C, there's a both a richness and a power. Jean's Sop 1 singing is stronger than when Cindy would sing the top harmony, as cindy is actually a 2nd Soprano. So the backgrounds are much richer

    Also Bayou and others have mentioned that part of the strain coming within the group at this time is that Jean was doing much more work than Mary, yet Mary was stepping up to lead the group's strategy and direction. jean was also salaried for the first part of her Sups career (not sure if 18months?) and so she's doing all of the leads, double the recording work and making much less money

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i don't know that Jean always recorded with M and C on backgrounds. Bayou has mentioned that she absolutely did and would often sing the Soprano 1 part. Like on Stoned Love when the backgrounds did that incredible woo-ooo right when the lead sing "i pray for love and peace, Amen." that top note is jean.

    I think that's part of why the MJC lineup is so loved. the vocals were outstanding. when Jean was doing the backgrounds with M and C, there's a both a richness and a power. Jean's Sop 1 singing is stronger than when Cindy would sing the top harmony, as cindy is actually a 2nd Soprano. So the backgrounds are much richer

    Also Bayou and others have mentioned that part of the strain coming within the group at this time is that Jean was doing much more work than Mary, yet Mary was stepping up to lead the group's strategy and direction. jean was also salaried for the first part of her Sups career (not sure if 18months?) and so she's doing all of the leads, double the recording work and making much less money
    I can understand Jean's gripe, but she was never going to- nor should she have- received more money than Mary. I think Diana made some similar comments about the fact that she had most of the work load but was paid the same as the others. Jean came into an already existing unit, one of whom was an original member. She would've gotten hit upside the head asking for more money than me if we were singing together.

  9. #9
    hahaha i'd love to see you and Jean throw down! lolol got the popcorn ready!

    from what i remember from other fans comments, jean was salaried for the first 12 - 18 months. not sure of exact duration. and then she went to a royalty structure i believe. now does that mean that any ongoing sales from song's during that trial period fall under her royalty rate? or is it only songs released AFTER she goes to royalties that she got money from? her two biggest songs were early hits. so either way, she wasn't earning much money ongoing from Ladder or Stoned.

    there's also been LOTS of talk on here about her problems dealing with Mary. some say that the relationship started to strain early on as they had differing ideas about the direction for the group. Mary even alludes to this in Sup Faith. So you have a headstrong woman, that's a powerhouse singer, she's the lead singer of the group, she's doing the majority of the recordings and she's earning less money and has less input than other group members.

    I can understand AT FIRST she would have to defer. but after a song or two was a hit and the successes of the live shows, i'd say she had proven herself and deserved to have a more prominent role in the management of the group. As Tony Turner put it (lolololol) she'd comment to Mary "just because you've been here the longest, you think you can boss me around and tell me what you do? honey you can't even sing. maybe you've been here TOO long!" lololol

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    hahaha i'd love to see you and Jean throw down! lolol got the popcorn ready!

    from what i remember from other fans comments, jean was salaried for the first 12 - 18 months. not sure of exact duration. and then she went to a royalty structure i believe. now does that mean that any ongoing sales from song's during that trial period fall under her royalty rate? or is it only songs released AFTER she goes to royalties that she got money from? her two biggest songs were early hits. so either way, she wasn't earning much money ongoing from Ladder or Stoned.

    there's also been LOTS of talk on here about her problems dealing with Mary. some say that the relationship started to strain early on as they had differing ideas about the direction for the group. Mary even alludes to this in Sup Faith. So you have a headstrong woman, that's a powerhouse singer, she's the lead singer of the group, she's doing the majority of the recordings and she's earning less money and has less input than other group members.

    I can understand AT FIRST she would have to defer. but after a song or two was a hit and the successes of the live shows, i'd say she had proven herself and deserved to have a more prominent role in the management of the group. As Tony Turner put it (lolololol) she'd comment to Mary "just because you've been here the longest, you think you can boss me around and tell me what you do? honey you can't even sing. maybe you've been here TOO long!" lololol
    HA! Normally you'd be dismissed after quoting Tall Tales Turner, but that was funny.

    I'd compare it to Otis' Temptations. He barely ever sang lead, and it was easy to lose him in a group of five, especially when three to four of them were always singing lead. But he was an original (along with Melvin) and the leader (along with Melvin until Melvin left). None of those dudes who were replacements were ever going to out rank Otis no matter how many leads they sang or how much of the workload they carried. I'm not a big fan of Otis, but on this I'm with him. And I feel the same way about Mary. Jean wouldn't have even had a group to join if it wasn't for the hard work Mary- along with Flo and Diana- put in going back as far as 14 years old. The Supremes, now that Flo and then Diana had moved on, was Mary's baby. Turning that over to even Cindy would have probably felt...well wrong.

    Now could Mary have benefited from being more open minded and fostering an environment where each lady had input into the decision making of the group? Absolutely. Mary knew what it was like to have one group member's voice be the beginning, middle and ending of any consideration regarding the group, yet she turned around and made Jean feel the same way. Mary was trippin.

    But Jean would've probably never been able to join any other existing female group in any capacity and expect to be the leader. I do think this is one of the reasons why Mary didn't want to leave the Supremes name behind and go to another label. At another label, under another name, they would've been an entirely different group, and she would not have been able to pull rank on Jean and Lynda. Mary liked having some control finally. She spent years having to defer to Florence and Diana. I expect she was not interested in repeating that.

  11. #11
    i guess my opinion of Mary's role in the group differs a bit. COULD she have been leading it? sure - she'd certainly put in the years and all. But (and here's where things might get ugly) i don't know that she SHOULD have.

    she admits to taking a back seat in the decision-making role while Diana was around. Diana also mentions this. the why is where this gets a little touchy. obviously Gordy and Diana were developing plans that had nothing to do with M, F or C. the girls were definitely being pushed aside and so it's not surprising that there might have been a growing feeling of "whatever" from the girls. a feeling like "no matter what i do, it isn't going to matter." i get it.

    others have said that mary's attitude was more about having fun than putting in the time and work. I'm saying this with hesitation since i know things can get combative here. not trying to start something. Some people have the opinion that she was about dating the top male stars, partying, enjoying the star life while not really dedicating herself to the job

    IMO it's a little of both. as i said in another post, these were young girls! when you're young, you def want to enjoy life. mary can't be blamed for that. and plus diana was such an anomaly with her drive and work ethic, that anyone could look like a slacker next to her.

    So should mary have been calling the shots with the group? yes she'd been there the longest. but she hadn't been actively involved with the strategic decisions of the group for a while. and was she really insync with public trends and ideas? otis certainly saw the trends of Sly and others and helped lead the Temps into the psychedelic phase. mary hadn't really done any of that. so now it's the 70s and she's wanting to take control of the group? so was it mary that insisted they continue with their tired image of giggly glamour girls the spend their free time shopping and skipping about? was mary involving herself in management decisions about producers? was mary the one that brought back the old DRATS charts like Somewhere, You're nobody? I honestly don't know. I have a hunch she was more involved in those decisions rather than less involved.

  12. #12
    one thing that seems clear, with each new girl that joined the sups in the 70s, there seems to be a real lack of anyone sitting down and saying "ok XXXXX just joined the group. they're talents and abilities include A, B and C. the trio is now a little different and therefore we need to adjust and grow."

    and while i get it, they wanted a "probationary" phase with each girl, it's clear that J, L, S nor S really got to input much of their ideas. and by the time L joined, things were getting a little rocky. perhaps listening to someone with new and fresh perspective might have helped

  13. #13
    I don't hear Mary or Cindy on "Na Na", "Mirror", or "Thank Him".

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I don't hear Mary or Cindy on "Na Na", "Mirror", or "Thank Him".
    That's Mary Wilson repeating "baby...baby...bayyyyby"

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Mary and Cindy are definitely singing the very first "look at me" in the intro, and they are definitely doing the chorus "I wish that I were your mirror". I believe I hear Jean in there also. But the Andantes are definitely present during the verses on lines like "cuz when you look at me"...that "me" is an Andantes trademark sound, to my ears.

    I would definitely put this in the Supremes with the Andantes category.
    I don’t think it’s the Andantes on “Mirror”. To my ears it’s the Undisputed Truth singing either with or in place of Mary and Cindy. They also sing on “Bridge Over Troubled Water” as well.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i guess my opinion of Mary's role in the group differs a bit. COULD she have been leading it? sure - she'd certainly put in the years and all. But (and here's where things might get ugly) i don't know that she SHOULD have.

    she admits to taking a back seat in the decision-making role while Diana was around. Diana also mentions this. the why is where this gets a little touchy. obviously Gordy and Diana were developing plans that had nothing to do with M, F or C. the girls were definitely being pushed aside and so it's not surprising that there might have been a growing feeling of "whatever" from the girls. a feeling like "no matter what i do, it isn't going to matter." i get it.

    others have said that mary's attitude was more about having fun than putting in the time and work. I'm saying this with hesitation since i know things can get combative here. not trying to start something. Some people have the opinion that she was about dating the top male stars, partying, enjoying the star life while not really dedicating herself to the job

    IMO it's a little of both. as i said in another post, these were young girls! when you're young, you def want to enjoy life. mary can't be blamed for that. and plus diana was such an anomaly with her drive and work ethic, that anyone could look like a slacker next to her.

    So should mary have been calling the shots with the group? yes she'd been there the longest. but she hadn't been actively involved with the strategic decisions of the group for a while. and was she really insync with public trends and ideas? otis certainly saw the trends of Sly and others and helped lead the Temps into the psychedelic phase. mary hadn't really done any of that. so now it's the 70s and she's wanting to take control of the group? so was it mary that insisted they continue with their tired image of giggly glamour girls the spend their free time shopping and skipping about? was mary involving herself in management decisions about producers? was mary the one that brought back the old DRATS charts like Somewhere, You're nobody? I honestly don't know. I have a hunch she was more involved in those decisions rather than less involved.
    Mary proved that, ultimately, she was not qualified to solely make decisions for the group. But that's a statement made with hindsight, which of course is always 20/20. During the time in question I think it would've been highly disrespectful for anyone to question Mary on her ability to lead the Supremes, especially if the suggestion was that she defer to a chick who had only been in the business a couple years. Mary had been doing this for more than a decade.

    No new dude was going to join the Tempts, Tops or Miracles and make decisions for those groups. And no one at Motown would've ever asked them to either. I feel like if the guy groups could have rankings by seniority, the female groups should be allowed the same courtesy, and I imagine they were. Do you think Ann Bogan joined the Marvelettes giving Wanda or Kat directions? Nope. Ann would've been out on her bogan real quick, probably with a few punches on her way out.

    Nothing beats a failure but a try. Mary tried and the Supremes really was her group. Cindy and Jean and every lady afterwards were replacements for two iconic members. To have anyone but Mary leading the charge would've reduced Mary's position to that of Cindy and that would not have looked right, not to my eyes. All decisions should've flowed through Mary, but a democratic approach would've probably been fair and resulted in perhaps some good moves.

    Another thing to keep in mind though, is that I think those first couple years Motown was still heavily involved in the group's career, so Mary's "decisions" were probably few and far between. I think shortly before Jean and Lynda left, Motown started writing on the wall that they weren't as invested in the group as they had been. Jean saw this, Lynda saw it, and they figured it was best to jump ship. Mary, the scaredy cat that she was, disagreed and suffered for it, IMO. Mary as "the leader" probably best fits the point where she brings Cindy back and hires Scherrie, along with allowing Pedro to come in as management. And we know how that all turned out.

    And then there's Mary's solo career...

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    one thing that seems clear, with each new girl that joined the sups in the 70s, there seems to be a real lack of anyone sitting down and saying "ok XXXXX just joined the group. they're talents and abilities include A, B and C. the trio is now a little different and therefore we need to adjust and grow."

    and while i get it, they wanted a "probationary" phase with each girl, it's clear that J, L, S nor S really got to input much of their ideas. and by the time L joined, things were getting a little rocky. perhaps listening to someone with new and fresh perspective might have helped
    There's no "might" to it. The Supremes needed something extremely fresh and they weren't getting it by doing the same ole same ole. Because the replacements were all new to the Supremes, and for the most part been in the business outside of the classic girl group period, which sometimes Mary seemed hooked on, they probably had approaches that were current, maybe even a little edgy. If there had been a desire for everyone to work together, who knows what the group might have done? Mary's input would've still been important. Because the Supremes were her group, she would be best in position to see to it that the new hip, current, edgy Supremes still retained the essence of the brand name, but the group would have all of this new and exciting extra stuff. There were brief flashes of this during the Scherrie years, it's just that if you blinked, you missed it.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I don't hear Mary or Cindy on "Na Na", "Mirror", or "Thank Him".
    Uh, how you not hear Mary on "Na Na"? She has a "lead" part.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by jboy88 View Post
    I don’t think it’s the Andantes on “Mirror”. To my ears it’s the Undisputed Truth singing either with or in place of Mary and Cindy. They also sing on “Bridge Over Troubled Water” as well.
    That "me" is a dead giveaway. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But I'd bet a couple dollars that one or more Andantes are present.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I don't hear Mary or Cindy on "Na Na", "Mirror", or "Thank Him".
    I think Frank was pretty reliable with always using MJC on his tracks. I do hear the girls on Thank Him and Mirror. now it's certainly possible that he added vocalists here and there. but on the whole, i think MJC are present on his songs

    Seems like Clay McMurray mostly used Andantes. perhaps M and C are in the mix too but most of his songs sound like pure A's

  21. #21
    Just remember something from Mary's book....she talks about BG managing the group. Twice he offered to manage the group. She turned him down.
    I didn't want to loose control again. Was her response

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    That's Mary Wilson repeating "baby...baby...bayyyyby"
    It痴 such a shame that you conduct yourself like you do; as a result of your conduct and bias, you are unreliable and ignored, even when you might be right

    You壇 have Mary singing on Like A Nightmare and behind Jim Morrison and doing the high parts on Beach Boys songs

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    Just remember something from Mary's book....she talks about BG managing the group. Twice he offered to manage the group. She turned him down.
    I didn't want to loose control again. Was her response
    I understand her point. Berry washed his hands- whatever the reason- and there's little evidence that he cared about the group at all post Diana. What had he done to suggest to Mary that in his hands the Supremes would be a priority and handled in a professional way? Absolutely nothing. Who in their right mind would trust someone who gives them the finger every day and then suddenly pops up and says "hey, let me manage you"? The only proper response to that is two middle fingers with a smile.

    Nobody at Motown could save the Supremes. They needed serious outside, highly connected help.

  24. #24
    the problem though Ran with your comment is that office in corporate settings (doesn't matter if it's the record industry or something else) politics plays a MAJOR role in how things happen and what happens. Mary was certainly familiar enough with this during the Flo crisis. if you don't play by the rules and don't work WITH the powers at be, then you're an outsider. Outsiders rarely succeed.

    And i don't think Berry had totally given the group "the finger"

    yes there was the washing hands of the group. But let's face it. that was going to happen pretty much anyway. Berry was totally and solely devoted to Diana, not the supremes. Mary had eyes - she could see that once the focus was on the Sups, he pretty much dropped his ongoing involvement in all of the other groups. So anyone with a brain would know that once he had Diana solo, he was going to back away from the Sups

    I'm going to offer up an idea here

    after Lady was a major success, Berry had accomplished one of his biggest goals - break into Hollywood. But then he looked around and saw that the music side of Motown was in shambles. The Four Tops were gone as was MRATV. Gladys and the Pips were exiting. The Sups and Diana's recordings had been slipping considerably. The j5 were starting to cool off by end of 72.

    J and L left in 73 and he probably figured the Sups were gonna simply disband. Mary didn't let that happen and he probably started to realize - hey even without hits, this group still has a strong following and decent concert attendance. Ok let's see about reinvigorating things and starting fresh. there's this disco scene emerging and maybe we can parlay the Sups into that field.

    Mary should have realized that her management of the Supremes would never be as successful as a Motown managed group. And not saying a motown managed group would return to their former glory. but she sure didn't have the ability to manage it.

  25. #25
    Just a quick comment. I believe Mr. Gordy did have a renewed interest in the group at that time because he really liked Scherrie as a talent and as a person. As did Suzanne. And even Diana. (Then again, how does anyone not like Scherrie)?

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by George Solomon View Post
    Just a quick comment. I believe Mr. Gordy did have a renewed interest in the group at that time because he really liked Scherrie as a talent and as a person. As did Suzanne. And even Diana. (Then again, how does anyone not like Scherrie)?
    It also didn't hurt that Mr. Gordy had known Scherrie since she was 13 years old. He actually knew her before he ever met Diana, Mary, and Flo. Mrs. Farley (Freda and Scherrie's mom) worked for the Gordys at their grocery store in Detroit.
    Last edited by marv2; 02-18-2020 at 02:20 PM.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    It also didn't hurt that Mr. Gordy had known Scherrie since she was 13 years old. He actually knew her before he ever met Diana, Mary, and Flo. Mrs. Farley (Freda and Scherrie's mom) worked for the Gordys at their grocery store in Detroit.
    And Scherrie's name came up to replace Diana in 1969 but she was too nervous to pursue it. She regrets that now! :-)

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by George Solomon View Post
    And Scherrie's name came up to replace Diana in 1969 but she was too nervous to pursue it. She regrets that now! :-)
    Yes! Isn't that something. I think things happened the way they were supposed to. We got Jean Terrell then and Scherrie Payne later. I only wished Motown had really stuck with them.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    the problem though Ran with your comment is that office in corporate settings (doesn't matter if it's the record industry or something else) politics plays a MAJOR role in how things happen and what happens. Mary was certainly familiar enough with this during the Flo crisis. if you don't play by the rules and don't work WITH the powers at be, then you're an outsider. Outsiders rarely succeed.

    And i don't think Berry had totally given the group "the finger"

    yes there was the washing hands of the group. But let's face it. that was going to happen pretty much anyway. Berry was totally and solely devoted to Diana, not the supremes. Mary had eyes - she could see that once the focus was on the Sups, he pretty much dropped his ongoing involvement in all of the other groups. So anyone with a brain would know that once he had Diana solo, he was going to back away from the Sups

    I'm going to offer up an idea here

    after Lady was a major success, Berry had accomplished one of his biggest goals - break into Hollywood. But then he looked around and saw that the music side of Motown was in shambles. The Four Tops were gone as was MRATV. Gladys and the Pips were exiting. The Sups and Diana's recordings had been slipping considerably. The j5 were starting to cool off by end of 72.

    J and L left in 73 and he probably figured the Sups were gonna simply disband. Mary didn't let that happen and he probably started to realize - hey even without hits, this group still has a strong following and decent concert attendance. Ok let's see about reinvigorating things and starting fresh. there's this disco scene emerging and maybe we can parlay the Sups into that field.

    Mary should have realized that her management of the Supremes would never be as successful as a Motown managed group. And not saying a motown managed group would return to their former glory. but she sure didn't have the ability to manage it.
    Gordy was never going to make the Supremes a priority. All things Diana Ross was first and last and every spot in between. Who needs a manager that you can't trust to ensure you get firsts, as opposed to seconds? The truth is that every act at Motown was Gordy's act. Wasn't Shelly Berger the Supremes' manager in the 60s? Gordy didn't need an official title with the group to get involved. And he damn sho didn't need Mary Wilson's permission. If he truly was interested in the continued success of the Supremes, he would've sequestered a group of songwriters in a hotel room after "Touch" failed to make any noise and demanded they not come out until they had written a hit record on his top female group. At Motown Berry Gordy was all powerful. No reason to believe that power did not extend to the Supremes if he so desired.

    Don't forget, he also offered Flo a solo contract after the Supremes. I'd like to see a show of hands of those who believe Gordy had every intention of recording, releasing, and promoting Florence Ballard, soloist. Anybody? Nobody? Mmm hmmm.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by George Solomon View Post
    And Scherrie's name came up to replace Diana in 1969 but she was too nervous to pursue it. She regrets that now! :-)
    Now that would be an interesting alternative history scenario. No doubt she would've been great, but I imagine the departure in sound from Diana to Scherrie might have been too much for the public to accept. Jean's voice made for a much easier transition in sound.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Gordy was never going to make the Supremes a priority. All things Diana Ross was first and last and every spot in between. Who needs a manager that you can't trust to ensure you get firsts, as opposed to seconds? The truth is that every act at Motown was Gordy's act. Wasn't Shelly Berger the Supremes' manager in the 60s? Gordy didn't need an official title with the group to get involved. And he damn sho didn't need Mary Wilson's permission. If he truly was interested in the continued success of the Supremes, he would've sequestered a group of songwriters in a hotel room after "Touch" failed to make any noise and demanded they not come out until they had written a hit record on his top female group. At Motown Berry Gordy was all powerful. No reason to believe that power did not extend to the Supremes if he so desired.

    Don't forget, he also offered Flo a solo contract after the Supremes. I'd like to see a show of hands of those who believe Gordy had every intention of recording, releasing, and promoting Florence Ballard, soloist. Anybody? Nobody? Mmm hmmm.
    That would have been impossible to believe. He gave her the worst Separation Agreement I had ever of, so recording and promoting her? No way!

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Gordy was never going to make the Supremes a priority. All things Diana Ross was first and last and every spot in between. Who needs a manager that you can't trust to ensure you get firsts, as opposed to seconds? The truth is that every act at Motown was Gordy's act. Wasn't Shelly Berger the Supremes' manager in the 60s? Gordy didn't need an official title with the group to get involved. And he damn sho didn't need Mary Wilson's permission. If he truly was interested in the continued success of the Supremes, he would've sequestered a group of songwriters in a hotel room after "Touch" failed to make any noise and demanded they not come out until they had written a hit record on his top female group. At Motown Berry Gordy was all powerful. No reason to believe that power did not extend to the Supremes if he so desired.

    Don't forget, he also offered Flo a solo contract after the Supremes. I'd like to see a show of hands of those who believe Gordy had every intention of recording, releasing, and promoting Florence Ballard, soloist. Anybody? Nobody? Mmm hmmm.
    i don't disagree that Gordy was always going to put DR first. absolutely. But let's face it - mary and pedro did NOT manage the supremes properly. Given the hot mess that the group was onstage, the ill-conceived shows, poor decisions for events (MSG anyone????) some of the highest degrees of tension in the group?

    The one good thing that happened during this time is the studio work of the Hollands. HE and MS&S are, for the most part, very good, if not excellent lps.

    But what other measures of success are you rating the Mary/Pedro management with? IMO they pretty much failed.

    So how could Gordy have done any worse? that had 0 interest from motown and if Gordy was going to manage and maybe only give them 10% interest, isn't that more than they were getting prior?

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i don't disagree that Gordy was always going to put DR first. absolutely. But let's face it - mary and pedro did NOT manage the supremes properly. Given the hot mess that the group was onstage, the ill-conceived shows, poor decisions for events (MSG anyone????) some of the highest degrees of tension in the group?

    The one good thing that happened during this time is the studio work of the Hollands. HE and MS&S are, for the most part, very good, if not excellent lps.

    But what other measures of success are you rating the Mary/Pedro management with? IMO they pretty much failed.

    So how could Gordy have done any worse? that had 0 interest from motown and if Gordy was going to manage and maybe only give them 10% interest, isn't that more than they were getting prior?
    Pedro (and by extension, Mary) didn't do anything worth mentioning to advance the success of the Supremes. There is no argument from me about that. I'm speaking more from Mary's POV regarding Gordy. If I were in her shoes I would not have agreed to the man managing my group after ignoring us for so long. I wouldn't have trusted him, and that's a bad business position for anyone to be in, an untrustworthy business relationship.

    If Gordy was interested enough to give them 10 percent of his interest, he could've given them that without being the official manager. And who wants a manager who gives only 10 percent anyway? I wouldn't want a manager who had too many acts to handle. Of the acts, my act would either have to get the bulk of the attention or equal attention to any others. At some point there could be a conflict. Imagine how many opportunities might have come the Supremes way and Berry says "Better yet, how about we do this on/with Diana?" Had Mary gone with Gordy I believe she would've ultimately regretted that.

    As I said before, the Supremes needed one helluva manager, and he/she had to have superior connections in the entertainment industry. Without it, the Supremes were back to being what they had been when they were strictly on the chitlin circuit in the Flo and Diana days. They were steadily working, but no hit records and very little tv exposure. They needed a manager who could rope in the best of the best music producers, steer the group in a hip fashion direction, get them on the top shows, revamp the stage act to keep audiences interested, etc. Gordy might- MIGHT- have helped the group secure a bigger record than "Heart Do the Walking". Doubt it, but I'll give him that. I certainly doubt there would've been any followup success because the important thing is always whatever Diana is about to do next.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    That would have been impossible to believe. He gave her the worst Separation Agreement I had ever of, so recording and promoting her? No way!
    Financially, Flo probably got one of the best settlements of anyone in her position. But the legalese of the separation agreement, with the stipulation of forbidding her to bill herself or promote herself as a former Supreme, not to mention revoking her rights to royalties, if it wasn't out of the ordinary it was still a pretty shitty deal. Who knows how different Flo's solo career may have started without the billing prevention, and certainly how different her financial situation may have been had she continued to receive royalties into the 70s.

  35. #35
    Flo's contractual release is most certainly a touchy subject. and from today's POV, it's certainly easy to comment and of course once the emotions of "poor old Flo" get in the way, then people's judgement really gets skewed

    first and foremost - motown did not do anything illegal with the negotiation and flo was foolish to not have proper legal council. as anyone would, motown was focused on their benefit. not flo's

    Also at the time, there was no way to know whether or not DRATS would soar. what if things had faltered? Flo had potentially ruined the company's biggest asset. sure she wasn't alone in that fault but she most certainly was complicit in it. she'd jeopardized the groups performance reputation by simply not showing up to a show and then performing onstage drunk. it's fortunate that her performance in Vegas wasn't more of a disaster - what if she'd completely lost herself on stage? or fell down? or got sick!!!! what would that have done to the brand "The Supremes?"

    all of the employees at motown (like employees at any company) were dependent on their salary. had the supremes imploded what would have happened to all of them? and their families? motown was still a small operation in 67 and could have easily gone under. it nearly did a year or two prior.

    So for Flo to cause such problems and to have jeopardized so much, i'm sure that the sr execs at the time had NO sympathy for her. this wasn't about sisterhood or emotion. this was the fact that she was dangerously jeopardizing so much more

  36. #36
    I don't think anyone accused Motown of doing anything illegal. The court ruled in 1971 that Flo's release agreement was legally binding. (And of course her suit couldn't move forward unless she returned the settlement money, which we know she could not.) The question is, for me, was it ethical? I'm not sure what time and "poor Flo" has to do with anything. I'm just the type that stands on right as opposed to wrong, no matter who the cast of characters are. To say to any person, then or now, that they are not allowed to capitalize off of the last eight years of their career is over the top ridiculous. Asking someone to sign over their rights to future royalties was a nasty move. As I stated before, it may not have been out of the ordinary, but it was shitty just the same.

    Flo didn't need sympathy, but she did need fairness. While those last six months were apparently really rough, Flo had given the group and Motown her very best, mostly, for six years. While Diana's role being a large part in the group's success should be inarguable, the Supremes would not have been THE SUPREMES without the contributions of Flo and Mary also. To reduce that to the rockiness of the last X months is crazy. The woman had walking pneumonia and they still forced her to work. To me that's worst than anything she did to them.

    Motown could've sent that lady on her way, never to deal with her again. But as it turns out, the Florence Ballard chapter of Motown will forever be a stain. And that stain could've very well been avoided if Motown, ie Berry Gordy, had decided to be fair rather than vindictive. And this wouldn't be the last vindictive move. This is the same dude (and company) that wouldn't let the Jackson 5 keep their name. It was their damn name. I'm really surprised Gordy didn't get his ass whooped more.

  37. #37
    Flo also had a lawyer or two - just very bad ones. She had choices and like many of Mary's, made bad ones. But in 1967, perhaps they didn't think there would be much in the way of royalties and there isn't much anymore.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i don't disagree that Gordy was always going to put DR first. absolutely. But let's face it - mary and pedro did NOT manage the supremes properly. Given the hot mess that the group was onstage, the ill-conceived shows, poor decisions for events (MSG anyone????) some of the highest degrees of tension in the group?

    The one good thing that happened during this time is the studio work of the Hollands. HE and MS&S are, for the most part, very good, if not excellent lps.

    But what other measures of success are you rating the Mary/Pedro management with? IMO they pretty much failed.

    So how could Gordy have done any worse? that had 0 interest from motown and if Gordy was going to manage and maybe only give them 10% interest, isn't that more than they were getting prior?
    I believe Berry Gordy would have killed them off immediately had Mary let him manage them! It was a trust thing at that point. Regarding the MSG decision. I remember we told them not to do it! Looking back on it now, I can see they were almost forced because Motown was starving them and they needed the money, as well as the exposure to larger live audiences. Still, what happened was expected and predicted to happen by doing Richard Nader's "Oldies Show" when the Supremes were not an oldies act at that point in time.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Financially, Flo probably got one of the best settlements of anyone in her position. But the legalese of the separation agreement, with the stipulation of forbidding her to bill herself or promote herself as a former Supreme, not to mention revoking her rights to royalties, if it wasn't out of the ordinary it was still a pretty shitty deal. Who knows how different Flo's solo career may have started without the billing prevention, and certainly how different her financial situation may have been had she continued to receive royalties into the 70s.
    By forbidding Florence Ballard to use her Supremes connection (she even started the group!), they were completely erasing Florence's past in the entertainment industry. Motown never promoted the name "Florence Ballard" while she was with the Supremes, so in essence, she would be starting from scratch after being in the most successful American Pop group in history at that time. No royalties meant she had no choice but to keep working. As we all know, Motown, Universal, and others have been making money off of "The Supremes" for more than 50 years since Florence was fired from the group. She and her heirs have seen ZERO from it!

    Remember the scene in the film "What's Love Got to Do With It" where "Tina Turner" aka Anna Mae Bullock practically begged the judge in her divorce proceedings to allow her to keep her name? She was willing to let Ike keep everything else, but as long as she could keep and continue to use the name "Tina Turner" that she helped make famous, she was ok.
    Last edited by marv2; 02-19-2020 at 07:19 PM.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Flo also had a lawyer or two - just very bad ones. She had choices and like many of Mary's, made bad ones. But in 1967, perhaps they didn't think there would be much in the way of royalties and there isn't much anymore.
    BS! Motown definitely knew there would be a substantial amount in royalties from the Supremes recordings at that time. They were prepared to hold up the little money they were offering Flo in her settlement, unless she agreed to relinquish all future recording royalties. Motown was in the position of power and could have held out indefinitely if Flo HAD decided to fight it legally. All those investments she was told that the company was making for her and the other Supremes were just lies. She, like the others were given a weekly allowance of a few hundred dollars for several years and had to get permission from Motown if and when they wanted to make large purchases like homes and automobiles. These women didn't make a lot of bad choices. They made one major one that affected them and their finances for years and years when they signed their original recording contract with Motown! These were very young woman, girls actually when they signed contracts with Motown at age 16, parents notwithstanding.......

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    So for Flo to cause such problems and to have jeopardized so much, i'm sure that the sr execs at the time had NO sympathy for her. this wasn't about sisterhood or emotion. this was the fact that she was dangerously jeopardizing so much more
    Why was Flo causing "problems"? What made her act out? Don't tell me it was all because she was raped as a teen either....... Most people that have read their story know why and can understand it. I want to see where you're coming from.
    Last edited by marv2; 02-19-2020 at 07:37 PM.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    Just remember something from Mary's book....she talks about BG managing the group. Twice he offered to manage the group. She turned him down.
    I didn't want to loose control again. Was her response
    I don't remember him offering twice. I do remember after "High Energy" had a spark in sales he offered. The truth is he had shown that they could not trust him at that point. It wasn't about control. Mary Wilson was a singer and entertainer. She would have loved to leave the business part to someone else so that she could concentrate on what she does. Almost all of her peers had left or were preparing to leave Motown, all except Diana Ross. It was mostly due to neglect (and some issues over money.....).

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Flo also had a lawyer or two - just very bad ones. She had choices and like many of Mary's, made bad ones. But in 1967, perhaps they didn't think there would be much in the way of royalties and there isn't much anymore.
    That first lawyer was the one who stole her money. The second lawyer committed suicide. He did appear to be on the up and up, I think. Whatever he laid out in Flo's suit against Motown, I'm thinking the judge did see some merit in it or it would have been thrown out, citing there were no legal grounds. Instead the suit wasn't allowed to proceed until Flo could give back the money, which would have made the original settlement void. When she couldn't do that, the judge threw the case out. Interesting to ponder what may have happened had she been able to give the money back. I suspect Motown may have then attempted to settle with her out of court. Testimony could've gotten nasty, on both sides. I believe she had a lawyer who got her the 50 grand in 1975. He apparently did his job.

    Regarding royalties, it's been said that up until at least the turn of the century, Diana and Mary were receiving nice checks in royalties. I figure that they probably were reaping Supreme benefits up until the time downloading on the internet became a phenomenon. No doubt in 1967/68, the group was still being paid handsomely from the sales of their hit singles and hit albums. Hitting Flo in the royalties reeks of knowing how financially important royalties were, other than that there would have been no reason to deny them to her. It was a punishment. And I don't know if anyone thought royalties from Supremes hits would be lucrative two decades later, but I can't imagine anyone believing those royalties would've dried up in the following decade.
    Last edited by RanRan79; 02-19-2020 at 11:43 PM.

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    By forbidding Florence Ballard to use her Supremes connection (she even started the group!), they were completely erasing Florence's past in the entertainment industry. Motown never promoted the name "Florence Ballard" while she was with the Supremes, so in essence, she would be starting from scratch after being in the most successful American Pop group in history at that time. No royalties meant she had no choice but to keep working. As we all know, Motown, Universal, and others have been making money off of "The Supremes" for more than 50 years since Florence was fired from the group. She and her heirs have seen ZERO from it!

    Remember the scene in the film "What's Love Got to Do With It" where "Tina Turner" aka Anna Mae Bullock practically begged the judge in her divorce proceedings to allow her to keep her name? She was willing to let Ike keep everything else, but as long as she could keep and continue to use the name "Tina Turner" that she helped make famous, she was ok.
    Excellent point. Can you imagine putting in all the work Florence did to get on top of the game, only to end up in a position where she had to start all over and not even be able to capitalize on her previous work? That's crazy. After Gordy sold Motown, no one would ever suggest that he never be able to use his founder of Motown credit in furthering his business opportunities. We all- myself included- would think that's the craziest shit we've ever heard. So why should it be okay for Flo to be in the same position? There were times in the group that Flo fucked up, and as a result she found her ass fired. That's how you deal with an employee fucking up. You don't take steps to impede their success or financial well being after the fact and still get to claim being one of the good guys.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    BS! Motown definitely knew there would be a substantial amount in royalties from the Supremes recordings at that time. They were prepared to hold up the little money they were offering Flo in her settlement, unless she agreed to relinquish all future recording royalties. Motown was in the position of power and could have held out indefinitely if Flo HAD decided to fight it legally. All those investments she was told that the company was making for her and the other Supremes were just lies. She, like the others were given a weekly allowance of a few hundred dollars for several years and had to get permission from Motown if and when they wanted to make large purchases like homes and automobiles. These women didn't make a lot of bad choices. They made one major one that affected them and their finances for years and years when they signed their original recording contract with Motown! These were very young woman, girls actually when they signed contracts with Motown at age 16, parents notwithstanding.......
    Another excellent point. Motown sat in the power position throughout the whole process. Look how long it took them to actually settle the entire thing: Flo was permanently fired in July 1967. After she secured legal representation, it wasn't until February 1968 that the matter was settled. Motown could've strung her along for as long as they wanted. As long as there was no separation agreement, Flo was still under contract to Motown, which meant she would not have been able to sign with another label, record for another label, or do shows. So she was in no position to wait them out. Of course they wanted to be done with her and the whole matter, so the minute she agreed to what they were offering, it was officially done. I wish Florence had found good representation. Things may have ended up differently for her, financially speaking.

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Why was Flo causing "problems"? What made her act out? Don't tell me it was all because she was raped as a teen either....... Most people that have read their story know why and can understand it. I want to see where you're coming from.
    Flo's rape, like anyone's sexual assault, probably affected the way she dealt with certain things. Mary wrote that distrust became an issue with Flo after her rape, so it should come as no surprise that in a situation such as hers with the group, that she may have lashed out feeling like she was among vipers. Also, having been assaulted at the hands of a man, there may have been some issues with having to deal with a man as controlling and manipulative as Gordy could apparently be. So the rape will always be considered an ingredient to Flo's problems.

    But as I always point out, Flo was a rape survivor in 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 and into 1966, and she always seemed to be able to do her job and not be in constant conflict with her co-workers and her employer. So what was the problem?

    1) I think overwork became an issue. Flo loved singing and she loved performing, but I think she also liked being able to stop and smell the roses, and the Supremes' schedule was growing hectic by the day. Flo also seemed to be a bit more susceptible to illness than Diana and Mary, and one of the easiest ways to remain sick is by not being able to get proper rest. Gordy saw dollar signs, and probably also had a mindset of striking while the iron is hot. He may have thought too much time off might cause the group to stumble. He apparently never considered that working too hard might cost the group members even more.

    2) Flo was taking diet pills. The side effects of those meds included erratic- perhaps even manic- behavior.

    3) The Supremes in 1965 were becoming an entirely different group in 1966. While they were still very much a group in the public's consciousness, clearly among the Motown elite, Diana's status was elevating. This surely caused some tension and a bad mood in not only Flo, but Mary too. It's a difficult pill for anyone to swallow going from an equal member to one whose percentage is dropping by the month.

    4) Diana's attitude. Like many young ladies her age, Diana was self absorbed. She relished- excelled even- in an environment where everything was about her. Like many young ladies her age, Florence made her displeasure regarding Diana's attitude known. Like many young ladies her age, Diana didn't care to be chastised for her attitude, especially by a peer. This all created an atmosphere of girlish bickering and infighting, that could have only really been put in check by someone with wisdom. Instead the Supremes had Berry Gordy, who not only allowed the infighting to go unchecked (unless he was checking Florence, which of course is another problem when one person feels like they're being singled out while someone else is allowed to skate by), but also apparently used it to his advantage whenever possible. I wish Flo, Diana and Mary's mother had stepped in. Maybe their wisdom might have given the trio a chance to remain intact.

    5) Gordy's attitude. He completely botched the Supremes transition from group to Diana vehicle. Had he treated Flo, and Mary, as though they mattered, he might have gotten more cooperation rather than bucking. Instead he was nasty and he was mean and he was dismissive. In the real world every action has an equal or greater reaction. If you walk up to a woman in a nightclub and tell her that she's fat, the least you can expect is to get a drink thrown in your face.

    6) Alcohol. Flo's alcohol issue, by all accounts, seems to have started right around the time things were really souring in the group. No one has ever said if Flo's alcohol issues were a problem at home in Detroit, but it wouldn't surprise me if at first alcohol became a way of medicating her feelings out on the road, where she often felt alone, but once she was home, she was okay. But medicating on the road so much became a habit and then she was hooked. Like a lot of alcoholics, this addiction can interfere with relationships and jobs. It took it's toll.

    Flo is not blameless in her problems with the Supremes. But she didn't wake up one day and decide to piss away her position. Flo had a reactionary personality. Gordy liked to control his women. Flo didn't like being controlled. That situation was bound to blow up in all of their faces.

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I don't remember him offering twice. I do remember after "High Energy" had a spark in sales he offered. The truth is he had shown that they could not trust him at that point. It wasn't about control. Mary Wilson was a singer and entertainer. She would have loved to leave the business part to someone else so that she could concentrate on what she does. Almost all of her peers had left or were preparing to leave Motown, all except Diana Ross. It was mostly due to neglect (and some issues over money.....).
    Another excellent point. I didn't consider this. Nothing about Mary Wilson has ever suggested that she wanted to really concern herself with the business of the group. She did not have a take charge personality. But if she feared for her financial life, it would make sense that she would think she needed to be involved, whether she was qualified or not. I think had she had someone she could trust, and I mean really trust, managing the group's affairs, she would've gladly handed over the reins. I still maintain that a big part of Mary not leaving Motown with Jean and Lynda to start another group was that Mary didn't want to be in a position where the other ladies had more control than she had. I think this too was about survival. She knew all too well how treacherous group mates could be (just ask Flo) and she didn't want to find herself kicked out of the new group. As the last original Supreme, none of those women had the power to fire Mary Wilson...as long as they stayed The Supremes, at Motown Records.

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    I知 sure this question was asked before but I have to ask again. As far as everyone knows JMC recorded everything on this album except Is there a Place. My question is how much are the Andantes added into this album(I知 not including Stoned Love since we had a battle discussing that one months ago) and did the ladies of the undisputed truth (Brenda and Billie) add any background vocals. Andy and George I know you can answer this question.
    I didn't know that about Is There A Place.... Who backed Jean on that then?

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by waynesville View Post
    I didn't know that about Is There A Place.... Who backed Jean on that then?
    i believe it's either the Andantes or the Blackberries. both were groups doing backing vocals around motown at the time.

    Clay McMurray produced Is There A Place along with I Got Hurt and The Day Will Come Between during Jan 70. IMO the Andantes are all over I Got Hurt and Day Will Come. I don't have the specific dates for when backing vocals were recorded for Is There A Place but i'm going to guess since he used the Andantes on the others, that he did for Is There too

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

[REMOVE ADS]

Ralph Terrana
MODERATOR

Welcome to Soulful Detroit! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
Soulful Detroit is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to Soulful Detroit. [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.