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  1. #1
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    Would you have managed The Supremes career differently?

    I always hated that the group went to extremes with their successes. Diana was lead on their hit singles, so she sang lead on everything. They were a hit with the supper club venues, so they mainly played supper club venues. They made money off touring, so they toured nonstop.

    I always wonder if they would have done even better if they would have cut back on the touring similar to the Beatles. Maybe not completely like the Beatles but only do a few special tours per year. Do the clubs for one tour. Play the bigger venues for the fans for one tour. An overseas tour. And a two-three month break in between. I think this would have eased up the tensions in the group greatly. Playing Vegas in late '66 was a big deal but I think after that they should have taken a break. Still make a TV appearance for each single release.

    I would have kept Diana as lead on the singles but give Mary and Flo more album cuts. I love Diana's voice but when listening to an album with just her singing lead on every song can kinda get stale. No duet albums. The Supremes are big enough they don't need to duet. A duet single? Okay I'll go for that. Cut back on the special albums after '66 with the exception of Rodgers and Hart making it a double album.

    I would have kept some standards in the shows like Somewhere and People but cut out most of the other ones. Maybe keep in You're Nobody for the comedic factor. And change the set list up for every tour.

    I also would have cut back on the gowns after 1966. Maybe wear them for the first half of the show and then change into street wear for the last half. By 1968, it really was starting to come off as corny.

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    Also another idea I have is in '68, instead of the TV specials, I'd have them star in a movie musical that would showcase all three of them. Something along the lines of The Harvey Girls or My Fair Lady. After Love Child maybe start exploring individual projects and then plans to come back together at some point.

    Do you think the group could have survived and thrived if they cut back on touring? Making them "hard to touch"?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    I always hated that the group went to extremes with their successes. Diana was lead on their hit singles, so she sang lead on everything. They were a hit with the supper club venues, so they mainly played supper club venues. They made money off touring, so they toured nonstop.

    I always wonder if they would have done even better if they would have cut back on the touring similar to the Beatles. Maybe not completely like the Beatles but only do a few special tours per year. Do the clubs for one tour. Play the bigger venues for the fans for one tour. An overseas tour. And a two-three month break in between. I think this would have eased up the tensions in the group greatly. Playing Vegas in late '66 was a big deal but I think after that they should have taken a break. Still make a TV appearance for each single release.

    I would have kept Diana as lead on the singles but give Mary and Flo more album cuts. I love Diana's voice but when listening to an album with just her singing lead on every song can kinda get stale. No duet albums. The Supremes are big enough they don't need to duet. A duet single? Okay I'll go for that. Cut back on the special albums after '66 with the exception of Rodgers and Hart making it a double album.

    I would have kept some standards in the shows like Somewhere and People but cut out most of the other ones. Maybe keep in You're Nobody for the comedic factor. And change the set list up for every tour.

    I also would have cut back on the gowns after 1966. Maybe wear them for the first half of the show and then change into street wear for the last half. By 1968, it really was starting to come off as corny.
    Oh my, oh my, oh my!!!
    I'm sure no one on this forum has any thoughts on this or would have told Berry how to do things differently! Nope, no arm chair quarter-backing on SDF. Everybody tots happy with how things unfolded.

    LOL!

    This will soon become the highest viewed and most commented post on the forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thanxal View Post
    Oh my, oh my, oh my!!!
    I'm sure no one on this forum has any thoughts on this or would have told Berry how to do things differently! Nope, no arm chair quarter-backing on SDF. Everybody tots happy with how things unfolded.

    LOL!

    This will soon become the highest viewed and most commented post on the forum.
    Lol i don't mean for it to turn into a bash free for all. Just curious to see everyone's different ideas if they were handling the group. Do you think they could have toured less and still have been as successful after say 1966?

  5. #5
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    No I think it was the 60's so if they had stopped they would have been forgotten somewhere along the line. They couldn't or shouldn't had done what they Beatles done. It must have been difficult for them even to put up with some of the crap along the way so hats off that they endured as long as they did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    Lol i don't mean for it to turn into a bash free for all. Just curious to see everyone's different ideas if they were handling the group. Do you think they could have toured less and still have been as successful after say 1966?
    I know. It's just that everybody and their sister will have input on this. I dare say you could find someone making this point on just about every thread here in the ghetto.

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    The Supremes, as well as most American groups, didn't have the luxuries the Beatles did in not touring after a certain period. Especially if you were a black group, you HAD to tour, otherwise, people forgot you. Berry had this "strike while the iron is hot" attitude. Only Motown acts who could afford to be gone for a while and come back like it was nothing was Stevie and Marvin. I don't even think Diana had that luxury until late into her career.

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    I agree with some ideas...like Mary n florence getting more lead vocals.
    My input. Slow the shows down instead of those speedy medleys.
    There were times when the market was oversaturated with releases.
    Did we need.... funny girl
    Sing country
    Got on broadway
    Bit of liverpool.
    From 1968 on I think the group needed new direction

  9. #9
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    I honestly don't think I would have changed much when it came to how the Supremes' career was handled. Given the options available to them in the 60s, I think they did incredibly well.

    The only thing I might have done was give Mary and Flo maybe one lead per album. Not because I particularly want to hear them but because I think it might have contributed positively to group morale.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    No I think it was the 60's so if they had stopped they would have been forgotten somewhere along the line. They couldn't or shouldn't had done what they Beatles done. It must have been difficult for them even to put up with some of the crap along the way so hats off that they endured as long as they did.
    Was it because the Beatles made out better royalties wise? I guess being songwriters to their hits helped them out with that greatly. I wonder though if they had just taken a few months off when it was clear things were getting bad, would they have really not have been able to get back on track?

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    Just personal preference but I would have cut on the standards too. I can't stand how they used to medley through their own hits and then sing a whole version of Michelle or just any other song. I do like the Lady is a tramp but Somewhere and People are too dreary for me.
    Also probably given Florence and Mary a lead each on their albums. I like that break from hearing the same voice. Like the Marvelettes during the time Gladys was part of the group. When Gladys left Ann only got 1 song on each album and Wanda's voice get too repetitive.
    Besides that I don't think I'd change much for the Supremes during the 60's but change more during their tenure in the 70's. Drop all the standards for a start and maybe only sing them at certain venues. I also would have changed their outfits and had them wear the fancy dresses only at fancy places. I think wearing all the same looked cute during the early 60's up to late 60's but after that I think it looked too corny. Also, and I think everyone would agree, got rid of Pedro's interference and sorted Scherrie and Cindy's contract out faster than it happened. I think the gap year didn't do them any good. They should have been straight back into the studio and trying to come up with a plan what to do next in terms of songs and image.

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    The 60's Supremes seemed tied up to me, But when Jean took over they should of stopped the show tunes and speedy medley of hits and concentrated on promoting their own material , granted a nod to the 60's just as Diana did in her new solo shows, but they had so much potential but Motown just wanted them out there earning money off their name .

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    1) Motown kept them touring all the time because they were making so much money off the tours. Gordy was an avoricious s.o.b. Of the highest order. Still, I’d gave cut back their touring schedule by 10-20% for fatigue and Ross’ voice.

    2) I’m all for giving Mary and Flo each a solo in every show and maybe on albums if the quality is there. Not Cindy, however as her voice, to me, is ordinary and no one would pay to hear her solo by choice.

    3) The duets were wildly successful with 2 platinum albums and two successful albums.

    4) MY big change would be the focus on recording QUALITY tunes only when Ross’ voice was well rested - she sounds so hoarse on some cuts I can’t listen to them. It’s disgraceful. And absolutely no random track assignments just so producers could bill a session out. It’s shameless.

    5) I can’t imagine making a movie with three women who cannot act. Diana was OK delivering her lines, that Mary and Cindy Would have needed major major major major major training and to what point? Who would want to go see them in a movie to begin with? The Harvey girls? Mary can’t even stay in character during your nobody till somebody loves you. Diana and Flo, perhaps but not M&C, JMC, or MSS.lynda could deliver lines so maybe something with her but not a film.

    6) someone mentioned a special with the four tops which I think would’ve been a good idea, but I don’t think any network would have bought it so it would have to be syndicated… But with a lot of work it could’ve been a good show.

    7) The specialty albums were quite popular except for funny girl. Liverpool alone probably sold more than all the marvel ads or Vandellas studio albums combined. Those albums helped make the group special and not just another pop group

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    I would have given Mary and Flo single cuts on each album. A duet with The Beach Boys would have been fine.
    Later Diana Ross Career:
    I wish Michael Masser had stayed with Diana Ross during The RCA Years. They were a great team. "After You" should have been released as a single. A beautiful song. What happened?

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    Yes the quality of some of the songs isn't that good. Diana sounds hoarse on some cuts and live recordings. Instead working on quality instead of quantity but that's probably not how the music business works. I do think Cindy could have been given a lead. Not a whole song but something like a verse.
    I like the duet with the Beach boys idea. I think they could have done something with them around the time they recorded surfer boy and beach ball. But then again would an all white male group and an all black girl group duet have worked mid 60's? Just asking.

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    I certainly don't have the tools to be a manager of an entertainer's career but from my perspective as a fan I can say what I would have liked to see.
    I would have had both Mary and Florence, later Cindy have a featured lead on each album. This would have promoted group harmony and would have allowed Mary, Florence and Cindy to develop their talents and allowed the mass public to become familiar with their voices and talents.
    When Jean joined, I would have not refitted all of those old gowns, not relied on the hits of the previous lead singer and revamped the act entirely.I would have done just a medley of the previous hits and not used what was the formula for the 60's.
    I think had they featured Mary and Florence on an album cut, it would have helped not only in their musical development but would have continued the group feel that the public initially fell in love with instead of being overly focused on Diana. Diana would have made it anyway but by focusing so much on her and making the group no longer a group but a lead and a background was unnecessary. Plus, Ross was being overworked.
    I still love the group, but for longevity I think that would have been better all around

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    1) Motown kept them touring all the time because they were making so much money off the tours. Gordy was an avoricious s.o.b. Of the highest order. Still, I’d gave cut back their touring schedule by 10-20% for fatigue and Ross’ voice.

    2) I’m all for giving Mary and Flo each a solo in every show and maybe on albums if the quality is there. Not Cindy, however as her voice, to me, is ordinary and no one would pay to hear her solo by choice.

    3) The duets were wildly successful with 2 platinum albums and two successful albums.

    4) MY big change would be the focus on recording QUALITY tunes only when Ross’ voice was well rested - she sounds so hoarse on some cuts I can’t listen to them. It’s disgraceful. And absolutely no random track assignments just so producers could bill a session out. It’s shameless.

    5) I can’t imagine making a movie with three women who cannot act. Diana was OK delivering her lines, that Mary and Cindy Would have needed major major major major major training and to what point? Who would want to go see them in a movie to begin with? The Harvey girls? Mary can’t even stay in character during your nobody till somebody loves you. Diana and Flo, perhaps but not M&C, JMC, or MSS.lynda could deliver lines so maybe something with her but not a film.

    6) someone mentioned a special with the four tops which I think would’ve been a good idea, but I don’t think any network would have bought it so it would have to be syndicated… But with a lot of work it could’ve been a good show.

    7) The specialty albums were quite popular except for funny girl. Liverpool alone probably sold more than all the marvel ads or Vandellas studio albums combined. Those albums helped make the group special and not just another pop group
    I was thinking of the original line up in terms of a movie. Mary may not have been much of an actress but give her minimal lines and then give her a nice solo number. Something like "The Trolley Song" or a jazzy "Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart".

    I'd have them maybe feature the Tempts on a single and an album cut but I don't think a full album was needed. I love the early specialty albums but I think R&H should have been the last one.

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    The Beatles couldn't act either but they got their own movies.

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    Glad their was no movie.
    I'll stick with TCB

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    1960 Flo: Don't accept rides from strangers even if you think you know them. Mary thinks thinks it would have eased the tension with Diana. I mean, did the high school couldn't afford a 16mm projector and a educational short about stranger danger?

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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    Glad their was no movie.
    I'll stick with TCB
    I'd be okay with TCB if it was just the Supremes. It was too crowded with the Temptations. Someone said about a special with the Four Tops which I would have liked better, one less guy and plus Levi was amazing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IMissFlo93 View Post
    1960 Flo: Don't accept rides from strangers even if you think you know them. Mary thinks thinks it would have eased the tension with Diana. I mean, did the high school couldn't afford a 16mm projector and a educational short about stranger danger?
    The 60s were a different era, and people were a lot more trusting plus Florence knew this guy he wasnít a stranger. That being said, schools keep having more and more and more and more and more budget cuts until, Like in our public schools, there arenít enough lightbulbs to keep the classrooms fully lit all year long. So they have to constantly readjust the ones that are working and spread them out so thereís not too many dark spots in a room.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    The 60s were a different era, and people were a lot more trusting plus Florence knew this guy he wasn’t a stranger. That being said, schools keep having more and more and more and more and more budget cuts until, Like in our public schools, there aren’t enough lightbulbs to keep the classrooms fully lit all year long. So they have to constantly readjust the ones that are working and spread them out so there’s not too many dark spots in a room.
    She should've asked help to find her brother from someone other than a deranged friend.

    I mean did Flo not know of his friend's troubled life?
    Last edited by IMissFlo93; 09-28-2020 at 07:27 AM.

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    it if could, i would do the following:

    1. still release the specialty albums but invest just a bit more time and care into them. Liverpool is a bit sloppy and Country needed more real country tunes on it

    2. allowed M and F a few more places to shine. Allowing each girl to have some sense of accomplishment and being able to grow could have possibly eliminated a TON of problems

    3. better management of the 70s Jeans supremes - have talked tons about this. but would have focused on a better New Ways album and packaging, skipped the duets - or else maybe 1 album after NW but before Nathan and Touch, skipped Jimmy Webb, helped modernize their image, etc.

    4. much much better management of the 70s Scherrie supremes - Mary just didn't have the capabilities or experience to do this. and pedro was a disaster. After the success of Walking, there are so many things they could have done different

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