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  1. #1
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    Discrepancies: Motown: Music Money and Power

    Hey guys--
    I was wanting a new book to read and even though I pride myself on reading every Motown book that's come out, Posner's book Motown: Music Money and Power completely passed me by somehow. I bought it this weekend and I'm about halfway through it and I am seeing some diversions on certain stories that I've read in other books. Here they are:

    1. Berry was not happy with Baby Love as a follow up single to Where Did Our Love Go. Posner states that after WDOLG hit big, the follow up, Baby Love, was heard by Berry and he did not like it. I'm reporting this off memory--Berry thought it was too slow and didn't think the intro was strong enough. So HDH brought the girls back into the studio to re-record it. Apparently that Ooooh ooooh was added, and the tempo was sped up [[hard to imagine it was any slower but that's what Posner says). I have never heard this before to the best of my recollection.

    2. Posner reports that Berry and Marvin Gaye got into a "fist fight," which turned out to be more like a shoving match. I never heard this before either. Marvin was complaining about royalty "discrepancies" and was cussing out the sales people, which Berry explained was not doing him [[Marvin) any favors.

    3. Posner says that the reunion of the Supremes at Motown 25 was "not rehearsed." Maybe it was just unclear wording on Posner's part, but he made it sound like even Someday We'll be Together was just off the cuff, unplanned. Now I know they had planned a medley of hits prior to the show, which DR vetoed without bothering to run it by Mary and Cindy, but Someday was hardly impromptu. Again, maybe he just worded this poorly.

    4. Posner claims that the infamous telegram from the Temptations to Mary Wilson urged her to quit the Supremes in protest of Florence's dismissal. From all I've read in the past, including from Mary herself, The telegram stated "Stick by Florence. It could happen to you. Think about it." That is a far cry from suggesting she quit the group. Mary knew the self-inflicted problems with Florence and knew she had to go, so what would Mary quitting do for anybody? I think the Tempts meant for her not to turn her back on her old friend, and she didn't.

    Comments? After the abomination that was Ribowsky's Motown book, I have come to the conclusion that there isn't much left to say about Motown that hasn't already been said. I'm cool with that.

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    It's been years since I read it - but it was one of the weaker Motown books.

    Berry was smart - at the time, that opening ooh, ooh, ooh, Baby Love - was magical. It really sold the Supremes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    Hey guys--
    I was wanting a new book to read and even though I pride myself on reading every Motown book that's come out, Posner's book Motown: Music Money and Power completely passed me by somehow. I bought it this weekend and I'm about halfway through it and I am seeing some diversions on certain stories that I've read in other books. Here they are:

    1. Berry was not happy with Baby Love as a follow up single to Where Did Our Love Go. Posner states that after WDOLG hit big, the follow up, Baby Love, was heard by Berry and he did not like it. I'm reporting this off memory--Berry thought it was too slow and didn't think the intro was strong enough. So HDH brought the girls back into the studio to re-record it. Apparently that Ooooh ooooh was added, and the tempo was sped up [[hard to imagine it was any slower but that's what Posner says). I have never heard this before to the best of my recollection.

    2. Posner reports that Berry and Marvin Gaye got into a "fist fight," which turned out to be more like a shoving match. I never heard this before either. Marvin was complaining about royalty "discrepancies" and was cussing out the sales people, which Berry explained was not doing him [[Marvin) any favors.

    3. Posner says that the reunion of the Supremes at Motown 25 was "not rehearsed." Maybe it was just unclear wording on Posner's part, but he made it sound like even Someday We'll be Together was just off the cuff, unplanned. Now I know they had planned a medley of hits prior to the show, which DR vetoed without bothering to run it by Mary and Cindy, but Someday was hardly impromptu. Again, maybe he just worded this poorly.

    4. Posner claims that the infamous telegram from the Temptations to Mary Wilson urged her to quit the Supremes in protest of Florence's dismissal. From all I've read in the past, including from Mary herself, The telegram stated "Stick by Florence. It could happen to you. Think about it." That is a far cry from suggesting she quit the group. Mary knew the self-inflicted problems with Florence and knew she had to go, so what would Mary quitting do for anybody? I think the Tempts meant for her not to turn her back on her old friend, and she didn't.

    Comments? After the abomination that was Ribowsky's Motown book, I have come to the conclusion that there isn't much left to say about Motown that hasn't already been said. I'm cool with that.
    I haven't read Posner's book in a while but I remember it being full of errors. I think I might have even written an Amazon review saying that the author and I probably read the same books and I could have done a similar job as he. Only I wouldn't have passed mine off as a new work. I think the only true new info that I recall was something shady happening with album cut-outs. But again, it has been years since I read it.

    I also remember hearing that when Posner had an appearance in Detroit during his book tour, Martha Reeves and Maxine Powell attended and objected publicly to some of his comments.

    I had heard stories 1-3 in other books.

    The original version of BABY LOVE traded hands amongst fans for years before it was released on the WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO expanded edition. Listening to it, I agree with Berry. It needed to be reworked and HDH came through.

    I remember reading that the scuffle with Marvin might occurred around the time of Kennedy's assassination and nerves were raw or when Berry told Marvin "be a good boy," and he objected.

    Re SOMEDAY at MOTOWN 25, from what I've read, the women got together shortly before the audience was due to be let in to the auditorium. Because they had such short time, they didn't get to rehearse the medley and Diana decided they should just do SOMEDAY.

    Re Mary's telegram from the Tempts, he probably just got the story wrong.
    Last edited by reese; 11-25-2020 at 09:32 AM.

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    I like the title of the book, Music, Money, Sex and Power. Having literally just finished reading Ribowsky’s book on the Temptations, it certainly underscores just what a smart move Diana signing with RCA really was.
    Last edited by Ollie9; 11-25-2020 at 08:41 AM.

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    One of the worst books ever.

    Anything Supremes related is a watered down version of "All That Glittered" which was a watered down version of "Dreamgirl".

    It's like the game telephone. When you tell the same story 100 times, it eventually shapeshifts.

  6. #6
    Yes, exactly MaryBrewster. I can't believe he was featured in Diana's E True Hollywood Story, talking like he's some Motown historian. They just called him up because he was the 'soup du jour'. Next.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I haven't read Posner's book in a while but I remember it being full of errors. I think I might have even written an Amazon review saying that the author and I probably read the same books and I could have done a similar job as he. Only I wouldn't have passed mine off as a new work. I think the only true new info that I recall was something shady happening with album cut-outs. But again, it has been years since I read it.

    I also remember hearing that when Posner had an appearance in Detroit during his book tour, Martha Reeves and Maxine Powell attended and objected publicly to some of his comments.

    I had heard stories 1-3 in other books.

    The original version of BABY LOVE traded hands amongst fans for years before it was released on the WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO expanded edition. Listening to it, I agree with Berry. It needed to be reworked and HDH came through.

    I remember reading that the scuffle with Marvin might occurred around the time of Kennedy's assassination and nerves were raw or when Berry told Marvin "be a good boy," and he objected.

    Re SOMEDAY at MOTOWN 25, from what I've read, the women got together shortly before the audience was due to be let in to the auditorium. Because they had such short time, they didn't get to rehearse the medley and Diana decided they should just do SOMEDAY.

    Re Mary's telegram from the Tempts, he probably just got the story wrong.
    I do not recall Martha Reeves and Maxine Powell as having attended the book tour appearance, however, I remember reading in the Michigan Chronicle that Esther Gordy Edwards was in attendance and gave some strong rebuttals to things that were divulged. She was very upset as I recall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    I do not recall Martha Reeves and Maxine Powell as having attended the book tour appearance, however, I remember reading in the Michigan Chronicle that Esther Gordy Edwards was in attendance and gave some strong rebuttals to things that were divulged. She was very upset as I recall.
    There's a very old thread on the book here. https://soulfuldetroit.com/archives/...tml?1046689516

    I guess the appearance to which I was referring occurred at the Detroit Public Library and Mrs. Edwards, as well as Martha and Miss Powell were in attendance. A poster in the thread named "Sue" wrote an article about the appearance in the Detroit News. Unfortunately, the link to her article is no longer valid.

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    I doubt any book on Motown will ever completely reveal all the supposed machinations until the key players have passed away.

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    Well I'm almost done with the book. This Posner guy contradicts himself a lot, I couldn't help but notice. For instance he says Marvin's Grapevine sold more copies than any other Motown single, 4 million copies, but just a few pages later he says the Jackson 5's I'll Be There sold 3 million copies and was Motown's biggest single. It's stuff like that that kind of annoys me because it's so easy to get right. He also says Mary Wilson threatened to quit the Supremes over when Berry changed his mind early on about Jean Terrell. I'm pretty sure that never happened. Another thing he asserts was that Berry thought that Mary wanted to be the Supreme's lead singer instead of DR but I never heard that before. Mary always said although she wanted some solos every now and then, especially on albums, but wasn't ready to be a full lead singer. Seems like Mary was self aware and realistic about how things were back then. But according to Posner, Mary's wanting to be lead singer, supposedly, caused the Supreme's issues. I recall Berry writing in his memoirs that Mary "wanted to be the one, but DR had the magic and Mary Wilson didn't." Maybe that's where Posner got that from. If that was how Mary felt, allegedly, why didn't she demand to take DR's place, rather than back up Jean Terrell as the new lead?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    Well I'm almost done with the book. This Posner guy contradicts himself a lot, I couldn't help but notice. For instance he says Marvin's Grapevine sold more copies than any other Motown single, 4 million copies, but just a few pages later he says the Jackson 5's I'll Be There sold 3 million copies and was Motown's biggest single. It's stuff like that that kind of annoys me because it's so easy to get right. He also says Mary Wilson threatened to quit the Supremes over when Berry changed his mind early on about Jean Terrell. I'm pretty sure that never happened. Another thing he asserts was that Berry thought that Mary wanted to be the Supreme's lead singer instead of DR but I never heard that before. Mary always said although she wanted some solos every now and then, especially on albums, but wasn't ready to be a full lead singer. Seems like Mary was self aware and realistic about how things were back then. But according to Posner, Mary's wanting to be lead singer, supposedly, caused the Supreme's issues. I recall Berry writing in his memoirs that Mary "wanted to be the one, but DR had the magic and Mary Wilson didn't." Maybe that's where Posner got that from. If that was how Mary felt, allegedly, why didn't she demand to take DR's place, rather than back up Jean Terrell as the new lead?
    I recall reading an interview with Mary Wilson where she claimed one of her biggest regrets was that she did not take over as lead vocalist when Diana left. I didn't really believe what she was saying. If this was true then surely she would have wanted to do the leads when Jean missed a couple of shows when she was said to be sick rather than newcomer Lynda in 1973. It just does not make sense for her to claim she wanted to be lead singer if she didn't feel she was good enough to cover for Jean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I recall reading an interview with Mary Wilson where she claimed one of her biggest regrets was that she did not take over as lead vocalist when Diana left. I didn't really believe what she was saying. If this was true then surely she would have wanted to do the leads when Jean missed a couple of shows when she was said to be sick rather than newcomer Lynda in 1973. It just does not make sense for her to claim she wanted to be lead singer if she didn't feel she was good enough to cover for Jean.
    Mary Wilson seems to have said a lot of things at least once, many of which are contradictory.

    You guys are reminding me of how bad this book was; I remember kind of dismissing it and thinking that I knew more than him, lol

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    It would be interesting to know what books on Motown fans consider to be the best. I have read everything there is regarding Diana/Supremes but not Motown.
    Any recommendations would be appreciated.

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    Hi everybody--just forgot to tell you all that Posner claimed that Gordy wrote the song Power for El Debarge, which ended up, of course, with the Temptations. I laughed when I read that! I can't even begin to imagine DeBarge singing that song! Dennis Edwards was perfect for it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    Hi everybody--just forgot to tell you all that Posner claimed that Gordy wrote the song Power for El Debarge, which ended up, of course, with the Temptations. I laughed when I read that! I can't even begin to imagine DeBarge singing that song! Dennis Edwards was perfect for it!
    Otis Williams of the Tempts told the same story in his book.

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    Really? I read his book years ago and forgot about that, I guess. Still can't see DeBarge's voice on that one!

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    I just read this book having never heard about it before. I knew most of the history in it, there were a few stories which are interesting. I felt that the authors background as an investigative reporter worked well in the chapter where he analyzed and eventually mainly debunked the theory that Motown was very involved with the mafia. Other than that I felt that it was largely a recitation of facts, some of which were wrong, and I never felt like I was really “there“ so to speak.


    I still think the best book about Motown‘s early days is Raynoma Gordy‘s book. And of course Mary Wilson‘s first book has a lot about early Motown in it which is fascinating. In both those books I felt like I was in the room with them when they described events which they obviously remembered well and wrote about with passion and interest. I didn’t find much interest and very little passion in Posner‘s book.

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    the only part of the book I found fascinating to read was the chapter dealing with fraud from motown employees in the early 70s via the "cutout" discount LP business..Posner includes depostion evidence which highlights the situation and leads to the conlusion that Ross,Gaye & J5 albums sold a hell of alot more copies in the early 70s than any official accordation tally
    The Gaye/Gordy fisticuffs has been mentioned in a least one Gaye biography I have read I cant recall which one as i have half a dozen books on Marvin.. it might have been Ritz..
    Posner really goes for Diana in the book..infamous,well worn tales from Turner,Taraborrelli & Wilson are repeated and there is no balance in his writing - no acknowledgement of her musical talent and work ethic..his immature and false narrative just paints her as a temperamental bad princess/diva through out the pages..
    I found the book apart from the cut out fraud details disapointing..

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    Quote Originally Posted by nomis View Post
    the only part of the book I found fascinating to read was the chapter dealing with fraud from motown employees in the early 70s via the "cutout" discount LP business.
    I don't know exactly what this is?

    Could you explain?

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by florence View Post
    I don't know exactly what this is?

    Could you explain?

    Thanks.
    According to the author, some Motown employees went "rogue" and shipped new, just released albums as if they were "cut-outs." Cut-outs are albums that have been discontinued or gone out of print, and then sold at bargain prices to distributors who stock them in discount stores, or in what they used to call the "cut-out bins" in record stores, and sold at very low prices. They were called cut-outs, because the manufacturer [[in this case, Motown) would punch a hole, or cut off one of the corners to indicate it was a "cut-out" and could not be sold at regular retail prices.

    The author stated that some Motown employees would sell the new, just released album product as if they were cut-outs and fleece the company of valuable album revenue.

    Nomis may want to add some other details. I kind of skimmed this section because it was towards the end of the book and I was kind of hurrying to finish it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    According to the author, some Motown employees went "rogue" and shipped new, just released albums as if they were "cut-outs." Cut-outs are albums that have been discontinued or gone out of print, and then sold at bargain prices to distributors who stock them in discount stores, or in what they used to call the "cut-out bins" in record stores, and sold at very low prices. They were called cut-outs, because the manufacturer [[in this case, Motown) would punch a hole, or cut off one of the corners to indicate it was a "cut-out" and could not be sold at regular retail prices.

    The author stated that some Motown employees would sell the new, just released album product as if they were cut-outs and fleece the company of valuable album revenue.

    Nomis may want to add some other details. I kind of skimmed this section because it was towards the end of the book and I was kind of hurrying to finish it.
    That is correct. I used to buy early 70's current Supremes, Ross, Temptations and other Motown artists at a Spartan discount store on Michigan Ave with my allowance. I'd ride my bike there every Sat. and buy 3 albums that I hid behind a not so popular artist the previous Sat. The price was $.99 and had the typical cut-out in the corner.
    Last edited by detmotownguy; 07-23-2021 at 06:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    Hey guys--
    I was wanting a new book to read and even though I pride myself on reading every Motown book that's come out, Posner's book Motown: Music Money and Power completely passed me by somehow. I bought it this weekend and I'm about halfway through it and I am seeing some diversions on certain stories that I've read in other books. Here they are:

    1. Berry was not happy with Baby Love as a follow up single to Where Did Our Love Go. Posner states that after WDOLG hit big, the follow up, Baby Love, was heard by Berry and he did not like it. I'm reporting this off memory--Berry thought it was too slow and didn't think the intro was strong enough. So HDH brought the girls back into the studio to re-record it. Apparently that Ooooh ooooh was added, and the tempo was sped up [[hard to imagine it was any slower but that's what Posner says). I have never heard this before to the best of my recollection.

    2. Posner reports that Berry and Marvin Gaye got into a "fist fight," which turned out to be more like a shoving match. I never heard this before either. Marvin was complaining about royalty "discrepancies" and was cussing out the sales people, which Berry explained was not doing him [[Marvin) any favors.

    3. Posner says that the reunion of the Supremes at Motown 25 was "not rehearsed." Maybe it was just unclear wording on Posner's part, but he made it sound like even Someday We'll be Together was just off the cuff, unplanned. Now I know they had planned a medley of hits prior to the show, which DR vetoed without bothering to run it by Mary and Cindy, but Someday was hardly impromptu. Again, maybe he just worded this poorly.

    4. Posner claims that the infamous telegram from the Temptations to Mary Wilson urged her to quit the Supremes in protest of Florence's dismissal. From all I've read in the past, including from Mary herself, The telegram stated "Stick by Florence. It could happen to you. Think about it." That is a far cry from suggesting she quit the group. Mary knew the self-inflicted problems with Florence and knew she had to go, so what would Mary quitting do for anybody? I think the Tempts meant for her not to turn her back on her old friend, and she didn't.

    Comments? After the abomination that was Ribowsky's Motown book, I have come to the conclusion that there isn't much left to say about Motown that hasn't already been said. I'm cool with that.
    this is my least favorite of any book having to do with the Supremes or Motown, my favorite: all that glittered. I donít know how factual it was but itís an awfully good read. PosnerĎs book seemed to me to be written by a man who knew absolutely nothing about the subject of the book, did some fast research, cribbed a bunch of information that he didnít understand and thatís somewhat contradictory, And filled in what he didnít know, then released it as if he was an expert on the subject. Any information in this book that is not confirmed outside of this book, I consider to be totally unreliable.

    itís been 100 years since I read it but one thing sticks out Colin he talked about diana rossí tour after RTL been canceled because of lack of ticket sales. Itís true that it was canceled, but that was for health reasons, and had actually broken house records in two venues. He just assumed it was ticket sales because of RTL, there was absolutely nothing anywhere to indicate that any one of those venues had not sold well. If heíll make that up heíll make anything up. I donít even think I kept it during one of my purges of in necessary unnecessaryís in my house.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    According to the author, some Motown employees went "rogue" and shipped new, just released albums as if they were "cut-outs." Cut-outs are albums that have been discontinued or gone out of print, and then sold at bargain prices to distributors who stock them in discount stores, or in what they used to call the "cut-out bins" in record stores, and sold at very low prices. They were called cut-outs, because the manufacturer [[in this case, Motown) would punch a hole, or cut off one of the corners to indicate it was a "cut-out" and could not be sold at regular retail prices.

    The author stated that some Motown employees would sell the new, just released album product as if they were cut-outs and fleece the company of valuable album revenue.

    Nomis may want to add some other details. I kind of skimmed this section because it was towards the end of the book and I was kind of hurrying to finish it.

    Got a handle on it now - many thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by detmotownguy View Post
    That is correct. I used to buy early 70's current Supremes, Ross, Temptations and other Motown artists at a Spartan discount store on Michigan Ave with my allowance. I'd ride my bike there every Sat. and buy 3 albums that I hid behind a not so popular artist the previous Sat. The price was $.99 and had the typical cut-out in the corner.
    Oh my gosh, I have such great memories just like that. Only with me it was the Arlans discount store on 8 Mile Rd. and telegraph Road. The albums in the cut out bins were usually 88 cents, and I bought all the early Motown titles there, the first albums by the miracles and the Marvelettes and most of the others. Every once in a while the albums were three for a dollar! I always wonder what I left behind, although I know I bought as much as I could!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    Oh my gosh, I have such great memories just like that. Only with me it was the Arlans discount store on 8 Mile Rd. and telegraph Road. The albums in the cut out bins were usually 88 cents, and I bought all the early Motown titles there, the first albums by the miracles and the Marvelettes and most of the others. Every once in a while the albums were three for a dollar! I always wonder what I left behind, although I know I bought as much as I could!
    I bought many of my favorite Motown albums in the $1.99 cutout bins of Bradlee's, Woolworth's, and Zayre's. Once I even lucked out and found SOPHISTICATED SOUL by the Marvelettes for $.99 and WATCHOUT! by the Vandellas for $.69.

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    @reese,

    What city?

    K

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    @reese,

    What city?

    K
    Boston, MA

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    @Reese.

    Thanks. I was just curious. I've heard of Zayre's but not Bradlee's. I don't think either of those stores was around the Detroit area when I was growing up. Of course, Woolworth's was a popular chain. I don't remember their having a lot of the bargain bins for LPs, but I do remember they used to sell packages of 45s - perhaps 10 in a bundle - for $1 or thereabouts. The only title you could see was the one on top, which would usually be a fairly well known Top 10 tune. The rest were hidden so was a grab bag. They were usually non-hits. But it was fun to buy them and discover some songs you might have never heard otherwise.

    Looking back, I still find it was more fun to actually "discover" something in this way than just seeking it out on Amazon or Ebay and then buying it online. I guess the search was part of the "journey" which I miss at times.

    This gives me the idea for a new thread...
    Last edited by kenneth; 07-26-2021 at 10:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I recall reading an interview with Mary Wilson where she claimed one of her biggest regrets was that she did not take over as lead vocalist when Diana left. I didn't really believe what she was saying. If this was true then surely she would have wanted to do the leads when Jean missed a couple of shows when she was said to be sick rather than newcomer Lynda in 1973. It just does not make sense for her to claim she wanted to be lead singer if she didn't feel she was good enough to cover for Jean.
    I'd be very surprised if there were any serious discussions in 69 of Mary stepping in as the lead singer for the Supremes. I tend to ignore most interviews since who knows what the heck they'll say. often they're just trying to pull together a quick answer while on air.

    according to mary's book, she didn't want the position as she felt she wasn't prepared to take it on.

    another POV is the motown had never had any interest in Mary as a lead singer. during the very earliest sessions, she had only a couple vocals while Flo had quite a few. They seemed to pretty much just give her a token track on the specialty albums and that was it. There certainly wasn't any significant investment in studio time for her to trail things, experiment, test, etc. And she wasn't a "problem" like Flo.

    As for the Lynda shows when Jean was ill, the musical charts were all written for a soprano lead line. You would have had to redo all of the vocals and that would have been out of the question. If you listen [[if you care to lol) to Mary's live shows that are on YouTube from that ill-fated South America tour in summer 77, during the choruses of the songs, she's singing her alto part. sure during the verses she's on lead but it makes for a rather confusing listen. her mic is the lead mic but she's often not singing the melody.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    I'd be very surprised if there were any serious discussions in 69 of Mary stepping in as the lead singer for the Supremes. I tend to ignore most interviews since who knows what the heck they'll say. often they're just trying to pull together a quick answer while on air.

    according to mary's book, she didn't want the position as she felt she wasn't prepared to take it on.

    another POV is the Motown had never had any interest in Mary as a lead singer. during the very earliest sessions, she had only a couple vocals while Flo had quite a few. They seemed to pretty much just give her a token track on the specialty albums and that was it. There certainly wasn't any significant investment in studio time for her to trail things, experiment, test, etc. And she wasn't a "problem" like Flo.

    As for the Lynda shows when Jean was ill, the musical charts were all written for a soprano lead line. You would have had to redo all of the vocals and that would have been out of the question. If you listen [[if you care to lol) to Mary's live shows that are on YouTube from that ill-fated South America tour in summer 77, during the choruses of the songs, she's singing her alto part. sure during the verses she's on lead but it makes for a rather confusing listen. her mic is the lead mic but she's often not singing the melody.


    As time moves on and more truths are revealed I think it's highly plausible that Mary was the one who really wanted to be the lead singer. In this sense Mary and Lynda were a lot a like.

    Motown legend has it that Flo wanted the sole lead role. This is often said because it fits well with the Dreamgirl narrative imo, but from what I've been told is Flo just wanted things to be be fair. Flo was fine with the group being a multi lead group like the Temps because that is how they started. Imo this would have lessened the friction a bit

    I do think that because Mary was told that she couldn't sing [[she could sing well) that it caused a major insecurity, but that was done by design. It's basic manipulation 101

    Songs could have been tailored to Flo or Mary even if they were B-sides or album fillers. They did for Wanda, Gladys and Martha.

    Make no mistake I do agree with Diana for the singles as this was a winning formula, but as anyone with children will tell you, issues begin when one child gets all the treats all the time!

    As always I close with this is all water under the bridge It's interesting to see how things should have gone but it's all done now. Rest assured as time goes on and more people pass on, a more honest picture will emerge for those who are interested.

    Fortunately the ones who have passed on couldn't care less about any of this. They gave us the music and the illusion while they were here and we're still talking about it. Their work is done!
    Last edited by CoolKatz; 07-27-2021 at 05:35 PM.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolKatz View Post
    As time moves on on more truths are revealed I think it's highly plausible that Mary was the one who really wanted to be the lead singer. In this sense Mary and Lynda were a lot a like.

    Motown legend has it that Flo wanted the sole lead role. This is often said because it fits well with the Dreamgirl narrative imo, but from what I've been told is Flo just wanted things to be be fair. Flo was fine with the group being a multi lead group like the Temps because that is how they started. Imo this would have lessened the friction a bit

    I do think that because Mary was told that she couldn't sing [[she could sing well) that it caused a major insecurity, but that was done by design. It's basic manipulation 101

    Songs could have been tailored to Flo or Mary even if they were B-sides or album fillers. They did for Wanda, Gladys and Martha.

    Make no mistake I do agree with Diana for the singles as this was a winning formula, but as anyone with children will tell you, issues begin when one child gets all the treats all the time!

    As always I close with this is all water under the bridge It's interesting to see how things should have gone but it's all done now. Rest assured as time goes on and more people pass on, a more honest picture will emerge for those who are interested.

    Fortunately the ones who have passed on couldn't care less about any of this. They gave us the music and the illusion while they were here and we're still talking about it. Their work is done!
    i agree with your points! plus yes half the fun here is to think about what COULD have happened

    I wonder when this "dictate" from Berry that Diana is the official lead singer came about. was it right before WDOLG? was it earlier? it's mentioned in a lot of books but the exact timing seems hazy. after summer of 61, we really don't have either F or M handling many leads. At least based on what we've received in the EEs. of course motown might not have saved the leads, erasing them or recording over them.

    so by 62, diana was the lead singer. but you're point is spot on that M and F were used more and used effectively to add to the songs. just like the other thread i started on here about how some songs really utilized the group.

    on the WDOLG album you have:
    *the shared leads on the chorus of Breathtaking
    *Flo's lead on the outro of Long Gone
    *extensive 3-part harmony on Kiss of Fire, Come See, Baby Love, I'm giving you your freedom, Breathtaking
    *the brief individual lines on the bridge of BAby Love

    on More hits you still have extensive 3 part harmonies and a lot of group interplay in the songs. With Symphony you have 3 part but there's less group interplay. A go Go at least has a mary lead but that's it

    on the Specialty albums, they at least almost always recorded a track that features M and F
    *Country - mary on sunset, shared leads on Makes no diff
    *liverpool - flo lead on I Saw Him, Mary co-lead on You Really Got a hold
    *Sam cooke - Flo on Good news, mary does brief intro line on Chain Gang
    *There's a place - flo on People, mary on our day
    *Xmas - Flo on Silent Night and O Holy Night, mary on Christmas Song
    *R&H - mary on Falling in love, flo on Manhattan

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    I'd be very surprised if there were any serious discussions in 69 of Mary stepping in as the lead singer for the Supremes. I tend to ignore most interviews since who knows what the heck they'll say. often they're just trying to pull together a quick answer while on air.

    according to mary's book, she didn't want the position as she felt she wasn't prepared to take it on.

    another POV is the motown had never had any interest in Mary as a lead singer. during the very earliest sessions, she had only a couple vocals while Flo had quite a few. They seemed to pretty much just give her a token track on the specialty albums and that was it. There certainly wasn't any significant investment in studio time for her to trail things, experiment, test, etc. And she wasn't a "problem" like Flo.

    As for the Lynda shows when Jean was ill, the musical charts were all written for a soprano lead line. You would have had to redo all of the vocals and that would have been out of the question. If you listen [[if you care to lol) to Mary's live shows that are on YouTube from that ill-fated South America tour in summer 77, during the choruses of the songs, she's singing her alto part. sure during the verses she's on lead but it makes for a rather confusing listen. her mic is the lead mic but she's often not singing the melody.
    Mary saying she regrets not taking over as lead singer isn't the same as Mary saying that at the time she thought she was ready to take over. The two aren't mutually exclusive. A lot of Mary's problem was psychological, which I believe she admitted in her second book. With the passage of time, and the wisdom of age, she may have thought back on that time and wishes she had risen above her doubts and stepped into the role.

    Perhaps with a Mary as lead, the continuity in the 70s may have served the life of the group better. Would Motown have ever gone along with Mary as lead singer? Don't know. Doubtful. But would Motown have retired the group if Mary had said either she's the lead or she's out? That's doubtful also, because the public would not have accepted a Supremes without an original member after Diana's exit. Mary actually had a card to play, but she was too scared to play it.

    I personally believe that with the right material a Mary led Supremes could have worked, especially since she was an original member, which might have been a better swallow if the new lead singer wasn't going to sound anything like Diana Ross. The lady was gorgeous beyond belief and she was a seasoned performer. She was not going to be able to do "Up the Ladder" or "Stoned Love". It wasn't right for her. But there was something. I would've loved to hear her sing Valerie Simpson's "Silly Wasn't I".

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolKatz View Post
    As time moves on and more truths are revealed I think it's highly plausible that Mary was the one who really wanted to be the lead singer. In this sense Mary and Lynda were a lot a like.

    Motown legend has it that Flo wanted the sole lead role. This is often said because it fits well with the Dreamgirl narrative imo, but from what I've been told is Flo just wanted things to be be fair. Flo was fine with the group being a multi lead group like the Temps because that is how they started. Imo this would have lessened the friction a bit

    I do think that because Mary was told that she couldn't sing [[she could sing well) that it caused a major insecurity, but that was done by design. It's basic manipulation 101

    Songs could have been tailored to Flo or Mary even if they were B-sides or album fillers. They did for Wanda, Gladys and Martha.

    Make no mistake I do agree with Diana for the singles as this was a winning formula, but as anyone with children will tell you, issues begin when one child gets all the treats all the time!

    As always I close with this is all water under the bridge It's interesting to see how things should have gone but it's all done now. Rest assured as time goes on and more people pass on, a more honest picture will emerge for those who are interested.

    Fortunately the ones who have passed on couldn't care less about any of this. They gave us the music and the illusion while they were here and we're still talking about it. Their work is done!
    I agree with all of this, except I don't believe Mary wanted to be sole lead singer, not in the 60s. I think she thought the same as Flo, that everything be equal. It has to suck knowing you're a capable lead singer but having to almost exclusively sing backup, especially when the entity you're in didn't start off that way.

    Diana was perfect for the singles, though I do think Mary was good enough to handle some of the simpler tunes like "Where Did Our Love Go" and "Baby Love", and Flo good enough to handle some of the heartier cuts, like "Itchin" and "Hangin On". But even if Diana did all of the A sides, there is no reason in the world why Flo and Mary couldn't have the B sides, nor any reason why every album couldn't give Flo and Mary at least 2 filler cuts a piece per album.

    Had a little more love been thrown their way, I think the original Supremes story has a different ending.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i agree with your points! plus yes half the fun here is to think about what COULD have happened

    I wonder when this "dictate" from Berry that Diana is the official lead singer came about. was it right before WDOLG? was it earlier? it's mentioned in a lot of books but the exact timing seems hazy. after summer of 61, we really don't have either F or M handling many leads. At least based on what we've received in the EEs. of course motown might not have saved the leads, erasing them or recording over them.

    so by 62, diana was the lead singer. but you're point is spot on that M and F were used more and used effectively to add to the songs. just like the other thread i started on here about how some songs really utilized the group.

    on the WDOLG album you have:
    *the shared leads on the chorus of Breathtaking
    *Flo's lead on the outro of Long Gone
    *extensive 3-part harmony on Kiss of Fire, Come See, Baby Love, I'm giving you your freedom, Breathtaking
    *the brief individual lines on the bridge of BAby Love

    on More hits you still have extensive 3 part harmonies and a lot of group interplay in the songs. With Symphony you have 3 part but there's less group interplay. A go Go at least has a mary lead but that's it

    on the Specialty albums, they at least almost always recorded a track that features M and F
    *Country - mary on sunset, shared leads on Makes no diff
    *liverpool - flo lead on I Saw Him, Mary co-lead on You Really Got a hold
    *Sam cooke - Flo on Good news, mary does brief intro line on Chain Gang
    *There's a place - flo on People, mary on our day
    *Xmas - Flo on Silent Night and O Holy Night, mary on Christmas Song
    *R&H - mary on Falling in love, flo on Manhattan
    Mary wrote in her first book that the edict of Diana as lead singer happened somewhere between "Lovelight" and "Where". JRT wrote in CHMR of a story relayed by Florence during the recording of "Makes No Difference Now" where she and Mary overheard Diana complaining about sharing the lead on the song even though she was the official lead singer.

    Now we know the first version of the song was cut in early 1963. The version that made the album was the re-recorded version from late 1964. The question is which version were the girls recording when this happened as that might give us some insight into when exactly the official mandate was put in place. The case for 1963 is the fact that after 1961 there was no other non Diana led single released. And thus far, there is no known non Diana led recording from the whole of 1962. On the other hand, the story Flo recalls sounds ripe for a Diana who has sung lead on at least two number one hits by the re-recording of "Difference" and was feeling a bit cocky and full of herself. Also, in 1962 and 1963 it may have been premature for Gordy to make such a proclamation when the girls hadn't had a hit no matter who was singing lead. Makes much more sense that with the increase of work with HDH, and the eventual high placement of "Lovelight", that Gordy would have been convinced with finality that Diana was the key regarding the voices to get the group to the top.

    So my belief is that Mary is probably right, that it happened sometime between "Lovelight" and "Where".

  35. #35
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    Regarding Posner's book, I read it once and it sucked. Definitely one of the Motown books that fans can pass on without really missing much of anything.

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