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  1. #1

    Motown 25 question

    I know every inch of this has been dissected for the past 30+ years, but here's one question I don't know that's ever been brought up or answered.

    My understanding was that Diana, Mary, and Cindy were going to perform a "hits medley", which I believe was to include "Stop!" and "Baby Love". There were to be 4 snippets in total.

    Rehearsals didn't go well, and they ended up only performing "Someday".

    If they were to have stuck to the original plan, I assume Diana would have still come out to "Ain't No Mountain". But then, would she have brought Mary and Cindy out to start the medley? Would they have started with "Someday" then went into the medley?

    As it was, "Someday" was a perfect song to end the show, but I don't know where the medley logistically would have fit?

    Was "Someday" a part of the medley? Or was it a medley, then "Someday"?

  2. #2
    I think it would have been the hits medley and then SOMEDAY for the big show finale.

  3. #3
    That was so disappointing when it happened - any kind of live medley even without proper rehearsal would have been so welcome. If Diana made that choice, it was a bad one.

    However I’ve always thought and I believe one of HDH said this - that Mary had by 1983 had all sorts of bad luck and bad choices befall her, it was clear there would be no solo career of consequence - and she was going to act up and cause trouble, no matter what they did

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    That was so disappointing when it happened - any kind of live medley even without proper rehearsal would have been so welcome. If Diana made that choice, it was a bad one.

    However I’ve always thought and I believe one of HDH said this - that Mary had by 1983 had all sorts of bad luck and bad choices befall her, it was clear there would be no solo career of consequence - and she was going to act up and cause trouble, no matter what they did
    From what I've read, the rehearsal of the entire Supremes segment took place a mere 30 minutes before the audience was to be let into the auditorium. I don't know if this is true. But if it is, why it was done so close to tape time is anyone's guess. Also, why wasn't the Supremes' medley pre-taped like some of the others were? Maybe their participation was confirmed too late.

    With so little time to work with, I think Diana made the right call to go with one song, as opposed to an unfamiliar medley.

  5. #5
    That was very unfortunate - Diana probably knew how ragged it would look if they went ahead. My disappointment was speaking.

  6. #6
    I had read Diana was ill. So rehearsals were quick as she wanted to save her voice for the actual show.
    They did rehearse and then rehearse without Diana.
    At some point the medley was cancelled.
    To me it would make more sense to cancel Ain't no mountain and go with the Supremes reunion full throttle.just my opinion.
    I did read mary was acting up and changed into her red-hot dress.
    As things were left.being professional singers I would think they could get thru one show together. If I were Diana I would have demanded a reshoot on the Supremes set.i would have never let that go as is.....but will give credit as it's also the way it's edited

  7. #7
    Diana quote “The girls will be happy with a medley”. Discussion over. Probably not the best way to go about creating harmonious relations.
    Is it any wonder the RTL tour went pear shaped.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    That was so disappointing when it happened - any kind of live medley even without proper rehearsal would have been so welcome. If Diana made that choice, it was a bad one.

    However I’ve always thought and I believe one of HDH said this - that Mary had by 1983 had all sorts of bad luck and bad choices befall her, it was clear there would be no solo career of consequence - and she was going to act up and cause trouble, no matter what they did
    Was it Lamont Dozier who said that? I recall an interview with him where he questioned Mary's work ethic. I wonder if it was the same interview?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Diana quote “The girls will be happy with a medley”. Discussion over. Probably not the best way to go about creating harmonious relations.
    Is it any wonder the RTL tour went pear shaped.
    Diana could have handled things better for sure, but she had invested money in the RTL project unlike Mary so she potentially had more to lose, and of course ultimately did lose more. This was around the time Diana was going through a very tough time personally. I will not go into detail here, but it contributed to the shambles that became RTL. It was one of my final gigs with Diana. I had had enough and wanted out, but i did not want to leave whilst she was in such a bad place. However, i did leave and i look back on it and wish i had handled things differently. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
    All this does not excuse Mary's behaviour which did her no credit whatsoever. She knew Diana was sick but she had an agenda and was determined to draw blood. Both ladies behaviour left much to be desired. That is all i am willing to say on the subject. It's time to move on.....
    Last edited by Bluebrock; 11-25-2020 at 01:12 PM.

  10. #10
    I've read it was pretty difficult to get Diana to come back to Motown 25, so I'm sure they wanted to get their money's worth. They (Suzanne?) probably promised Diana a solo (well deserved) in exchange for the Supremes medley. Remember, at the time, no one was paid for this?

  11. #11
    ok - i'm gonna kick the hornet's nest

    1. we have Mary's account of what happened and then various 3rd parties. so we really only have partial views into what was happening that day

    2. IF (and i do definitely mean IF) Diana said "the girls will be happy..." Mary and Cindy are fully to blame for that. in 1983 Mary was 39 and Cindy was 44. if neither women had figured out how the hell to speak up or say "hey wait a minute!!" then for fuck's sake!! what kind of idiots are they? if they DIDN'T agree with that decision, say so. Maybe they did and were overruled. we don't know. but according to the sources Diana took charge and M and C were the spineless saps that allowed it

    3. Mary speaks repeatedly about how people were goading her backstage to 'do things.' Unless she had somehow indicated that she was WANTING to do things, i seriously doubt all of these people (many whom she hadn't seen in years) would simply descend on her and coax her to do things. especially things that could be viewed as unprofessional for a performer. IMO (and i'm just stating my opinion) Mary planned to use this special as a platform to display herself on a national stage - something she hadn't had access to in years. But her behavior was inexcusable. she is just as to blame for the mess

    4. post show Mary went on a media blitz, similar to her using the RTL debacle to gain access to every interview and talk show. her effort to self promote tarnished the sup image too.

    5. Diana had no interest in the event and it showed. she was reluctant to return for the special. frankly the lack of gratitude that she often displays towards her origins is rather pathetic. i'm not saying she has to know the history of every song the sups sang or that she should remember every obscure memory and share with the fans. But the music and work she did with the supremes provided her the platform to grow into DIANA ROSS. there should be the willingness to acknowledge it's importance. until much more recently, that was not something very evident.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Diana could have handled things better for sure, but she had invested money in the project unlike Mary so she potentially had more to lose, and of course ultimately did lose more. This was around the time Diana was going through a very tough time personally. I will not go into detail here, but it contributed to the shambles that became RTL. It was one of my final gigs with Diana. I had had enough and wanted out, but i did not want to leave whilst she was in such a bad place. However, i did leave and i look back on it and wish i had handled things differently. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
    All this does not excuse Mary's behaviour which did her no credit whatsoever. She knew Diana was sick but she had an agenda and was determined to draw blood. Both ladies behaviour left much to be desired. That is all i am willing to say on the subject. It's time to move on.....
    Diana Ross invested no money into Motown 25. She had repeatedly refused the request to appear and only relented at the very last minute. Even though Michael Jackson was now a bigger star she demanded to make an entrance and to close the show.

  13. #13
    ‘Tis a shame lessons were never learnt from the Motown 25 fiasco.
    I’ve never been quite sure if Mary had planned to wear that rather stunning red dress from the beginning or it was in response to Diana’s rather dismissive behaviour of her and Cindy. We know of the sound check and plans to follow Diana in moving forward. What though of that glitzy glamorous red frock.
    I have to say Marys strut onto the stage makes M25 essential viewing. Along with the other genuinely brilliant performances of course.

  14. #14
    Motown 25 was the Michael Jsckson show. "The shove heard around the world" pales in comparison to MJ's "Billie Jean" and moonwalk. It's not even a Motown song, and the inclusion was the only way to get him to say yes.

    I think in a roundabout way, that's why so little thought or effort was put into the Supremes "reunion". Let's just throw Diana, Mary, and Cindy onstage and see how it all plays out.

  15. #15
    For the record, the "shove" quote was meant in jest.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    Diana Ross invested no money into Motown 25. She had repeatedly refused the request to appear and only relented at the very last minute. Even though Michael Jackson was now a bigger star she demanded to make an entrance and to close the show.
    I am referring to RTL not Motown 25, but i do concede that i may not have made myself crystal clear in my previous post. Apologies for any misunderstanding.
    Last edited by Bluebrock; 11-25-2020 at 01:16 PM.

  17. #17
    there are wonderful moments on Motown 25 and major letdowns. the highlights are the J5 reunion, Billie Jean, the Tops/Tempts battle and some other big segments

    it was a pathetic travesty that Mary Wells, Martha and Jr Walker got all of 10 seconds each. inexcusable.

    another wonderful moment is the 2 seconds or so of DMC arm-in-arm on stage. then it goes downhill

  18. #18
    and regardless of if Mary was supposed to wear silver/grey/white/black, her entrance during Someday was stunning!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    there are wonderful moments on Motown 25 and major letdowns. the highlights are the J5 reunion, Billie Jean, the Tops/Tempts battle and some other big segments

    it was a pathetic travesty that Mary Wells, Martha and Jr Walker got all of 10 seconds each. inexcusable.
    Totally agree. I've always loved the Debarge and High Inergy medley as well. That member of High Inergy in the green dress was werkin' it!! (Can't recall her name at the moment)!

    Supposedly DMC all agreed to wear white/silver, ahead of the taping. It was Mary's last minute decision to change into a red gown, and you can easily see the sense of pride and the 'take that' look on her face, when she slowly enters the stage, separate from Cindy. That decision was her saying to Diana, "You used to always change your clothes on us at the last minute, back in the day, so now I am getting you back, girl!" It is what it is. It's very clear that neither of them went into the Motown 25 reunion with peace in their hearts. Only Cindy was her usual angelic self.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    there are wonderful moments on Motown 25 and major letdowns. the highlights are the J5 reunion, Billie Jean, the Tops/Tempts battle and some other big segments

    it was a pathetic travesty that Mary Wells, Martha and Jr Walker got all of 10 seconds each. inexcusable.

    another wonderful moment is the 2 seconds or so of DMC arm-in-arm on stage. then it goes downhill
    I love the 2 seconds comment. That's how I felt as well.

    I often wonder what regrets either of them have about the goings on surrounding M25 and RTL. There were no winners and if anything, both events damaged the Supremes and their saleability. In the end, particularly Mary lost - because she needed the name Supremes and she needed people to want them. For Diana, the loss was more of a PR nature.

  21. #21
    i think they both lost, in a sense.

    Mary needed the Sup name and the ability to later reunite with DR. Imagine the reunion possibility had there not been the M25 problem or the DReamgirl book?

    Diana Ross didn't need to exacerbate the "bitch" persona. People already had some concerns about her attitude and all and general public opinion was influenced by this and other things in the 80s.

  22. #22
    In truth, l would rather have seen a Jean,Mary and Cindy reunion then the debacle that was. At least it might have proved a real celebration of the music. Diana clearly wanted as little as possible to do with this reunion and the result speaks for itself. It’s hard to believe two grown women could act this way.
    As already mentioned, the Supremes brand sadly took a huge blow that night.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post

    it was a pathetic travesty that Mary Wells, Martha and Jr Walker got all of 10 seconds each. inexcusable.
    This was indeed the biggest travesty of the evening sup. It was also a disgrace that James Jameson, a guy who helped shape the sound of Motown was not even invited and ended up sitting in the gods with a ticket he had bought himself. Where also were the Velvelettes, Marvelettes etc etc. Hmmm.

  24. #24
    The problem with Diana and Mary is they never actually hashed out any of their issues before this and they really should have. They had horrible and unhealthy communication with each other going all the way back to the early days. If they had better communication skills with each other perhaps things would have been differently. I love all three original Supremes so I always try to look at each of their perspectives. Diana was in an awkward position for Motown 25 and was clearly under the weather while Mary went from being in one of the biggest groups in the world to lip synching to Diana's vocals on overseas television. Add that they've always been incredibly competitive with each other and years of unaddressed friction and you have the reunion at Motown 25. Neither of them won. And us fans lost out on a lot from then on.

  25. #25
    Ollie's post made me look up the Supremes' reunion on Youtube to jog my memory--and now I have a question for you all. During the end of DR singing Ain't No Mountain, I could swear that I hear Mary's voice on backing vocals. Does anybody know if that is her? Last night I saw Patti Labelle's Live from NYC taping again, and on some of her songs I could swear I hear Nona's voice in the background (not taking about Release Yourself). Anybody know?

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    Ollie's post made me look up the Supremes' reunion on Youtube to jog my memory--and now I have a question for you all. During the end of DR singing Ain't No Mountain, I could swear that I hear Mary's voice on backing vocals. Does anybody know if that is her? Last night I saw Patti Labelle's Live from NYC taping again, and on some of her songs I could swear I hear Nona's voice in the background (not taking about Release Yourself). Anybody know?
    I don't think Mary or Nona contributed any vocals besides the songs we actually see them taking part in. I don't hear them doing anything extra but never say never, I guess.

    Diana's backup vocalists at MOTOWN 25 were her regulars, Bobby Glenn and Sharon Wade.

  27. #27
    Carlo--the girl in High Inergy that you are referring to is the late Linda Howard. She was a Soul Train dancer before she joining HI

  28. #28
    Thanks, Reese!

  29. #29
    Jobeterob--I see the whole Mary/DR thing completely differently. I think Mary profited HUGELY from the Motown 25 disaster. People like me, who never knew the Supremes when they were huge, learned who Mary was from this special. I think Mary used the incident deftly, painting herself as a victim while leaving out her part in the fracas.The whole thing painted the way for Dreamgirl, expertly IMO. It got people like me interested in their story. Mary's name became high profile. leading to her book. Just my take.

  30. #30
    Thank you all for your healthy responses to my question and thread. It was a legit question, even if the topic has been hashed and rehashed 1000 times. Everyone has been very respectful and it's appreciated.

    Did I hear that Scherrie Payne was in the audience for Motown 25? Or was that Motown 45? Or maybe both?


    The slight of Mary Wells and Martha Reeves is just an indication that it was less about a celebration of the legacy, and more about a ratings win. I mean, Adam Ant? Linda Ronstadt? Where was Gladys Horton? Couldn't they have given her 30 seconds?

  31. #31
    I think Scherrie was at Motown 45, not 25 but I am not certain.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    Carlo--the girl in High Inergy that you are referring to is the late Linda Howard. She was a Soul Train dancer before she joining HI
    Thanks BobbyC! That's right.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    Jobeterob--I see the whole Mary/DR thing completely differently. I think Mary profited HUGELY from the Motown 25 disaster. People like me, who never knew the Supremes when they were huge, learned who Mary was from this special. I think Mary used the incident deftly, painting herself as a victim while leaving out her part in the fracas.The whole thing painted the way for Dreamgirl, expertly IMO. It got people like me interested in their story. Mary's name became high profile. leading to her book. Just my take.
    That makes sense. But their booking fell - especially the "lesser Supremes". The Supremes, all of them, after RTL were seen as unable to draw crowds. I remember reading that Mary was hurt most of all by that.

    But M25 may have jogged The Supremes back to the forefront for a while - as well as all the Motown acts.

    And Mary got pretty adept at playing any angle to keep her name out there. She was a survivor. And I recall at some of the awards Diana got in more recent years, she acknowledged all the Supremes but "especially Mary Wilson" for their contributions.

  34. #34
    Hi Jobeterob-- yeah i was talking about the Motown 25 thang, not RTL. I think the whole RTL tour hurt EVERYBODY. There were no winners there.

  35. #35
    I understand why Diana didn't want to go back to Motown ...but....
    What was the deal between her and Mary.
    It was 13 years ago.geez.put ur big girl panties on

  36. #36
    Has anyone ever thought that they were thinking something like -I’m 40 years old now and I’m not gonna be screwed around anymore - as in,Mary didn’t want to play 2nd or 3rd fiddle and Diana was beyond listening to Berry

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Has anyone ever thought that they were thinking something like -I’m 40 years old now and I’m not gonna be screwed around anymore - as in,Mary didn’t want to play 2nd or 3rd fiddle and Diana was beyond listening to Berry
    To your point, by 1983 Mary saw herself as a solo act. I can't imagine what she was thinking, but I wonder if the thought of "I'm beyond singing oohs and aahs behind Diana Ross" crossed her mind.

    I think about acts like Destiny's Child that have had successful reunions. Clearly Beyonce' is light years beyond Kelly and Michelle; both have carved out successful careers for themselves, but each know their "place" when it comes time to get back together.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    I understand why Diana didn't want to go back to Motown ...but....
    What was the deal between her and Mary.
    It was 13 years ago.geez.put ur big girl panties on
    I think the last several years of DRATS laid the groundwork for their future relationship. In the Supremes, with Flo, they were "sisters"; childhood friends that captured a dream.

    Once Flo left, they became co-workers. No more sharing hotel rooms or dressing rooms. Diana was focused on her solo career, and Mary was focused on being, well, Mary.

    By all of their accounts, the last few years weren't easy for anyone. Diana wanted out, Mary wanted the champagne to flow like it was 1966. They grew up and grew apart.

    It happens.

  39. #39
    Mary brewster.
    Right on point. Totally agree.
    Just life.once flo was gone. The dynamics changed......and bg was in total control

  40. #40
    Not that Diana and Mary didn't once have a special relationship, but I look at it like this: Diana's tenure with the Supremes was 10 years. Of a 60 year career. So basically 1/6.

    Mary has, for all intents and purposes, been a Supreme for all 60 years.

    Another thing: when you look at the angle of "coworkers", how many of us have worked with marvelous people? And then someone quits or moves on. The promises of staying in touch; "let's to lunch" is hot out of the gate, but eventually you lose touch.

    Think about your BEST FRIENDS FOREVER from grade school or high school? I'm 30 years on, and talk to a handful on a regular basis, mostly through social media.

    So while their lives and experiences are so much different than ours, perhaps they're not much different at all.

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Not that Diana and Mary didn't once have a special relationship, but I look at it like this: Diana's tenure with the Supremes was 10 years. Of a 60 year career. So basically 1/6.

    Mary has, for all intents and purposes, been a Supreme for all 60 years.

    Another thing: when you look at the angle of "coworkers", how many of us have worked with marvelous people? And then someone quits or moves on. The promises of staying in touch; "let's to lunch" is hot out of the gate, but eventually you lose touch.

    Think about your BEST FRIENDS FOREVER from grade school or high school? I'm 30 years on, and talk to a handful on a regular basis, mostly through social media.

    So while their lives and experiences are so much different than ours, perhaps they're not much different at all.
    As Diana once sung beautifully mb, “We’re Always Saying Goodbye”.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Not that Diana and Mary didn't once have a special relationship, but I look at it like this: Diana's tenure with the Supremes was 10 years. Of a 60 year career. So basically 1/6.

    Mary has, for all intents and purposes, been a Supreme for all 60 years.

    Another thing: when you look at the angle of "coworkers", how many of us have worked with marvelous people? And then someone quits or moves on. The promises of staying in touch; "let's to lunch" is hot out of the gate, but eventually you lose touch.

    Think about your BEST FRIENDS FOREVER from grade school or high school? I'm 30 years on, and talk to a handful on a regular basis, mostly through social media.

    So while their lives and experiences are so much different than ours, perhaps they're not much different at all.
    The way I see it now Diana and Mary were once coworkers. Mary would like to be a lot closer. Diana is fine with it the way it is but will be friendly when they occassionally meet.

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    and regardless of if Mary was supposed to wear silver/grey/white/black, her entrance during Someday was stunning!
    Maybe she should have worn the one sleeve "Ink Spot" dress? Lol.

    Now, did Mary show up to M25 in the red dress, or did she change before the performance?

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Maybe she should have worn the one sleeve "Ink Spot" dress? Lol.

    Now, did Mary show up to M25 in the red dress, or did she change before the performance?
    Mary wore a black dress for the speech that she and Cindy gave saluting some Motowners. She changed into the red dress for the finale.

  45. #45
    There was some story about Mary and Cindy climbing through some bushes to make an entrance because nobody knew who they were - I think that was from her book Dreamgirl

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    There was some story about Mary and Cindy climbing through some bushes to make an entrance because nobody knew who they were - I think that was from her book Dreamgirl
    I think that was at one of Diana's concerts? Mary climbed through the bushes with Tukessa to get on the red carpet so they could see her "Godmother". Diana refused to recieve them, and they left with a tear in Turkessa's eye.

    It was caught on camera, and Mary had a twig in her glitter wig.

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    There was some story about Mary and Cindy climbing through some bushes to make an entrance because nobody knew who they were - I think that was from her book Dreamgirl
    That was in CALL HER MISS ROSS. Supposedly they had already gone into the venue. But then decided to fake an entrance and went back to the front, trying to generate some interest from the red carpet paparazzi. One of their escorts yelled out "Look, it's two of the Supremes" and the paparazzi started taking photos.

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    That was in CALL HER MISS ROSS. Supposedly they had already gone into the venue. But then decided to fake an entrance and went back to the front, trying to generate some interest from the red carpet paparazzi. One of their escorts yelled out "Look, it's two of the Supremes" and the paparazzi started taking photos.
    Right! Cindy’s husband I think. If the story is true

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I think that was at one of Diana's concerts? Mary climbed through the bushes with Tukessa to get on the red carpet so they could see her "Godmother". Diana refused to recieve them, and they left with a tear in Turkessa's eye.

    It was caught on camera, and Mary had a twig in her glitter wig.
    This happened when Mary and Turkessa decided to attend Diana's WORKIN' OVERTIME concert in LA. Although Diana wouldn't leave her dressing room backstage, they decided to Spago, where Diana's after-party was being held. Mary said there were instances where other parts of the restuarant would be open when a private party was taking place. In this case, however, they were turned away again, conveniently in front of a crew from ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT.

    No bushes this time.

  50. #50
    Combining the two does makes for one good story, lol.

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