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  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    G

    Agree, that is what makes the MS&S album so special. All three Women are each given songs that highlight their individual vocal talents. When sharing leads, the diversity in their voices makes for an exciting sound. Another major factor of course is that all three members were more then capable of singing lead. The production on the album is amazing for 76. It still sounds fresh and relevant here in 2021.
    I wonder which direction the group would have gone in had they recorded another album together?. Perhaps a name change to Mary Wilson & The Supremes might have made MW reconsider her solo plans.
    It was nice to see them performing as a group in the end sharing leads and at times singing in harmony. Wouldn't changing the name to Mary Wilson and the Supremes and having Mary step up in front of the others with little or no camera time, just be history repeating itself?

    I am old fashioned, I admit. To me, a group is a group of people who sing together in harmony, with a lead singer who usually does one part solo. Sometimes, each member does a solo in the song - like The Originals.

    I get sad when I see groups like the Supremes, the Bluenotes, the Miracles, the Teenagers, etc change their name to feature one of the members. Especially, when the Bluenotes changed their name to Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes and then Teddy Bear sang all the leads.

    This was the Supremes last tv appearance.


  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Perhaps a name change to Mary Wilson & The Supremes might have made MW reconsider her solo plans.
    I'm not sure that would've made any difference, unless she was sold on the move being a springboard into a solo career. While I do agree that there is definitely moves that could've been made to ease the tensions and anxiety within some of the lineups, one thing to keep in mind about Mary is that by 1977 she had been doing the Supremes (and Primettes) since she was 13/14 years old, and at the time of her exit, she was 33. That's a long time for an adult to be in the "same" position. And like a lot of us, expecting us to remain where we were as a teenager or have the same goals we did at that age, I think is unrealistic. Like Sup said, there's nothing wrong with being in a group vs solo, as far as one being superior over the other. But knowing human behavior, a group can be stifling in a way that being a solo artist is not. I've always said that Diana left the Supremes at the right time. Had she remained for even another year or two, that magic would've been stifled. She needed to branch out and stretch her wings, if it was only to satisfy her own need to see if she could indeed make it on her own. That's not a feeling I would've begrudged any other Supreme, including Flo and Mary. Now could the argument have been made that after flopping as a solo that Mary should've called up other willing Supremes to reform the group? I don't think I would argue in favor of that, but I think it would be fun to discuss what that might look like.

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by milven View Post
    It was nice to see them performing as a group in the end sharing leads and at times singing in harmony. Wouldn't changing the name to Mary Wilson and the Supremes and having Mary step up in front of the others with little or no camera time, just be history repeating itself?

    I am old fashioned, I admit. To me, a group is a group of people who sing together in harmony, with a lead singer who usually does one part solo. Sometimes, each member does a solo in the song - like The Originals.

    I get sad when I see groups like the Supremes, the Bluenotes, the Miracles, the Teenagers, etc change their name to feature one of the members. Especially, when the Bluenotes changed their name to Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes and then Teddy Bear sang all the leads.

    This was the Supremes last tv appearance.

    Mary might as well have been out there alone. You can't even tell if Scherrie and Susaye are really up there. That could be Roz and Betty of the Vandellas for all I know.

    Anyway, Mary looks like a star here, and even though she's lipping, she sounds great. I could've never stood in front of her at that moment and said "Lady, you need to stay where you are. There's nothing more for you in the singing game unless you have two ladies on either side of you...or behind you, voguing in squares with lightbulbs all around it."

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by milven View Post
    It was nice to see them performing as a group in the end sharing leads and at times singing in harmony. Wouldn't changing the name to Mary Wilson and the Supremes and having Mary step up in front of the others with little or no camera time, just be history repeating itself?

    I am old fashioned, I admit. To me, a group is a group of people who sing together in harmony, with a lead singer who usually does one part solo. Sometimes, each member does a solo in the song - like The Originals.

    I get sad when I see groups like the Supremes, the Bluenotes, the Miracles, the Teenagers, etc change their name to feature one of the members. Especially, when the Bluenotes changed their name to Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes and then Teddy Bear sang all the leads.

    This was the Supremes last tv appearance.

    It’s a difficult one. If the name change were the only thing that was going to keep the group together i would have had no problems with it. As the only remaining original member, Mary was the glue that kept the Supremes being the Supremes. Assuming the others were still to be given leads, the only problem that might arise is if Motown wanted to release a single with a Scherrie lead. That would look rather odd.
    Its one to ponder........

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I'm not sure that would've made any difference, unless she was sold on the move being a springboard into a solo career. While I do agree that there is definitely moves that could've been made to ease the tensions and anxiety within some of the lineups, one thing to keep in mind about Mary is that by 1977 she had been doing the Supremes (and Primettes) since she was 13/14 years old, and at the time of her exit, she was 33. That's a long time for an adult to be in the "same" position. And like a lot of us, expecting us to remain where we were as a teenager or have the same goals we did at that age, I think is unrealistic. Like Sup said, there's nothing wrong with being in a group vs solo, as far as one being superior over the other. But knowing human behavior, a group can be stifling in a way that being a solo artist is not. I've always said that Diana left the Supremes at the right time. Had she remained for even another year or two, that magic would've been stifled. She needed to branch out and stretch her wings, if it was only to satisfy her own need to see if she could indeed make it on her own. That's not a feeling I would've begrudged any other Supreme, including Flo and Mary. Now could the argument have been made that after flopping as a solo that Mary should've called up other willing Supremes to reform the group? I don't think I would argue in favor of that, but I think it would be fun to discuss what that might look like.
    An interesting one. I agree it was most likely the right time for Mary to leave the group. I guess I’m coming from the point of view that the final Supremes lineup, other then DMF was probably the most vocally dynamic. I would have loved for just one more album from them
    Mary Wilson & The Supremes does have a certain ring to it. I so wish MS&S had reformed in the 80’s. I envisage a slightly more rock sound.

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    An interesting one. I agree it was most likely the right time for Mary to leave the group. I guess I’m coming from the point of view that the final Supremes lineup, other then DMF was probably the most vocally dynamic. I would have loved for just one more album from them
    Mary Wilson & The Supremes does have a certain ring to it. I so wish MS&S had reformed in the 80’s. I envisage a slightly more rock sound.
    Can't argue that.

    As far as the 80s goes, I'm thinking a mixture of the Pointer Sisters and Chaka Khan, this r&b/pop/slightly funk hybrid. I could hear Scherrie doing "Jump" (by the Pointers, not Van Halen). Mary doing "Through the Fire". Susaye probably doing something she wrote. Of course these songs would have to be tailored to the singers and not necessarily how they were structured for the original artists.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Mary might as well have been out there alone. You can't even tell if Scherrie and Susaye are really up there. That could be Roz and Betty of the Vandellas for all I know.

    Anyway, Mary looks like a star here, and even though she's lipping, she sounds great. I could've never stood in front of her at that moment and said "Lady, you need to stay where you are. There's nothing more for you in the singing game unless you have two ladies on either side of you...or behind you, voguing in squares with lightbulbs all around it."
    i thought i remember some stories about how upset S and S were with this staging and set up. not so much that they were put on that weird Hollywood Squares set but the lighting. to essentially blot them out was so disrespectful. who knows who did this - pedro, mary, the production team on mike douglas, etc. But just an absolutely unnecessary treatment of two hugely talented women that had been repeatedly pushed into the background.

    i don't know if even during the DRATS era there was such a blatant diss two the other two members - at least on a tv performance. sure M and C were disrespected behind the scenes. and sometimes they were either just omitted from a performance or whatever. but they were never simply removed like this

  8. #58
    How soon we forget the performance of Somewhere on TCB in which Mary and Cindy did their vocals offstage while Diana was on stage .
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i thought i remember some stories about how upset S and S were with this staging and set up. not so much that they were put on that weird Hollywood Squares set but the lighting. to essentially blot them out was so disrespectful. who knows who did this - pedro, mary, the production team on mike douglas, etc. But just an absolutely unnecessary treatment of two hugely talented women that had been repeatedly pushed into the background.

    i don't know if even during the DRATS era there was such a blatant diss two the other two members - at least on a tv performance. sure M and C were disrespected behind the scenes. and sometimes they were either just omitted from a performance or whatever. but they were never simply removed like this

  9. #59
    Just watched Gladys Knight And The Pips performing “Didn’t You Know You’d Have to Cry Sometime” on the Mike Douglas show and the lighting is pretty much similar. The Pips are left singing and dancing in the shadows. At the time it was probably classed as artistic staging.
    Mary certainly looks and sounds every inch the star here. Now if only this had been her debut single instead of the less then hot “Red Hot”
    Last edited by Ollie9; 01-11-2021 at 09:28 AM.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    How soon we forget the performance of Somewhere on TCB in which Mary and Cindy did their vocals offstage while Diana was on stage .
    actually i think that was lip synced. if you watch the video, diana is alone on the stage and there's absolutely no glimpse of even the front row of the orchestra. sorry. even if all of those lights were turned off, you'd still see the base of their music stands.

    IMO they filmed the majority of it with Diana lip syncing totally alone on a bare stage. no audience, no orchestra, no M and C. then at the very end, they cut to a live version of her on the stage (and it's rather a sloppy cut too IMO)

    but i get your point. M and C recorded it but then are omitted. But at least they're not put in the shadows on the back of the stage

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Just watched Gladys Knight And The Pips performing “Didn’t You Know You’d Have to Cry Sometime” on the Mike Douglas show and the lighting is pretty much similar. The Pips are left singing and dancing in the shadows. At the time it was probably classed as artistic staging.
    Mary certainly looks and sounds every inch the star here. Now if only this had been her debut single instead of the less then hot “Red Hot”
    interesting!

    yeah i don't know who or what caused that to be the staging and lighting.

  12. #62
    I never saw the mike Douglas clip of You Are the Heart of Me when it came out, but after reading for years about how Mary felt shoved aside and diminished by Diana Ross, it was shocking that Scherrie and Susaye were relegated to those little fishbowls onstage. It was not a good look at all. I don't have a clue about how S and S felt about it, but I can imagine. Ugh. Ancient history but still. That setup wasn't necessary, obviously Mary had the spotlight and there was no need to further diminish the other two. I know it's cool for Supremes fans to dog Pedro, but if this was his idea, the criticism is completely justified. Mary should never have agreed to it

  13. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Just watched Gladys Knight And The Pips performing “Didn’t You Know You’d Have to Cry Sometime” on the Mike Douglas show and the lighting is pretty much similar. The Pips are left singing and dancing in the shadows. At the time it was probably classed as artistic staging.



    When they performed at the time on these shows it was a one time thing , a clever change seemed refreshing , it aired and it was over with. Who would've dreamed any of these various performances would be reviewed forever more under scrutiny and be perceived in larger ways.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 01-11-2021 at 01:00 PM.

  14. #64
    Nona Hendryx covered this song

  15. #65
    If they didn’t want the on stage then they they should not have used their vocals
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    actually i think that was lip synced. if you watch the video, diana is alone on the stage and there's absolutely no glimpse of even the front row of the orchestra. sorry. even if all of those lights were turned off, you'd still see the base of their music stands.

    IMO they filmed the majority of it with Diana lip syncing totally alone on a bare stage. no audience, no orchestra, no M and C. then at the very end, they cut to a live version of her on the stage (and it's rather a sloppy cut too IMO)

    but i get your point. M and C recorded it but then are omitted. But at least they're not put in the shadows on the back of the stage

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Regardless of who she worked with or hoped to work with, regardless of her disagreements with Motown, Berry and anyone else, the reason she never got a decent contract and none of the purported projects ever got off the ground is that she is a very limited singer.
    a lot of Ďvery limited singersí have had a lot of success ... sold a lot of records worldwide thanks to record company support and promotion.

    Iím a fan of all the ladies but for me Diana & Susaye are very limited singers

  17. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    If they didn’t want the on stage then they they should not have used their vocals
    i agree. they had already reduce the backing vocals from the arrangement DMF used. and of course the vocals were mixed way back. could have easily just made this a Diana solo and called it a day

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by mwmr View Post
    a lot of ‘very limited singers’ have had a lot of success ... sold a lot of records worldwide thanks to record company support and promotion.

    I’m a fan of all the ladies but for me Diana & Susaye are very limited singers
    interesting comment about D and S

    As for Susaye i wouldn't describe her as such. i would say a very unique singer with a unique vocal tone - one that might not appeal to everyone. but she had a huge range

    Diana might not have the broadest vocal range of the women but she does have more than she's typically given credit for. But more than vocal range, Diana has the ability to sing and interpret a very wide range of songs.

    IMO D, J and Scherrie really fit as the lead singers because they have a few key features:

    1. their vocal tone cuts through the mix nicely. all have a touch of nasality in their voices and i think this helps.
    2. lyric interpretation - these three women really excel at this. they really seem to feel the story of the songs
    3. varying styles - these girls really hit it home here. they do ballads, pop songs, hard hitting dance tunes, coy love songs, etc.
    4. embellishments - J and S more so than Diana on this one. but they can add little flourishes and touches (without going over board) to make a song their own

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by mwmr View Post
    a lot of ‘very limited singers’ have had a lot of success ... sold a lot of records worldwide thanks to record company support and promotion.
    1000 percent agree. I'm actually pretty surprised that the subject comes up so much in regards to Mary, when I can think of a list of singers who might be more "limited" than Mary and had success, sometimes huge success. As I said before, succeeding in the industry is mostly luck and timing. Had Mary had both on her side, we might be having a different discussion about her. Had Diana not had either on her side, we might be having a different discussion about her as well.

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    1000 percent agree. I'm actually pretty surprised that the subject comes up so much in regards to Mary, when I can think of a list of singers who might be more "limited" than Mary and had success, sometimes huge success. As I said before, succeeding in the industry is mostly luck and timing. Had Mary had both on her side, we might be having a different discussion about her. Had Diana not had either on her side, we might be having a different discussion about her as well.
    I'm specifically remembering Madonna and Mary Wilson, both of whom were offered Holiday

  21. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    1000 percent agree. I'm actually pretty surprised that the subject comes up so much in regards to Mary, when I can think of a list of singers who might be more "limited" than Mary and had success, sometimes huge success. As I said before, succeeding in the industry is mostly luck and timing. Had Mary had both on her side, we might be having a different discussion about her. Had Diana not had either on her side, we might be having a different discussion about her as well.
    i think the issue with Mary's voice is that it isn't so much "limited" in its capabilities but that she might be a bit more limited with the genres that best show off that voice and her capabilities.

    Mary excels at ballads but those songs are not always the most commercial. of course there are ballads that are hits. huge hits. but if you were to calculate the number of them that hit #1 or sold 1M copies versus the number of upbeat dance or "pop" songs to do the same, the % would be small.

    when Mary handled some of the leads in the 60s hits medley, some of the songs just didn't sound as exciting as if a different vocal type was singing them. Baby Love for instance

    now if we just focus on ballads, there are still differences. mary's is a very lush, smokey, velvety voice. but compare her to Roberta Flack who made her name singing gorgeous ballads. her voice has more brightness than Mary's. even Mary Wells had a brighter, upper register to her singing. and Mary Wells could certainly also be classified as a limited singer

    so you need to find the right song vehicle in the right genre. it's like a funnel - slowly narrowing down to find those perfect songs. and if you get too narrow, then it's hard to expect a long career.

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i agree. they had already reduce the backing vocals from the arrangement DMF used. and of course the vocals were mixed way back. could have easily just made this a Diana solo and called it a day
    We are assuming that Mary and Cindy were singing background vocals. For all we know, this may in fact be a ďsoloĒ by Diana with the Andantes singing background. Didnít they mention in their book that they were behind the curtain singing on one of the TV specials?

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by khansperac View Post
    We are assuming that Mary and Cindy were singing background vocals. For all we know, this may in fact be a “solo” by Diana with the Andantes singing background. Didn’t they mention in their book that they were behind the curtain singing on one of the TV specials?
    i've always been a bit suspect about that. there are definitely parts of TCB that are lip synced so those could very easily have had additional voices added. and of course the A's were added to the duet studio records too.

    as for "standing behind the curtain" while it's possible, the issue i have with it is that during the segments where the supremes are singing live on stage, there are only 3 voices. you're not hearing additional vocalists. and i don't think on segments like Stop, where each girl is standing at her own mic, you have a situation like on Sullivan. when the girls can something like like You Can't Hurry Love, technically the backing track and M and F were taped and Diana was singing. but on TCB you have Gil conducting the orchestra and the musicians are actually playing. so M and C couldn't be lip syncing. they're live, although turned down significantly.

  24. #74
    You’re referring to what Mickey Stevenson had mentioned in regards to the live shows though no one confirmed if that was the truth. As far as TCB, it’s been well documented that Mary and Cindy did sing live and did pre record their vocals on certain segments.
    Quote Originally Posted by khansperac View Post
    We are assuming that Mary and Cindy were singing background vocals. For all we know, this may in fact be a “solo” by Diana with the Andantes singing background. Didn’t they mention in their book that they were behind the curtain singing on one of the TV specials?

  25. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    You’re referring to what Mickey Stevenson had mentioned in regards to the live shows though no one confirmed if that was the truth. As far as TCB, it’s been well documented that Mary and Cindy did sing live and did pre record their vocals on certain segments.
    Although I could be wrong, I remember an Andante saying this. Iím not familiar with the Mickey story. Anyone else recall the Andante story?

  26. #76
    It was discussed before Mickey made the claim. You have to remember that the Andantes were basically living in hitsville with all the sessions they did it was rare ghat they did any stage work . Also if I’m correct all of the TVB prerecorded vocals were done in LA
    Quote Originally Posted by khansperac View Post
    Although I could be wrong, I remember an Andante saying this. I’m not familiar with the Mickey story. Anyone else recall the Andante story?

  27. #77
    yes in the book that was published a couple years ago, the As said they sang with the girls on some of the tv specials from off stage. but they didn't say what shows, what songs, etc. not saying they're wrong or lying. just wondering if details are mixed. for instance (and i haven't watched it in eons so forgive my asking) on Diana!, did she have backing vocalists for when she did Mountain? are they on stage?

    was it maybe something like Hollywood Palace, where they hosted? some sort of tv gig bigger than normal?

    one spot that might be it is Impossible Dream from TCB. it could be that they're joining in there to give a fuller, choral sound?

  28. #78
    Hmmm if the Adantes were really singing backstage I can't imagine how that fact could have been kept secret all these decades. Faking studio voices is easy but to get away with it live? I think somebody would have spilled the beans by now.

  29. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    It was discussed before Mickey made the claim. You have to remember that the Andantes were basically living in hitsville with all the sessions they did it was rare ghat they did any stage work . Also if I’m correct all of the TVB prerecorded vocals were done in LA
    oh that's right! good point. had forgotten about that component. yes in 68 the As were being used nonstop at the studios in Hitsville. as we know, they handled probably 90% of the sups output at this time

  30. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    Hmmm if the Adantes were really singing backstage I can't imagine how that fact could have been kept secret all these decades. Faking studio voices is easy but to get away with it live? I think somebody would have spilled the beans by now.
    Often times there are background singers that augment group vocals- live. No one is implying that Mary or Cindy were lip syncing.

  31. #81
    I know, Khan. When I saw Labelle reunite in 2008 they had several background singers--in fact there is a video online where Sarah did her high note in What Can I Do For You except it wasn't her hitting the note, sad to say. It was one of the backing singers. All I'm saying is that with all the scrutiny the Supremes story has gotten for decades, I think we would have known by now if they had other singers live

  32. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by khansperac View Post
    Although I could be wrong, I remember an Andante saying this. Iím not familiar with the Mickey story. Anyone else recall the Andante story?
    In the Andantes book, there is a quote from Rita Lumpkin-Daily. She said she and a friend went to a Motortown Revue at the Fox in Detroit. The Andantes were singing from behind the curtain and a girl group was onstage. At one point, the Andantes' mike cut out, only the girl groups' vocals were heard and the audience started booing because their vocals didn't sound great.

  33. #83
    If that story is correct the I’m guessing it more than likely would have been the Marvelettes.
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    In the Andantes book, there is a quote from Rita Lumpkin-Daily. She said she and a friend went to a Motortown Revue at the Fox in Detroit. The Andantes were singing from behind the curtain and a girl group was onstage. At one point, the Andantes' mike cut out, only the girl groups' vocals were heard and the audience started booing because their vocals didn't sound great.

  34. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    If that story is correct the I’m guessing it more than likely would have been the Marvelettes.
    Yeah, no way did that happen to the Supremes, or the Vandellas.

  35. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Yeah, no way did that happen to the Supremes, or the Vandellas.
    agreed. The Sups didn't really play the Fox all that much. they did in Dec 64 and we have those recordings. there are no additional voices on there. Besides - Baby Love and Come See didn't need added vocals. i would also guess that, if this story were true, it would be the marvelettes.

    as for TCB, there just aren't that many live Sup segments of the show where there are clearly 3+ vocals. Definitely not in Stop or Hanging, or in Somewhere, or With a Song, Symphony.

    the only time there might be something is the intro number of TCB and the closing number of Impossible.

    another problem though is setting up the backing vocalists so that they can see the conductor. Not sure if Closed Circuit tv was available then to allow for it - they do use that with theaters and performances where you need some sort of offstage performances like this. the layout of the TCB set makes this a challenge - the ramps lead of offstage wings for the singers but the conductor and orchestra are positioned BELOW. essentially in a plexiglass orchestra pit.

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