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  1. #1

    Primettes "Pretty Baby" and "Tears Of Sorrow" Thoughts?

    One of the things I love about Mary's voice is that there is this tinge of sadness that it contains. I said in another thread awhile ago that she possessed this even in the early days, which made her voice ripe for those "boy lost" songs. I'm not a fan of her on "Pretty Baby". Vocally she sounds fine, that's not the issue. But it's such a happy song and she doesn't really convey that, IMO. I think she would've been a much better fit for "Tears Of Sorrow" and Diana a better fit for "Pretty Baby". Diana does a well enough job of conveying the sadness of "Sorrow" but I don't think the arrangement at this point in her development shows how gifted she was. She would've been much better singing a happy song like "Pretty Baby". I think Flo was a better fit for "Pretty" than Mary, but I also wonder how well she would've done "Sorrow". Can you imagine what listeners would think if the girls' legacy had ended with this one 45? Lol

    Anyway, thoughts?







  2. #2
    i think the song is fine considering what it was - a pretty basic tune sung by a 14 year old girl and group. so i don't really expect much from it. it's a rather non descript song like a lot of the Meet the Sup content.

    Mary's lead is competent but that's about it. i don't find it very impassioned or exciting. it sounds like a 14 year old singing a song.

  3. #3
    I think Flo would have been a much better choice for “Pretty Baby”. Considering the nature of the lyrics, Mary’s vocal performance is a little overly resolute in my opinion. Flo would have lent the song a little sass.
    I agree with Ran in that Mary might have worked better on “Tears Of Sorrow”. A very young M’s Ross is rather nasal on this one.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    One of the things I love about Mary's voice is that there is this tinge of sadness that it contains. I said in another thread awhile ago that she possessed this even in the early days, which made her voice ripe for those "boy lost" songs. I'm not a fan of her on "Pretty Baby". Vocally she sounds fine, that's not the issue. But it's such a happy song and she doesn't really convey that, IMO. I think she would've been a much better fit for "Tears Of Sorrow" and Diana a better fit for "Pretty Baby". Diana does a well enough job of conveying the sadness of "Sorrow" but I don't think the arrangement at this point in her development shows how gifted she was. She would've been much better singing a happy song like "Pretty Baby". I think Flo was a better fit for "Pretty" than Mary, but I also wonder how well she would've done "Sorrow". Can you imagine what listeners would think if the girls' legacy had ended with this one 45? Lol

    Anyway, thoughts?






    As much as I love Rossí work on most of ďmeetĒ Like you, Iíve always felt tears of sorrow should gave gone to mary. Iím not sure about pretty baby - I donít think Flo had the technique to nail it, so Iíd leave it to Mary - who really excels on the chorus. or give it to Ross who, if in the right key, would be the best choice.

    Itís my belief that even back then, Florence was not given very many lead sheets because as strong as her voice was, she was an awkward vocalist unless she was given absolutely the right material like ainít that good news.

  5. #5
    I can't imagine LuPine was a pioneer of technology in 1959/1960, so the sound is mediocre at best. Clearly Mary and Diana are in the early stages of their vocal ability, so everything comes across as dull and flat. Based on these recordings, it's surprising the Primettes got a recording contract. There were probably 1000 girl groups that sounded just like this. Someone clearly heard something.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post

    Mary's lead is competent but that's about it. i don't find it very impassioned or exciting. it sounds like a 14 year old singing a song.
    That's what I mean. Mary sounds like a girl who is vocally talented singing to a song on the radio. She doesn't sound like she really means anything she's saying. I think on "Tears" it would've been different. This song is too happy for Mary's voice, IMO.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I think Flo would have been a much better choice for “Pretty Baby”. Considering the nature of the lyrics, Mary’s vocal performance is a little overly resolute in my opinion. Flo would have lent the song a little sass.
    I agree with Ran in that Mary might have worked better on “Tears Of Sorrow”. A very young M’s Ross is rather nasal on this one.
    Yeah, Flo would've given the song the personality it needed. Diana sounds very timid on "Sorrow". Perhaps she was intimidated by the experience.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    As much as I love Ross’ work on most of “meet” Like you, I’ve always felt tears of sorrow should gave gone to mary. I’m not sure about pretty baby - I don’t think Flo had the technique to nail it, so I’d leave it to Mary - who really excels on the chorus. or give it to Ross who, if in the right key, would be the best choice.

    It’s my belief that even back then, Florence was not given very many lead sheets because as strong as her voice was, she was an awkward vocalist unless she was given absolutely the right material like ain’t that good news.
    Flo was given more leads than Mary when she was in the group, so I don't think her being an "awkward" vocalist was an issue. I suspect that this first single was a Diana and Mary combo because the strongest voice was needed in the background. Mary writes that two other young ladies joined them on both cuts to make up for the fact that Betty was gone, but if you pay close attention to the backing vocals, without Florence's voice they would have been low and dull. Diana is a soprano, but she couldn't do for the background what Flo could do. I know around here there's a popular mentality that nothing matters more than the lead singer on any given song, but I would guess that Richard's approach to this was the doowop way, where sometimes the "weakest" voice was given the lead to ensure that the backing harmony was on point. Setting my obvious Flo bias aside [] I opine that she's the best part of both of these early songs.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I can't imagine LuPine was a pioneer of technology in 1959/1960, so the sound is mediocre at best. Clearly Mary and Diana are in the early stages of their vocal ability, so everything comes across as dull and flat. Based on these recordings, it's surprising the Primettes got a recording contract. There were probably 1000 girl groups that sounded just like this. Someone clearly heard something.
    Somebody kept hearing something. First there was Milton, and then Richard Morris and Robert Bateman, and then Berry Gordy. I'm inclined to agree with you that these two early songs don't exactly spotlight what was special about this group. Perhaps it's the technology, or the run of the mill girl group songs, or the intimidation of being in the recording studio for the first time, or missing a member they had been singing with for a year. Whatever it was, the Primettes were obviously very good if they were winning contests and shows. Martha Reeves said the Primettes even sometimes beat her group on the talent show circuit.

  10. #10
    I hear The Tears completely differently. I think Mary does a great job with it even though she does it in the over-wrought, self-pitying style that girl groups did in those days. Very dramatic!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    I hear The Tears completely differently. I think Mary does a great job with it even though she does it in the over-wrought, self-pitying style that girl groups did in those days. Very dramatic!
    "Tears of Sorrow", not "The Tears". I agree about "The Tears", Mary does a great job of it. I really think she had a good chance of leading the Supremes to success in those early years had she sang lead on a good single. She had a girl group voice.

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