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  1. #1
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    Florence Ballard and her home on Buena Vista

    I have tried to rationalize this for a long time now and I always come away puzzled. When Flo left or kick out of the group she was given a mere sum of round $160,000.00 for her contribution to the group. The home purchased by Motown for her on Buena Vista could not have been more than around $50,000 at that time. So, was it the taxes on the home that cause her to lose it ? Surly she had enough to secure the home. I have revisited the stories and the articles and I always think she could have bought the house and the one next to her. It just always strike me odd to what happen here and what else was going on. Also, there is the story of Diana sending a check to Florence only that was attempted to be interceptive by Tommy. Name:  c9008af9bda01fbde57ced417a626321.jpg
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    Flo didn't have many good advisors around her, including her husband, who was only around if there was money to be had. As for the Motown settlement, it went directly to her lawyer. The story is complicated, but I don't think she ever saw any of the money.

    She never should have signed away her royalties. She was no longer a pre-teen and had been with Motown seven years. By that time she should have learned something about how evil the music business can be and should not have signed anything on the spot before having it reviewed and negotiated by a good lawyer.

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    heartbreaking. Flo's comment to a reporter - "Couldnt i Be left with at least my home ?"Name:  flo jet.jpg
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    I could be wrong, but it's my understanding that the house had a mortgage on it. Chances are Motown didn't give any of the girls the 30 grand or so to purchase the house outright. Maybe they did, but I doubt it. If the houses were purchased outright, it could also be that at some point when the money troubles started, Flo took out a mortgage on the house. Either way, at some point the note came due and Flo didn't have the money.

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    In CALL HER MISS ROSS, it is said that the homes cost $30,000 per. Berry wanted the girls to pay cash for the homes. But his advisers said that they should try to obtain as large a mortgage as possible since the girls probably wouldn't want to stay in the homes too long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by milven View Post

    She never should have signed away her royalties. She was no longer a pre-teen and had been with Motown seven years. By that time she should have learned something about how evil the music business can be and should not have signed anything on the spot before having it reviewed and negotiated by a good lawyer.
    Flo had a lawyer. She took the advice of her lawyer. Perhaps a Flo ten years older may have known enough to figure out that royalties was an important part of the game, but at 24 all she knew was her experience at Motown. Motown did everything for the Supremes. It's not like she, nor the other Supremes, ever saw royalty statements or had to deal with bank issues. Motown took care of all that. All the Supremes had to do was their job and shop. The Supremes were sheltered. Plus there may have been an attitude of thinking that she could make more money in the future using her talent rather than getting royalties [[divided 3 ways, mind you) for past work. I've read that a lot of artists in those days did not realize the importance that royalties would play, especially as the decades wore on and "oldies" became a lucrative venture, not to mention using songs in ads, movies, TV, etc.

    But if you think Flo should have learned something, how crazy is it the issues Diana had pushing 40 and still having Motown involved in her purchases, or the fact that she didn't know how much money she had in the bank. Mary learned these things a bit sooner than Diana because Motown stopped sheltering Mary. When Diana decided she no longer wanted to be sheltered, she got her mind blown. Had Flo been able to see into the future and that at some point Mary and Diana were getting nearly 100,000 dollar royalty checks for 20+ year old work, sure, she may have told everybody to kiss her ass because she wasn't signing away anything. But in 1967/68, she may not have had any indication that royalties was where it's at. She wanted to be done with Motown and if the lawyer said this is the best, quickest way, she probably had no reason to doubt him.
    Last edited by RanRan79; 05-23-2021 at 09:38 PM.

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    In the Peter benjamison tapes flo talks about berry telling her Motown had invested her money in stock bonds that she never received on leaving the label in 1967..her lawyer Leonard baun also embezzled her funds as well...it was all a dirty mess...

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    The whole house thing to me is so mind blowing and even at an early age and dealing with Motown [[if they were paying the mortgage) I would of had my settlement state that Motown pay the mortgage. I know that she requested her gowns and was denied so my home would have been on my list unless she thought it was paid for already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    The whole house thing to me is so mind blowing and even at an early age and dealing with Motown [[if they were paying the mortgage) I would of had my settlement state that Motown pay the mortgage. I know that she requested her gowns and was denied so my home would have been on my list unless she thought it was paid for already.
    That's part of the ethos of how Motown was run..the artists were told one thing only to find out the hard truth later on..it wouldn't surprise me in the least if berry had perpuated the details over the owning of her home..

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    How do you all know this? I've watched darn near every Diana interview YouTube has. She doesn't ever mention any of this. I don't remember her mentioning Miss Florence's house in her book. I only remember her saying when she left Motown she was broke, or maybe she said she was close to I on an interview? Didn't she say she had to take out a loan or something of that nature? I'm going to re-read her book this year. I have not read it in over a decade, so I cannot remember everything.

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    The house seemed to symbolise everything Flo had worked for. I think a part of her died the day she lost it. It’s a tragedy that Diana wasn’t able to deal directly with her in offering financial help.
    It has been documented that upon Flo’s departure from Motown there were numerous lavish parties held at the house. Personally for me securing my house would have been my priority.
    Without knowing all the facts though it’s hard to ascertain what exactly did go down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLoveLamar View Post
    How do you all know this? I've watched darn near every Diana interview YouTube has. She doesn't ever mention any of this. I don't remember her mentioning Miss Florence's house in her book. I only remember her saying when she left Motown she was broke, or maybe she said she was close to I on an interview? Didn't she say she had to take out a loan or something of that nature? I'm going to re-read her book this year. I have not read it in over a decade, so I cannot remember everything.
    Diana isn't one to dish the dirt with the rest of the girls so there won't be much, if any, information to be found in Diana's book or interviews. And it certainly would not have been Diana's chore to teach Florence [[or anyone else) fiscal responsibility. But the story of Florence's home has been dragged up for decades [[and indeed resurfaces here every few months) so there's no shortage of internet hagiography to be found. It looks like a beautiful home and I like to think Florence had some good times there.

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    I can't recall Diana mentioning it in her book and I am almost certain she did not. However, I have heard and read many times that she attempted to do so. Florence and Diana were on speaking terms before she died right around the time Mahogany was released .

    However Randy Taraborrelli was quoted in 1989 in the Chicago Tribune as saying;

    ''People think Diana Ross is responsible for Florence Ballard`s death. I don`t,'' says Taraborrelli, who says Ross did, belatedly and futilely, attempt to pay off Ballard`s mortgage before she lost her house. ''I think all three Supremes had equal opportunities to use their imaginations to make this thing work, and Diana shouldn`t be blamed because one of them couldn`t figure it out,'' he says.

    I am thinking he may have mentioned it in his book as well but I would have to dig it out to confirm. Also, he is on this site so he could respond himself.

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    Isn't it interesting how Flo was given $160,000.00 in 1967, yet Diana was only given $100,000.00 fifteen years later?

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    I have tried to rationalize this for a long time now and I always come away puzzled. When Flo left or kick out of the group she was given a mere sum of round $160,000.00 for her contribution to the group. The home purchased by Motown for her on Buena Vista could not have been more than around $50,000 at that time. So, was it the taxes on the home that cause her to lose it ? Surly she had enough to secure the home. I have revisited the stories and the articles and I always think she could have bought the house and the one next to her. It just always strike me odd to what happen here and what else was going on. Also, there is the story of Diana sending a check to Florence only that was attempted to be interceptive by Tommy. Name:  c9008af9bda01fbde57ced417a626321.jpg
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    Flo's old house looks beautiful today; glad to see it was returned to it's former glory. Much different from the magazine cover.

    My question? Did Flo and her family tear that house up? It's one thing to lose the house, but based on the pic from Jet, it looks like all the windows are boarded up and the awning is in shreds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    I can't recall Diana mentioning it in her book and I am almost certain she did not. However, I have heard and read many times that she attempted to do so. Florence and Diana were on speaking terms before she died right around the time Mahogany was released .

    However Randy Taraborrelli was quoted in 1989 in the Chicago Tribune as saying;

    ''People think Diana Ross is responsible for Florence Ballard`s death. I don`t,'' says Taraborrelli, who says Ross did, belatedly and futilely, attempt to pay off Ballard`s mortgage before she lost her house. ''I think all three Supremes had equal opportunities to use their imaginations to make this thing work, and Diana shouldn`t be blamed because one of them couldn`t figure it out,'' he says.

    I am thinking he may have mentioned it in his book as well but I would have to dig it out to confirm. Also, he is on this site so he could respond himself.
    Interesting, Captain. I don't recall Taraborelli's '89 statement; good for him. It's always seemed to me that the endless dredging up of the more tragic events in Florence's life are done with the aim of assigning blame on Diana, which is quite ... sick, really. And it always seems to be overlooked that the 'mere' $160,000 given to Florence is equal to over a million in today's money. I've said it before, and will most likely say it again: many people in 1967 lost their jobs, did not get a $160,000 [[ie: $1,000,000) payout and managed to make their lives work out. Which does not diminish the sadness of Florence's early passing, but also should not diminish the success of anyone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Flo's old house looks beautiful today; glad to see it was returned to it's former glory. Much different from the magazine cover.

    My question? Did Flo and her family tear that house up? It's one thing to lose the house, but based on the pic from Jet, it looks like all the windows are boarded up and the awning is in shreds.
    While I don't know for certain how Florence and her family treated the house on Buena Vista so that by 1975 it looked like it did on the cover of Jet magazine, I can confidently say that awning material does eventually break down what with being exposed to nature all the time. [Presuming that the awning never was drawn back or taken down during wintertime.] Sun, wind, rain, heat, and cold... if you didn't have the funds to repair or replace it, it was going to start to fall apart. I would also figure that in the 1960s, there weren't chemical treatments to make awning materials more resistant to exposure as there would be today. I'd say that the awning looked as bad as it did on the cover of Jet because Flo hadn't had the funds to maintain/replace it before the time she lost the house.

    As for the boarded up windows, I would figure the bank [or whoever held the mortgage] would've boarded up the windows to protect their investment and prevent squatters and other undesired folks from entering the house...and, sadly, that likely included trying to prevent Flo [the mortgagee] from trying to get back into the house, too.

    For me, I think Florence clearly loved that house and what it represented [her success and independence] and I have to doubt that while she had the means to maintain it that she wouldn't have done so. I think the appearance of the exterior by 1975 was mainly about a lack of money and the bank "protecting" the foreclosed property.

    Oh--and I just did a quick search of good ol' 3767 Buena Vista on Google Maps and found this photo taken in June 2019 [with what looks like the same Jeep Grand Cherokee pictured above farther back in the driveway from the front of the house--same homeowner[s]?]. Take a look at the awning. It appears there's a hole in the one above the living room windows and the one over the upstairs balcony is severely torn. An awning looks great...until it just doesn't. Part of the fun of homeownership is maintaining that kind of stuff and it takes money. Sadly, by '75, Flo didn't have much to spare.
    Name:  Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 9.38.15 AM.jpg
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    At the time of the photo, Florence hadn't lived in that house for about a year and a half, two years top. With no one living there, and the bank not as invested in the upkeep of the awning as much as they were in boarding up the windows to prevent the obvious, it should come as no surprise that the awning was in such bad shape. The one at the top faired better for whatever reason.

    Did we really think Flo tore her house up? What did she do, decide one day that since she no longer was a Supreme and wasn't otherwise employed that she might as well get her kicks however she could, and decided to jump out of the upstairs window and onto the lower awning, only to discover it wouldn't hold her and she fell through it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Isn't it interesting how Flo was given $160,000.00 in 1967, yet Diana was only given $100,000.00 fifteen years later?
    I don't know about this. Flo's amount is correct, if memory serves, but I'm under the impression that Diana found out that she only had 100 grand to her name. When Diana left Motown I'm not sure there was anything for her to get from the company. Her contract had lapsed and both parties decided to go their separate ways. Whatever was owed her was fulfilled by Motown during her contracted period. Likewise I don't recall Mary ever getting anything from Motown either. I suspect that she was contracted for one album with a possible extension but after the one album the contract was fulfilled and Motown gave her the boot. Flo's situation was a bit different because the contract had to be broken, and in order to do that, a settlement had to be reached.

    You legal minds correct me if I'm wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    I can't recall Diana mentioning it in her book and I am almost certain she did not. However, I have heard and read many times that she attempted to do so. Florence and Diana were on speaking terms before she died right around the time Mahogany was released .

    However Randy Taraborrelli was quoted in 1989 in the Chicago Tribune as saying;

    ''People think Diana Ross is responsible for Florence Ballard`s death. I don`t,'' says Taraborrelli, who says Ross did, belatedly and futilely, attempt to pay off Ballard`s mortgage before she lost her house. ''I think all three Supremes had equal opportunities to use their imaginations to make this thing work, and Diana shouldn`t be blamed because one of them couldn`t figure it out,'' he says.

    I am thinking he may have mentioned it in his book as well but I would have to dig it out to confirm. Also, he is on this site so he could respond himself.
    That's a great quote, even if it doesn't address the nuance of the issue. Flo's heart issue may have happened whether she was still successful or not. No one is to blame for that. I think it's an extreme view to suggest Diana Ross played a part in Flo's death. Flo's exit from the group is another matter entirely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    It has been documented that upon Flo’s departure from Motown there were numerous lavish parties held at the house. Personally for me securing my house would have been my priority.
    Has that been documented? I don't recall ever reading that one Ollie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nomis View Post
    heartbreaking. Flo's comment to a reporter - "Couldnt i Be left with at least my home ?"Name:  flo jet.jpg
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    WOW very bad publicity for Motown, a cover like that ! You mean to tell me Berry didn't think "good god , I've to get Flo back in her home. It's the least I can do for this $upreme ....even if only for appearance sakes [to show I actually give a dam about my people].

    I'm guessing the reaction was total silence? I wonder if he pulled ads out of Jet or forbid interviews.... Very brave of the magazine.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 05-24-2021 at 02:19 PM.

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    Very sad subject however as it was, Florence was given very bad advice and clearly ripped off by her attorney. I also thought that Berry might have stepped in once this Jet issue was made public. Her home should have been paid for. Where was Florence actually living at the time she fell ill and passed away? Like many of you it's been quite a while since I've read the books.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nathanj06 View Post
    Very sad subject however as it was, Florence was given very bad advice and clearly ripped off by her attorney. I also thought that Berry might have stepped in once this Jet issue was made public. Her home should have been paid for. Where was Florence actually living at the time she fell ill and passed away? Like many of you it's been quite a while since I've read the books.
    She had received a settlement from the lawyer that swindled her and bought a new home.

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    Inside Edition did a story in the late 80s/early 90s on Flo's daughters losing the second house Flo bought and I remember them showing the inside and it didn't look like they kept up with it very well.

    I agree its ridiculous for fans to blame Diana for Flo's death. Her being canned from the group? Sure some partial blame but I agree its sick to blame her for her death and I feel bad for how Diana was treated at her old friend's funeral. Diana says in her book she didn't want to go to the cemetery because she wanted to grieve alone and I don't blame her.

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    there's really very little inside information about what was going on with Flo during this time and who was/wasn't helping her. There have been stories published that Diana attempted to help save her house but things couldn't be worked out.

    And people ask why Berry didn't? don't know. maybe he did and we don't know about it.

    people should also ask "why didn't Mary help" She certainly had the most contact with Flo during the years post-Supremes. Also around this time, Mary bought and moved into a mansion in Hancock Park so she had some funds - at least enough to have made a payment or two to a bank and have kept Flo's loan current and out of default

    Not blaming Mary here. Nor Berry. there comes a certain point where you have to let people live their own lives. Flo certainly held part of the blame for her problems within the group and with her exit. It wasn't solely that Berry or Diana were the evil ones. And so given that troubled history, does someone have a responsibility later to financially help someone out? especially when there had been 0 contact in many years? and flo had never reached out for help either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    I can't recall Diana mentioning it in her book and I am almost certain she did not. However, I have heard and read many times that she attempted to do so. Florence and Diana were on speaking terms before she died right around the time Mahogany was released .

    However Randy Taraborrelli was quoted in 1989 in the Chicago Tribune as saying;

    ''People think Diana Ross is responsible for Florence Ballard`s death. I don`t,'' says Taraborrelli, who says Ross did, belatedly and futilely, attempt to pay off Ballard`s mortgage before she lost her house. ''I think all three Supremes had equal opportunities to use their imaginations to make this thing work, and Diana shouldn`t be blamed because one of them couldn`t figure it out,'' he says.

    I am thinking he may have mentioned it in his book as well but I would have to dig it out to confirm. Also, he is on this site so he could respond himself.
    I assume the house would have been in Flo's name since she bought it when she was single? Did Diana write the check in Flo's name? Was Tommy's name on the house? If so she should have told Tommy to take a long walk off a short pier. Also, if Diana was supposedly down to "$100,000", why would she send money to pay the house off. If Motown still controlling her money at the time she offered to pay off the house? It just seems odd that the check was returned or never cashed. Just a crappy situation all around. I former co-worker back in Detroit rehearsed with Flo in her basement said Flo was def working on a comeback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Has that been documented? I don't recall ever reading that one Ollie.
    I think there is a quote by one of the Temptations in the Supremes book by Mark Ribowsky. It definitely wasn’t Secrets Of A Sparrow.

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    One additional thing to consider about the entire financial situation. What role did the DHHS have in this property? Flo was on public assistance benefits when she was at this house and many states [although today they have retreated from doing this] filed a
    lien again the property for the amount of cash assistance a person got. Whether or not
    they ever recovered anything from this lien will never be learned. My educated guess would be that they have not recovered a cent. It's easier said than done.

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    a picture is worth a thousand words and this one speaks volumes about the collective so called family at Motown , that their reaction to this exposed situation was apparently a collective "oh, well".

    Nobody presents themselves photographed this way [especially someone reveled as a glamorous world famous star] to the public revealing such a desperate personal situation, unless they really are in exactly that , a desperate situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    Inside Edition did a story in the late 80s/early 90s on Flo's daughters losing the second house Flo bought and I remember them showing the inside and it didn't look like they kept up with it very well.

    I agree its ridiculous for fans to blame Diana for Flo's death. Her being canned from the group? Sure some partial blame but I agree its sick to blame her for her death and I feel bad for how Diana was treated at her old friend's funeral. Diana says in her book she didn't want to go to the cemetery because she wanted to grieve alone and I don't blame her.
    I don't think that was the same house Floy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    And so given that troubled history, does someone have a responsibility later to financially help someone out? especially when there had been 0 contact in many years? and flo had never reached out for help either.
    In Berry's case, yes, he had a responsibility. His wealth was directly tied to the talent he had at Motown. The argument can be made that without Berry, there is no Supremes. I'll allow that argument, but counter it with the Supremes could have possibly gone to any number of record companies in the country and gotten signed. Would any of those labels have had the kind of goals for the group that Gordy eventually had? Maybe, maybe not. It's all debatable. What I find less debatable is the argument that Gordy could have found any other three singers and accomplished what the Supremes accomplished. Those ladies were unique in so many ways. So in my mind he needed them- and every other singer at Motown- more than they necessarily needed him. With that thinking, every time he checked his account balance he should have said a silent [[or aloud) thank you to God for sending him the Motown stable, especially the Supremes. For him to see any one of them in such a bad financial position and not help is...slimy.

    He had no legal obligation to help. I realize that in this world of "self above all else" that morality is often an afterthought, if it's a thought at all, but IMO he had a moral obligation to do something. I would've felt like shit in his shoes if I didn't try to help. Now with that being said, because Gordy has never talked in depth about Flo beyond the surface issue of her "dismissal" from the group, he may very well have done something or tried to do something. We don't know. And maybe it's not our business to know. I do know that in Nicole's IG live interview she said Berry was one of the people who helped Flo's girls when growing up. I imagine that even if he didn't help Flo while she was alive that she would much rather he have helped her girls when she was no longer here. So our judgements of him should be kept to a minimum, if we must judge at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by detmotownguy View Post
    I assume the house would have been in Flo's name since she bought it when she was single? Did Diana write the check in Flo's name? Was Tommy's name on the house? If so she should have told Tommy to take a long walk off a short pier. Also, if Diana was supposedly down to "$100,000", why would she send money to pay the house off. If Motown still controlling her money at the time she offered to pay off the house? It just seems odd that the check was returned or never cashed. Just a crappy situation all around. I former co-worker back in Detroit rehearsed with Flo in her basement said Flo was def working on a comeback.
    I don't know how true the story is, but JRT does say that a copy of the check exists in Motown's files. If that's true, then it didn't matter how much money Diana had in her account if she directed Motown to cut the check.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I think there is a quote by one of the Temptations in the Supremes book by Mark Ribowsky. It definitely wasn’t Secrets Of A Sparrow.
    Nothing was in Secrets Of A Sparrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    One additional thing to consider about the entire financial situation. What role did the DHHS have in this property? Flo was on public assistance benefits when she was at this house and many states [although today they have retreated from doing this] filed a
    lien again the property for the amount of cash assistance a person got. Whether or not
    they ever recovered anything from this lien will never be learned. My educated guess would be that they have not recovered a cent. It's easier said than done.
    Florence wasn't in the house when she went on assistance. I believe she was living with Maxine at that point.

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    Florence ended living on Shaftsbury Ave in Detroit Michigan. The only reason I know this is because my cousin still lives on the same street. I don't want to say anything about Tommy out of respect to Flo' daughters who may be on this site a well. However, I think [[but I my have my time period mixed up) the reason Mary couldn't help was because she had already borrowed money from Diana herself. Diana did attempt to help but the check was returned. Flo never knew Diana tried to help her.

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    Yeah I was going to say I don't think Mary was really in the financial position herself to be lending money to Flo.

    I never really understood why Diana just didn't reach out to Flo directly. What's the worst that would have happened? Flo hangs up on her? From accounts I've read Diana and Flo continued to see each other off and on after Diana left the Supremes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    Florence ended living on Shaftsbury Ave in Detroit Michigan. The only reason I know this is because my cousin still lives on the same street. I don't want to say anything about Tommy out of respect to Flo' daughters who may be on this site a well. However, I think [[but I my have my time period mixed up) the reason Mary couldn't help was because she had already borrowed money from Diana herself. Diana did attempt to help but the check was returned. Flo never knew Diana tried to help her.
    Mary didn't borrow money from Diana until the early 80s, after she left Pedro and needed a down payment on a new home. By all accounts she wasn't in the best financial situation. She certainly didn't have access to the kind of money Gordy and Diana had. Or money Diana thought she had.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    Yeah I was going to say I don't think Mary was really in the financial position herself to be lending money to Flo.

    I never really understood why Diana just didn't reach out to Flo directly. What's the worst that would have happened? Flo hangs up on her? From accounts I've read Diana and Flo continued to see each other off and on after Diana left the Supremes.
    It's been said by some that Flo was a proud woman. I imagine she wasn't usually in the habit of broadcasting her troubles. So it begs the question if it's even true that anyone knew she was about to lose the house? Maxine did say that Diana tried to speak to Flo by phone but Flo wouldn't take the calls. If that's true, Flo's paranoia may have been at play. Of course at the point that Maxine says this, I believe Flo had already lost the house and was living with Maxine, so it could be that Diana was calling to offer support or an encouraging word after the news circulated among those who knew Flo that she had lost her home. Flo spoke about her psyche during this time to Benjaminson. She was not always in a good mental state.

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    How is it that when Diana left Motown she only had $100,000? She had the Diana album that was her highest selling album, the Boss, three films, etc. How could she have only had $100,000 dollars? Now, Miss Mary Wilson stated that they all made 3 pennies per album, and they wrote none of their songs, so of course they did not have huge royalty checks coming in, but Diana Ross having only $100,000? Berry would not have done Diana like that, would he?

    Also, there's a video I posted that was right after Diana did the Out of Darkness film and she was with Berry Gordy at the Soul Train awards and Berry said he believed in Diana and she said. "Until......!" What happened between them? How could Berry let her leave with only $100,000??

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    Well the only thing I can speculate is sometimes people think they can break you if they feel they made you. Diana was not going to lose. I don't think Berry ever believed that Diana would leave him/Motown. There was a record that Motown released at the same time her release with RCA came out through hurt feelings I think and an attempt at making Ross feel like she made a mistake but Gordy quickly pulled the record. The best I can understand what happen was Diana grew up and wanted a little freedom to think and make her own decisions. This may have started around the time of Mahogany. Now understand this for a moment when she asked him for the $$ to match RCA, he said no. So she left. When she left Motown not only gave her a couple hundred thousand for her work with the company but they reposed her car, and other material things that she thought she owned. However, she was able to keep her home in Detroit which I think by this time she had put in another family member's name and her home in LA she kept.
    So if Diana was dealt with the same way as Mary and Flo, I see Gordy as a politician that if he does something to help you, he feel he owns you.
    and not to get off topic but whatever happen to Motown the Musical ? Diana did one visit I think because she felt that was her duty but she never went back but I think Mary followed it for while.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    Well the only thing I can speculate is sometimes people think they can break you if they feel they made you. Diana was not going to lose. I don't think Berry ever believed that Diana would leave him/Motown. There was a record that Motown released at the same time her release with RCA came out through hurt feelings I think and an attempt at making Ross feel like she made a mistake but Gordy quickly pulled the record. The best I can understand what happen was Diana grew up and wanted a little freedom to think and make her own decisions. This may have started around the time of Mahogany. Now understand this for a moment when she asked him for the $$ to match RCA, he said no. So she left. When she left Motown not only gave her a couple hundred thousand for her work with the company but they reposed her car, and other material things that she thought she owned. However, she was able to keep her home in Detroit which I think by this time she had put in another family member's name and her home in LA she kept.
    So if Diana was dealt with the same way as Mary and Flo, I see Gordy as a politician that if he does something to help you, he feel he owns you.
    and not to get off topic but whatever happen to Motown the Musical ? Diana did one visit I think because she felt that was her duty but she never went back but I think Mary followed it for while.
    Not super exciting but....I was a co op for a Detroit utility in the early 80's and the house was still in her name. Yes, the bills were always paid on time!! Not sure who was actually living there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    and not to get off topic but whatever happen to Motown the Musical ? Diana did one visit I think because she felt that was her duty but she never went back but I think Mary followed it for while.
    Diana went to see the musical at least twice in NYC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by khansperac View Post
    Diana went to see the musical at least twice in NYC.
    I believe you are correct. She attended with some family members on a couple of occasions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    Well the only thing I can speculate is sometimes people think they can break you if they feel they made you. Diana was not going to lose. I don't think Berry ever believed that Diana would leave him/Motown. There was a record that Motown released at the same time her release with RCA came out through hurt feelings I think and an attempt at making Ross feel like she made a mistake but Gordy quickly pulled the record. The best I can understand what happen was Diana grew up and wanted a little freedom to think and make her own decisions. This may have started around the time of Mahogany. Now understand this for a moment when she asked him for the $$ to match RCA, he said no. So she left. When she left Motown not only gave her a couple hundred thousand for her work with the company but they reposed her car, and other material things that she thought she owned. However, she was able to keep her home in Detroit which I think by this time she had put in another family member's name and her home in LA she kept.
    So if Diana was dealt with the same way as Mary and Flo, I see Gordy as a politician that if he does something to help you, he feel he owns you.
    and not to get off topic but whatever happen to Motown the Musical ? Diana did one visit I think because she felt that was her duty but she never went back but I think Mary followed it for while.
    Diana grew up, simply put. She wanted more freedom, more say so over her career and existence. It's said when she started exercising some of this that Gordy and company weren't in her corner very much. Seems he could be quite spiteful. Leaving Motown offered her the same kind of feeling that leaving home for the first time offers a young adult. I don't know what kind of finances Berry was working with at the time, whether or not he had access to money to match RCA's offer, but whether he did or didn't, I do believe that if he had offered Diana more creative control, taken his hands [[and that of Motown) out of her finances, she may have decided to stay for less money.

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    I'll agree; after the superstardom, it is a shame that Flo lost her house. Maybe Diana or Berry should have helped her with the mortgage. But then what? Was Flo going to get a job to pay the utilities? Flo's story sadly happens to millions. You buy a house; your financial situation changes or the market crashes, and you lose it.

    What's more interesting to me is HOW MANY Motown stars were on hard times after leaving the label. Is Flo losing her house much different than having a fundraiser for Mary Wells to pay her medical Bill's? Or a fan having to pay James Jamerson's ticket into Motown 25? Or Sandra Tilley laying in an unmarked grave? And the list goes on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by detmotownguy View Post
    Not super exciting but....I was a co op for a Detroit utility in the early 80's and the house was still in her name. Yes, the bills were always paid on time!! Not sure who was actually living there.
    I think Rita lives and owns the home now or she did in 2019.

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    if you accept that Flo's percentage of royalties from singles and albums,live shows and tv work equalled $160,000.00 on leaving.. this figure no way could include sales from overseas revenue..The Supremes sold big in many overseas territories - surely she was entitled to non domestic royalties as well..i find it very hard to believe her lump sum settlement included this..
    When she also signed away the rights to royalties from her contribution to the catalog what was the deal for all unreleased tracks which the ladies were charged for studio costs ? surely the Ballard estate would receive royalties for all the songs released since the 25th Anniversary set ? or did the contract include non payment for these masters as well ?...its a very tangled web

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    Quote Originally Posted by nomis View Post
    When she also signed away the rights to royalties from her contribution to the catalog what was the deal for all unreleased tracks which the ladies were charged for studio costs ? surely the Ballard estate would receive royalties for all the songs released since the 25th Anniversary set ? or did the contract include non payment for these masters as well ?...its a very tangled web
    Flo signed away her royalties to everything. There was no distinction made between released and unreleased recordings.

    Even though they don't have to, Universal could have a heart and reinstate royalties so that Flo's daughters could have that income.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLoveLamar View Post
    How is it that when Diana left Motown she only had $100,000? She had the Diana album that was her highest selling album, the Boss, three films, etc. How could she have only had $100,000 dollars? Now, Miss Mary Wilson stated that they all made 3 pennies per album, and they wrote none of their songs, so of course they did not have huge royalty checks coming in, but Diana Ross having only $100,000? Berry would not have done Diana like that, would he?

    Also, there's a video I posted that was right after Diana did the Out of Darkness film and she was with Berry Gordy at the Soul Train awards and Berry said he believed in Diana and she said. "Until......!" What happened between them? How could Berry let her leave with only $100,000??
    Royalties take time to syphon thru to the recipient - as good as "The Boss" was it only sold marginally. The royalties for "diana" album and its singles she wouldnt have gotten at the time yet..
    she had huge expenditures going out at the time- on one occasion alone in this time period she spent $70.000 on shoes ! Berry charged her for all costs incurred on the tour to promote "The Boss" as well which was costly she paid for the musicians,the set.special effects - everything [[which she was furious at Berry for.. maybe this is the "until" moment)

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