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  1. #1
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    FOREVER FAITHFUL book - Randall Wilson

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    I think the definitive book on Florence Ballard is "Forever Faithful" by Randall Wilson. I appreciate it more than others because it looks at her life and story subjectively. Yes, Wilson is a Ballard fan, but he did his homework and doesn't let his admiration for Flo get in the way of telling a truthful story, filled with facts; the good, the bad, and everything else in between. I was always fascinated with all of the figures of what he was able to produce; how much Flo got for her exit at Motown, what she received [[or didn't) for her various lawsuits, etc.

    I got my copy decades ago; had to special order, and it took MONTHS to arrive. This was pre-internet of course. At the time, it was a new angle, not told in "Dreamgirl".

    It was originally published on June 1, 1987, and was reissued on February 1, 1999.

  2. #2
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    It's been eons since I've read it. If I recall correctly I had to special order mine from Borders or B Dalton or Walden, as those were the three bookstores I frequented at the time. It was a well done book, but I do recall there being errors and/or questionable anecdotes, like Flo and her family going to see DRATS at the Michigan Fair in 1967 and sitting in the front row. Also the story of Flo being invited to Rhonda's first birthday party and commenting that Diana was singing flat. Rick B has mentioned, and Peter B's book also makes mention, that the last time Flo and Diana saw one another was in 1971, Rhonda's first birthday was in 72.

    The book read like a thesis. I think Peter B's book, even with the criticisms I have of it, is the definitive book because it relies on Flo's own recollections. It's as close to an autobiography as we can get and I'll usually take first person source of one's life over any other source. I think Peter's book would've been even better if he had [[a) maintained some objectivity, and [[b) fleshed out Flo's story by researching and interviewing others. I recall emailing him my critique that he didn't seem to do much interviewing of others for the book. I thought it weird that he spent so much time on the one fan that Peter called Flo's boyfriend but it seems like there was nothing romantic going on besides Peter's title of "boyfriend", yet not much on her relationship with Otis of the Tempts, and no mention of her dating Bobby of the Miracles, Obie of the Tops, Joe Shaffner, Weldon McDougal. In his response Peter did say that he called Joe for an interview and when Joe found out that it was for a book on Flo, he hung up on Peter.

    I have no reason to doubt Peter's story, but I find it hard to believe that most of the people he could've contacted to interview about Flo would've reacted in the same way.

  3. #3
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    If I recall correctly, "Forever Faithful" started life as Randy Wilson's thesis and was later turned into the book it became. That would be why it includes quite a bit of monetary figures, research, and straight-forward exposition. For a long time, it was our only view into Flo's world post-Supremes and I, for one, was grateful for the glimpse. Randy did a good job.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by danman869 View Post
    If I recall correctly, "Forever Faithful" started life as Randy Wilson's thesis and was later turned into the book it became. That would be why it includes quite a bit of monetary figures, research, and straight-forward exposition. For a long time, it was our only view into Flo's world post-Supremes and I, for one, was grateful for the glimpse. Randy did a good job.
    I believe he was a student @ University of Michigan. And yes it was a thesis. A decent read.

  5. #5
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    Does anyone know what Randy is up to these days?

  6. #6
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    He is on Facebook and usually post and seem to be doing very well.

  7. #7
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    When Mary launched Supreme Faith at a big “do” in DC, orchestrated by her pal Linda Greene, I got to chatting with Randy and just decided to ask him point-blank if Forever Faithful had been a thesis project, because it wasn’t slickly produced and because of all the legal, contractural and financial technicalities it covered, and he affirmed that it was. He was very resourceful in being able to market a thesis and make a few bucks in addition to the academic credit it generated.
    Last edited by BigAl; 07-11-2021 at 07:08 PM.

  8. #8
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    I had this book years ago and lost it somewhere along the way but I thought it was pretty interesting especially reading about all the legal stuff. I think Randall appeared on one of those documentaries they did on Flo years ago. It may have been the Mysteries and Scandals one.

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