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  1. #1
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    Motown and Florence's funeral

    Does anyone know who all from Motown went to Florence's funeral? I was reading on a Facebook group that Mary borrowed some clothing items from Cindy for the funeral and it made me wonder if Cindy went to the funeral. I doubt she did or it probably would have been mentioned. From what I've read it was: Mary, Diana, Stevie and the Four Tops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    Does anyone know who all from Motown went to Florence's funeral? I was reading on a Facebook group that Mary borrowed some clothing items from Cindy for the funeral and it made me wonder if Cindy went to the funeral. I doubt she did or it probably would have been mentioned. From what I've read it was: Mary, Diana, Stevie and the Four Tops.
    Rosalind Ashford was seen at the funeral

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    Flo's funeral was right after Cindy's 2nd departure from the group. I don't know that there was tension between M and C but there seems to have been between C and Pedro. i would be surprised if Mary borrowed anything from Cindy for the funeral.

    on FB someone mentioned the mirrored skullcap that Mary wore and the funeral and in the pics on the back of HE. there's a pic of Cindy wearing the same skullcap and someone said that only C and S owned these and M borrowed C. that's certainly possible at one time but MSS all wore them on Udo live so somewhere, somehow more were obtained.

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    Marv Johnson was there; he was a pallbearer.

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    did any of the extended Gordy family go? Ester or Gwen?

    what about the Temps

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    Tony Turner was there too lol

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    lot of no shows ...this Motown 'one big family' thing was evidently highly exagerrated

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    I wouldn’t put too much stock on what someone said on FB
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    Flo's funeral was right after Cindy's 2nd departure from the group. I don't know that there was tension between M and C but there seems to have been between C and Pedro. i would be surprised if Mary borrowed anything from Cindy for the funeral.

    on FB someone mentioned the mirrored skullcap that Mary wore and the funeral and in the pics on the back of HE. there's a pic of Cindy wearing the same skullcap and someone said that only C and S owned these and M borrowed C. that's certainly possible at one time but MSS all wore them on Udo live so somewhere, somehow more were obtained.

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    Although I have seen no evidence that Esther attended the funeral, I would bet she did.
    I was at Marv Johnson's funeral which was after Florence passed and Esther spoke. The
    program for the services does not reflect that anyone from Motown did any speaking.
    I have the actual program in hand.

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    In the notes section of CALL HER MISS ROSS, J. Randy Taborrelli mentions Wanda Rogers as having attended Flo's funeral.

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    There seems to be nothing but sadness when it comes to Florence Ballard. Cretins boo-ed Diana Ross for attending the funeral. Mary W made a career from Diana's attendance at the funeral and decency in making a statement there. And ... none of the many [[hundreds?) of Motown employees who worked with Florence Ballard and swear to the skies 40+ years later that Florence was cheated out of a superstar career bothered to attend her funeral, and remain unscathed. Fans go to their grave[[s) insulting Diana for attending Florence's funeral; those who could not be bothered ... well ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    There seems to be nothing but sadness when it comes to Florence Ballard. Cretins boo-ed Diana Ross for attending the funeral. Mary W made a career from Diana's attendance at the funeral and decency in making a statement there. And ... none of the many [[hundreds?) of Motown employees who worked with Florence Ballard and swear to the skies 40+ years later that Florence was cheated out of a superstar career bothered to attend her funeral, and remain unscathed. Fans go to their grave[[s) insulting Diana for attending Florence's funeral; those who could not be bothered ... well ...
    As a huge Flo fan, I try not to focus on the sad parts of her life. I'd rather focus on what a charming, appealing woman she was who added something special to the Supremes. Yes she had her demons and most likely an undiagnosed mental disorder but that's not to take away the great accomplishments she made in her short life.

    I do agree though, that the whole Motown is a family image is a bit BS to me. All I will say is Diana, Mary and Florence had a lot of love for each other no matter how complicated their relationship. I've seen pictures of Diana at the funeral and she looked a mess emotionally. As did Mary. Especially in the photo of the two of them standing up by the casket together.

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    This is an odd and interesting topic. I honestly don't think that every Motown act could be in attendance for Florence's funeral. The company had relocated to California by this time. Florence had no longer been with Motown for about 8 1/2 years. The artists may have been all over the World at the time performing and may not have had the opportunity to attend. I am sure cancelling performance around the country and world would not have been an option. The fact that The Four Tops and Stevie Wonder were there says that they were a family. Her former bandmates were both there. I personally could care less if Mary borrowed the studded skullcap she wore here and on the back of High Energy from Cindy. I don't think Mary "made a career" over Diana making a statement and being there. Mary merely stated in her book that Diana had not spoke with her about making a statement with her and that she was taken aback. Mary loved Diana but did not always like her behavior[[just as I am sure Diana felt about Mary) and that she didn't want to get up and speak as nothing was planned. The fact that Diana and Mary were both there simply showed they both loved Florence and regardless of what professional business they may have had, were both in attendance for such a sad and shocking funeral. I am sure it was a sad day for the Motown family whether they could attend or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim aka jtigre99 View Post
    This is an odd and interesting topic. I honestly don't think that every Motown act could be in attendance for Florence's funeral. The company had relocated to California by this time. Florence had no longer been with Motown for about 8 1/2 years. The artists may have been all over the World at the time performing and may not have had the opportunity to attend. I am sure cancelling performance around the country and world would not have been an option. The fact that The Four Tops and Stevie Wonder were there says that they were a family. Her former bandmates were both there. I personally could care less if Mary borrowed the studded skullcap she wore here and on the back of High Energy from Cindy. I don't think Mary "made a career" over Diana making a statement and being there. Mary merely stated in her book that Diana had not spoke with her about making a statement with her and that she was taken aback.\\ Mary loved Diana but did not always like her behavior[[just as I am sure Diana felt about Mary) and that she didn't want to get up and speak as nothing was planned. The fact that Diana and Mary were both there simply showed they both loved Florence and regardless of what professional business they may have had, were both in attendance for such a sad and shocking funeral. I am sure it was a sad day for the Motown family whether they could attend or not.

    Jim: I think your thread is dynamic. You pointed out a lot of logical reasons why there was no huge Motown "family" attendance at the funeral. Your points are well taken. Thank you for being what I consider facutual.

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    It would be a disservice to the memory of Motown to fail to point out that the atmosphere was very much so unique than at most- or maybe any other- record label. While they are obviously not a traditional family, that was the atmosphere there. It was a small label, everyone knew everyone else, they all pitched in, not only in making music, but in other areas of the label's growth. Because so many at the time were very young, I liken what was happening as some sort of college experience. Motown was the fraternity and sorority experience and connection that most of them would not have, because while their friends were having the college experience, these kids were at Hitsville and out on the road.

    Sure there was rivalries, some fights, some name calling, some plain ole "I don't like him/her". There was also contract stipulated forfeitures of royalties, inability to capitalize on work experience billing, financial theft, underutilization, credit theft, firings, and other shenanigans that served to fill someone else's pocket[[s) at the expense of the artists. But all you have to do is see what happens when all of these people, or even just a few or a couple of them, gather together and you will see the affection and respect they have for each other. How many times did Mary Wilson get embroiled in a court battle with Motown over one thing or another? How many times has Gordy called Mary's, as well as others', books garbage? And yet when he encounters these people, it's all love. Mary had "recently" written not one but two books that painted Gordy as a sometimes funky character, and yet when her son passed away, he was right by her side.

    I've seen the Supremes themselves attempted to be cast as three women who were nothing more than co-workers. Seen posts that respond to post-Supremes issues as "Do you keep in touch with co-workers from 40 years ago", etc. They always give me a chuckle, even as I roll my eyes, because my response is always how many "co-workers" lend down payments for houses or set up trust funds for kids when you haven't worked with someone for so long? I think sometimes there's a lack of understanding about the dynamics of a relationship between two people, especially when they're bonded through an extraordinary experience.

    So I would never use any lack of the number of Motown family present at Flo's funeral to suggest that she wasn't loved and dearly missed by those who remember the youthful and idyllic and career driven young lady that she once was, no more than I would suggest Diana didn't love and have affection for her brother when he died and she didn't attend the funeral, or Mary didn't love and have affection for her mother when she died and she didn't attend the funeral. Florence's own mother did not attend her funeral. I think we should stop looking at who shows up to funerals and pay a bit more attention to who shows up in life. That's not Motown related advice, btw, it's personal advice from me to you.

    One last thing: Flo's funeral was moved up a day when the city realized that crowd control would be a huge problem. This prevented a lot of stars who were intending to come from actually coming because they had made plans to attend on one date and were now faced with attending on another. To people with already busy schedules, making new plans was probably impossible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    It would be a disservice to the memory of Motown to fail to point out that the atmosphere was very much so unique than at most- or maybe any other- record label. While they are obviously not a traditional family, that was the atmosphere there. It was a small label, everyone knew everyone else, they all pitched in, not only in making music, but in other areas of the label's growth. Because so many at the time were very young, I liken what was happening as some sort of college experience. Motown was the fraternity and sorority experience and connection that most of them would not have, because while their friends were having the college experience, these kids were at Hitsville and out on the road.

    Sure there was rivalries, some fights, some name calling, some plain ole "I don't like him/her". There was also contract stipulated forfeitures of royalties, inability to capitalize on work experience billing, financial theft, underutilization, credit theft, firings, and other shenanigans that served to fill someone else's pocket[[s) at the expense of the artists. But all you have to do is see what happens when all of these people, or even just a few or a couple of them, gather together and you will see the affection and respect they have for each other. How many times did Mary Wilson get embroiled in a court battle with Motown over one thing or another? How many times has Gordy called Mary's, as well as others', books garbage? And yet when he encounters these people, it's all love. Mary had "recently" written not one but two books that painted Gordy as a sometimes funky character, and yet when her son passed away, he was right by her side.

    I've seen the Supremes themselves attempted to be cast as three women who were nothing more than co-workers. Seen posts that respond to post-Supremes issues as "Do you keep in touch with co-workers from 40 years ago", etc. They always give me a chuckle, even as I roll my eyes, because my response is always how many "co-workers" lend down payments for houses or set up trust funds for kids when you haven't worked with someone for so long? I think sometimes there's a lack of understanding about the dynamics of a relationship between two people, especially when they're bonded through an extraordinary experience.

    So I would never use any lack of the number of Motown family present at Flo's funeral to suggest that she wasn't loved and dearly missed by those who remember the youthful and idyllic and career driven young lady that she once was, no more than I would suggest Diana didn't love and have affection for her brother when he died and she didn't attend the funeral, or Mary didn't love and have affection for her mother when she died and she didn't attend the funeral. Florence's own mother did not attend her funeral. I think we should stop looking at who shows up to funerals and pay a bit more attention to who shows up in life. That's not Motown related advice, btw, it's personal advice from me to you.

    One last thing: Flo's funeral was moved up a day when the city realized that crowd control would be a huge problem. This prevented a lot of stars who were intending to come from actually coming because they had made plans to attend on one date and were now faced with attending on another. To people with already busy schedules, making new plans was probably impossible.
    Very well put.

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    Be telling who sent flowers.

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    How many Motown artists show up for Marvin Gaye's funeral or what about Michael Jackson's funeral or Levi Stubb's funeral or what about David Ruffin memorial? Who all showed? Haven't we beaten this topic to death?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    There seems to be nothing but sadness when it comes to Florence Ballard. Cretins boo-ed Diana Ross for attending the funeral. Mary W made a career from Diana's attendance at the funeral and decency in making a statement there. And ... none of the many [[hundreds?) of Motown employees who worked with Florence Ballard and swear to the skies 40+ years later that Florence was cheated out of a superstar career bothered to attend her funeral, and remain unscathed. Fans go to their grave[[s) insulting Diana for attending Florence's funeral; those who could not be bothered ... well ...
    I’m sensing a lot of deep bitterness here. Only you would use the tragedy of Florence Ballard’s funeral as an opportunity for a verbal assault on the much loved, and greatly missed Mary Wilson. Your repetitive urge to put Mary and Florence down to raise Diana higher is so unnecessary It would appear some are incapable of moving on.

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    IMO the motown family was really a concept pre WDOLG. in those early years, where most of the artists were trying to make a hit and you had the formation of the groups, that seems to be where this "bond" really took hold. You had a group of young adults singing, making a little money, getting some fame, hooking up, being creative, etc.

    in 64, the Supremes exploded onto the scene and essentially catapulted over everyone else. they now had the major bookings, the tv appearances, this mega projects, etc. WDOLD and the early Sup hits helped to establish and define the concept of "The Motown Sound." HDH and others took these early songs and patterned hit after hit on this.

    And the Motown Revue was less of a focus as The Supremes and the other top acts became huge concert draws on their own.

    Most of the bio books mention how crazy busy every group was by the later 60s. Otis says he rarely was able to be with the Sups and Flo since their tour and concert schedules conflicted.

    then with Flo's departure from the group and label, you had a situation where someone you were once somewhat close with is no longer around. her personal problems also compounded the isolation - she shut herself off to some degree. and people had moved on with their own lives and careers. she then died 9 years or so after leaving.

    If you think about where you were in your career 9 - 15 years ago, you probably had some people you hung out with, had lunch with, regularly went to happy hour with. but if you then got another job, moved to a different city, you may or may not keep in touch. Facebook and the like have helped greatly in keeping in touch. but i someone you worked with and were decent friends with 15 years ago passed away, would you go to the funeral? maybe

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    There seems to be nothing but sadness when it comes to Florence Ballard. Cretins boo-ed Diana Ross for attending the funeral. Mary W made a career from Diana's attendance at the funeral and decency in making a statement there. And ... none of the many [[hundreds?) of Motown employees who worked with Florence Ballard and swear to the skies 40+ years later that Florence was cheated out of a superstar career bothered to attend her funeral, and remain unscathed. Fans go to their grave[[s) insulting Diana for attending Florence's funeral; those who could not be bothered ... well ...
    the cretinous remark is that Mary made a career out of Diana’s attendance….

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    I once was given a photocopy of Diana's Address Book; there were phone number for Cher, Flo, and Berry in the part I got a copy of. Apparently some employee either scoffed it or made copies.

    I didn't see a listing for Mary; but I don't think I got the whole book.

    I wonder if Berry has the same phone #. I never tried to call it.

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    Hi Rob, I am sure BG has changed that number several times ......LOL
    Stevie Wonder was listed as Honorary Pall Bearer but I am not sure he was there. All four tops were there, and a brother of the Gordy family. I want to say Fuller Gordy but its been so long I could be wrong. Someone earlier mentioned a Marvelette and Vandella but I don't remember that. Mary's Wilson sister and mother were there but I don't remember Roosevelt being there. There were at least 4000 fans outside that could not get in the church. The Supremes were loved .....period.

    Also, someone mentioned a pic of Diana and Mary at the coffin. I have never seen that picture. So, if you could post it I would really appreciate it. I would think that Betty McGlown and Barbara Martin were aware but if they attended no one would have known who they were.

    Rest in Heaven Flo

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    Also, someone mentioned a pic of Diana and Mary at the coffin. I have never seen that picture. So, if you could post it I would really appreciate it.
    I remember seeing this photo once, in the early days of the internet...it was a very blurry/grainy photo. I saw it that one time and never saw it again. I would also appreciate if someone could share it.

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    It could also come across as a little disingenuous to show up at someone’s funeral if having been MIA during the eight or so years they were struggling ..
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 09-22-2021 at 02:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlo View Post
    I remember seeing this photo once, in the early days of the internet...it was a very blurry/grainy photo. I saw it that one time and never saw it again. I would also appreciate if someone could share it.
    I’ve never seen that, either…anyone?

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    from Facebook. I believe Mary’s sister is behind her

    Name:  3EF95C79-2426-422A-AB54-85706C90ECF9.jpg
Views: 486
Size:  14.5 KB

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    Quote Originally Posted by ejluther View Post
    I’ve never seen that, either…anyone?
    I've never seen the photo of Diana and Mary together at Flo's funeral. But during Diana's HEADLINERS AND LEGENDS special, they showed brief footage of the two of them standing together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    It could also come across as a little disingenuous to show up at someone’s funeral if having been MIA during the eight or so years they were struggling ..
    Wouldn't that come under the premise, "You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't."?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SatansBlues View Post
    How many Motown artists show up for Marvin Gaye's funeral or what about Michael Jackson's funeral or Levi Stubb's funeral or what about David Ruffin memorial? Who all showed? Haven't we beaten this topic to death?
    I was wondering how many showed up to Paul Williams' funeral. In regards to beating a topic to death: may I introduce you to the forum?

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    Hi Rob, I am sure BG has changed that number several times ......LOL
    Stevie Wonder was listed as Honorary Pall Bearer but I am not sure he was there. All four tops were there, and a brother of the Gordy family. I want to say Fuller Gordy but its been so long I could be wrong. Someone earlier mentioned a Marvelette and Vandella but I don't remember that. Mary's Wilson sister and mother were there but I don't remember Roosevelt being there. There were at least 4000 fans outside that could not get in the church. The Supremes were loved .....period.

    Also, someone mentioned a pic of Diana and Mary at the coffin. I have never seen that picture. So, if you could post it I would really appreciate it. I would think that Betty McGlown and Barbara Martin were aware but if they attended no one would have known who they were.

    Rest in Heaven Flo
    Been a long time since I read the MTS booklet, but doesn't Barbara mention attending Flo's funeral? Both Roz and Wanda have been documented as being in attendance, as well as Stevie Wonder. I imagine there were other Motown connected people in attendance and there were probably relatives of various Motown alumni who were in attendance to represent the loved one who could not, for various reasons, be in attendance. And then of course we have to keep in mind that not everyone can handle a funeral. I know a lot of people who just don't go no matter who it is. I'm sure in the time after Flo's passing was announced Mrs. Ballard and other Ballard relatives received calls and other tokens of outreach from Motowners because when people die, that's just what people do.

    Also important to remember that funerals are for the living, not the dead. So to attend or not attend should never been viewed as a statement on one's relationship to the deceased.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I've never seen the photo of Diana and Mary together at Flo's funeral. But during Diana's HEADLINERS AND LEGENDS special, they showed brief footage of the two of them standing together.
    I remember that. I've always wondered if the entire service was filmed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I remember that. I've always wondered if the entire service was filmed.
    Maybe. Although to me it looked like b-roll grabbed to be shown on NBC NIGHTLY NEWS or something like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jobucats View Post
    Wouldn't that come under the premise, "You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't."?
    if they've set themselves up for such criticism ....ya you're right



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    Yeah I haven't seen the photo I referenced in years but I remember it very vividly. I haven't seen the footage. That would be interesting to see.

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    Anyone know where one can see the Diana Ross episode of Headliners and Legends?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Been a long time since I read the MTS booklet, but doesn't Barbara mention attending Flo's funeral? Both Roz and Wanda have been documented as being in attendance, as well as Stevie Wonder. I imagine there were other Motown connected people in attendance and there were probably relatives of various Motown alumni who were in attendance to represent the loved one who could not, for various reasons, be in attendance. And then of course we have to keep in mind that not everyone can handle a funeral. I know a lot of people who just don't go no matter who it is. I'm sure in the time after Flo's passing was announced Mrs. Ballard and other Ballard relatives received calls and other tokens of outreach from Motowners because when people die, that's just what people do.

    Also important to remember that funerals are for the living, not the dead. So to attend or not attend should never been viewed as a statement on one's relationship to the deceased.
    Well the headline in the Detroit News clearly states that ". . . the crowd of nearly 5,000 people who jammed inside and around the church yesterday afternoon for the funeral of Florence Ballard Chapman. . . ." I would venture an educated guess that there were other Motown stars there who were spread throughout the church.

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    I saw it mentioned that Wanda was at the funeral. I wonder if Gladys went being that her and Flo were very close.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I've never seen the photo of Diana and Mary together at Flo's funeral. But during Diana's HEADLINERS AND LEGENDS special, they showed brief footage of the two of them standing together.
    Thanks Reese. This is the photo I remember seeing. Someone had posted a screen shot of this footage. I saw this screen shot posted on a fansite 20 years ago and then never saw it again. If my photographic memory serves me correctly, Mary was looking up with a sad, teary eyed expression, and Diana was standing beside Mary, looking right at her, with a faint smile. I always assumed this was from the moment when Diana called Mary up to the front of the church, to join her for a silent prayer.
    Last edited by carlo; 09-22-2021 at 03:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    It could also come across as a little disingenuous to show up at someone’s funeral if having been MIA during the eight or so years they were struggling ..
    I look at it as showing up for someone you shared a dream and success with and still loved. You say potato and i say potatah. Its all how we individually look at things. Diana gets blasted for attending by many but Mr Gordy gets a free pass for not attending by many. Potato Potatah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    I look at it as showing up for someone you shared a dream and success with and still loved. You say potato and i say potatah. Its all how we individually look at things. Diana gets blasted for attending by many but Mr Gordy gets a free pass for not attending by many. Potato Potatah.
    I think Berry knew better than to show up. He's the one who Flo had the issues with. And I agree, I think people let him get away with too much. The way he treated Diana, Flo and Mary well let's just call it what it was: abusive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    I think Berry knew better than to show up. He's the one who Flo had the issues with. And I agree, I think people let him get away with too much. The way he treated Diana, Flo and Mary well let's just call it what it was: abusive.
    I agree in that prior to her death, Flo still held huge resentment for Gordy as opposed to Diana. His instincts were spot on in not attending.
    For Diana it was a very difficult situation. Her absence would probably have been construed as not caring had she not turned up. Her only mistake was making herself the focus of attention at such an emotionally charged event.
    Wrongly or rightly she paid paid the price, cast by global media as the attention seeking diva.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    I think Berry knew better than to show up. He's the one who Flo had the issues with. And I agree, I think people let him get away with too much. The way he treated Diana, Flo and Mary well let's just call it what it was: abusive.
    Thankfully because of Me Too and stricter labor laws Berry and Motown would never get away with that behavior today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    Well the headline in the Detroit News clearly states that ". . . the crowd of nearly 5,000 people who jammed inside and around the church yesterday afternoon for the funeral of Florence Ballard Chapman. . . ." I would venture an educated guess that there were other Motown stars there who were spread throughout the church.
    "Stars" might be pushing it. Flo's Motown peers spread throughout might be more accurate, folks like Kim Weston or one more Contours. As previously stated, with the day of the funeral having to be changed, any of the bigger name folks, such as Marvin, Gladys and the Pips, the Tempts, etc, who may have planned to come just couldn't accommodate the date change in their schedules.

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    oh come now, you don't really say potatah

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    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    I think Berry knew better than to show up. He's the one who Flo had the issues with. And I agree, I think people let him get away with too much. The way he treated Diana, Flo and Mary well let's just call it what it was: abusive.
    It's possible that Gordy may have skipped the service because he figured the Ballard family might be hostile toward him, but the more likely reason is that he wasn't overly fond of Florence after a certain point and saw no need to attend the funeral. Personally, I'm okay with that.

    [[I know Gordy is often seen at Motown funerals over the last couple decades or so, but did he usually attend funerals of Motowners back then? I'm thinking Paul Williams, Tammi T, Benny Benjaminson, Shorty Long...am I missing anyone?)

    But other than the Ballards, there is no chance that Gordy was ever going to get what Diana got for being there. Women, and Black women in particular, are so often maligned for behavior that is excused or overlooked in men. The truth is that, while Diana's hands weren't dirty when it came to the issues in the Supremes, she did not hold the ultimate power, Gordy did. Diana didn't fire Flo and she didn't talk Gordy into getting rid of her either. There came a point when she obviously encouraged the move when she felt it became necessary, but so did Mary. But ultimately Gordy was Papa Supreme, he made all the decisions. Even reading Flo's own words on the issue it's clear that her resentment and anger was directed solely at him. And while she held a POV on things that Diana and Mary said or did at one time or another, I don't read anger in her statements. She felt Gordy was her problem.

    Yet even now, go on Youtube or any other social media platform where the Supremes are being discussed and the arrows fly at Diana, not Berry. There's a video that constantly comes up in my feed that has a title like "The Reason Behind Florence Ballard's Demise" or maybe it's "Is Diana Ross the Reason For Florence Ballard's Death", or something along those provocative lines. Curiosity tries to get me to click the video just to see and hear what's being said, but in the end I move on because I can't stomach a bunch of idiotic comments about what Diana Ross did to Flo Ballard. Ultimately Flo was the captain of her own ship. Life wasn't fair to her, but it was up to her to do something about it. Unfortunately by the time she began to take major steps in moving in the right direction, her time here on earth was soon to be over. Sucks. But Diana isn't to blame for that. And truth be told, neither is Gordy. But for the things he should be blamed for, there are people invested in Diana getting that attention, which is insane to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I agree in that prior to her death, Flo still held huge resentment for Gordy as opposed to Diana. His instincts were spot on in not attending.
    For Diana it was a very difficult situation. Her absence would probably have been construed as not caring had she not turned up. Her only mistake was making herself the focus of attention at such an emotionally charged event.
    Wrongly or rightly she paid paid the price, cast by global media as the attention seeking diva.
    I can agree with this. There's talk that once inside the church Diana became very emotional in a dramatic fashion. If true, I've never faulted her for that. I've been to enough funerals to expect audible gasps, fainting, screams, someone having to be escorted to a seat, etc. Diana is human after all, and subject to human moments like the rest of us. I never thought that her having that reaction was her attempting to get attention, as has been alleged.

    However, I do think it weird that she didn't wait in line with her mother and sister and sit with them, or at least, considering it might have been safer for her to go directly inside, that she should have been seated with her own family, instead of up front with Flo's family. It looked like she was trying to get attention. Whether that's what she was doing or not, it was the optics of the thing.

    I do not fault her for getting up to say something. I do fault her for pulling Mary into it without asking her. A few years ago after the death of a loved one, a family member took it upon herself to put people on the program without asking them if they would like to speak or sing. So folks arrived at the funeral, in no frame of mind to do anything other than grieve, only to find out they were to speak or sing. It pissed folks off, and rightfully so. Diana crossed a line and Mary should've checked her for it [[later).

    Ultimately, I do believe that if Flo could've had a say, she would've wanted both Diana and Mary there. The three of them shared such an extraordinary experience together. They made history together. For decades to come, any three females, especially any three Black females, would forever be compared to the Supremes. Seemed only right that the two remaining ladies be there for Flo's final send off.

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    yeah i don't think it was inappropriate for Berry to not attend. he sent a beautiful arrangement and also had motown pay for the entire thing. it is very possible that he had his own personal reasons - he really had a very strong relationship with the 3 girls early on and then it turned very negative. then both sides had strong animosity towards each other and then one passed away. Berry is a person and has emotions [[even if he hides them). so we certainly don't know what tornado of thoughts and emotions flowed through his mind during this time. if he chose to handle his grief in a specific manner, that's his prerogative.

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    Ran - i agree with you on the Diana/Mary thing. Diana really should have reached out to Mary prior [[assuming that she didn't). But at the same point, both were there at the funeral and so it is, frankly, appropriate that both D and M to at least stand together by the casket. it shouldn't have been that huge a shock to mary that she would need to at least stand with diana by the coffin.

    also Diana should have gone to the grave too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    Ran - i agree with you on the Diana/Mary thing. Diana really should have reached out to Mary prior [[assuming that she didn't). But at the same point, both were there at the funeral and so it is, frankly, appropriate that both D and M to at least stand together by the casket. it shouldn't have been that huge a shock to mary that she would need to at least stand with diana by the coffin.

    also Diana should have gone to the grave too.
    I can understand Mary being perturbed that Diana called her up for an unplanned prayer. I'm sure Diana's heart was in the right place but grief is a personal and private thing and Mary shouldn't have been put on the spot like that. As it was, I believe Mary said they hadn't spoken in months and afterwards, never discussed Flo's passing.

    As for Diana going to the grave, again, IMO, there are no should haves in such a situation. Some people don't like to see the actual lowering of the body into the ground. I certainly understand it, having attended at least one burial where that moment resulted in emotional moaning and groaning that I wish I didn't witness.

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