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  1. #1
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    Richard Street's Memoir My Life as a Temptation--Diana and the Supremes.

    I just bought the Kindle version of Richard Street's autobiography and I am just at the part where Richard says he met and fell in love with Diane Ross in Jr High School. He's very complimentary and said when they became the Primettes, he sang with them sometimes, helping with the background duties. I never knew that. Actually he and Melvin Franklin used to practice with the soon-to-be Primettes--they were all going to be part of the same group! Richard went on to say what a great voice Florence had with a "strong alto pitch," and that Mary and Diane sang behind Florence.Mary and D had a perfect blend and when they all came together it was basically magic. R said that after a while he noticed how unique and hard-working Diana was, but had no idea she's "soar as far as she would." He went on to say nobody could compare to DR's "grace and style." It's interesting to me that even in this early in their singing careers, people were picking out DR as special even though they were all good. More later...

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    This group of Richard, Melvin, Mary, Florence and DR stayed together for two years while DR and Richard continued to date and were in love. Howcome i never knew any of this? Did you all know?

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    Gasp Richard devotes two whole pages to his having sex with DR even though neither knew what they were doing. They were both virgins and the experience was pretty bad. WARNING GUYS: the next part is pretty graphic so if you are easily offended, don't read anymore. Anyway, DR was injured during this five minute sexual experience, and although Richard was proud as a peacock, DR soon called him and confessed she had been bleeding for two days after their tryst. Richard panicked, thinking maybe she was pregnant, but he was so young and naive he started calling a bunch of male friends, asking them what was going on with this mystery girl [[whom he wouldn't identify as DR, he said).
    Last edited by BobbyC; 04-11-2022 at 02:48 PM.

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    Eventually R found out, through friends, that bleeding was normal for a girl's first time and R tried to make it seem like it was not his first time, even though it was. R wanted to do it again and DR told him a resounding "NO!!" DR soon left for another school, and R was broken hearted. I feel a little odd recounting this stuff, but that's what he wrote.

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    No respect for men who kiss and tell. If all of that is in his book, that is extremely tacky.

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    it's always hit or miss whether or not to include or how to do it - regarding personal stories.

    but i'll just focus on the musical side. very interesting about the 5 of them making a group. and also the call out on Flo's alto voice. we often think of her as the First Soprano and she was a strong sop singer. but her alto range was very good and MAYBE stronger! her vocals on Good News are certainly in the alto range. and there's more consistency in her tone and vocals. sometimes younger singers [[especially those with bigger voices) struggle to control it. this is a very common situation and sometimes Flo's upper notes could be a bit wobbly. but her alto range might have been a real strong spot for her.

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    FWIW, it looks like Street had someone else write the book for him. Having some knowledge of the process, that person really should have helped Street tell the story in a more tactful way. It also looks like an independent publisher, which usually doesn't have a large editorial staff that reads for sensitivity, relevance, etc. I wonder how much say he had in the final product?

    I say all this not to let Street off the hook, but to give some perspective as I work in writing and publishing.

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    Hey guys--I'm about halfway through the book now. Richard gets so much just plain wrong. He talks about a song that got shoved onto the Supremes when other groups passed on it, they complained that it was childish and poppy. He also said that this song had people walking on planks of wood for the intro. He's talking about Where Did Our Love Go, right? Nope. He says those things about Baby Love. He also outlines Florence's gripes about the group, forcing her to leave, but then he really gets it wrong saying Florence KILLED HERSELF. That just isn't true. Bette Midler once famously remarked that some of her fans knew her music better than she did, and in this case she was right. Anyway, more later.

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    Richard says that after a time, people at Motown felt DR had become "stuck up" but insists that she was still the quiet, sweet person he used to love. He said DR's ascension and isolation were Motown's fault, and they had "created a monster."

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    Richard claims that Otis Williams came to him when they had to replace this singer or that singer, asking if he knew anybody who'd be a good fit. He says he recommended both David Ruffin and later Dennis Edwards, and Otis took both.

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    Good stuff !! Wonder how much he discusses Damon Harris? They should've been close considering they were new to the Tempts at about the same time.


    an Amazon reviewer said:

    he had a whole damn chapter on Diana Ross..but never once mentioned the name of Caldin Gill of the Velvelettes whom he was married to and she gave birth to his son Richard, Jr. All he called her was his ex wife. He told all about Diana being his first love but never ever said anything about how he courted and wooed Cal...

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    "he had a whole damn chapter on Diana Ross..but never once mentioned the name of Caldin Gill of the Velvelettes whom he was married to and she gave birth to his son Richard, Jr. All he called her was his ex wife. He told all about Diana being his first love but never ever said anything about how he courted and wooed Cal..."

    OMG!
    Last edited by TomatoTom123; 04-12-2022 at 03:36 AM.

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    what was the timing on this book being originally written? Richard died 9 years ago. i heard he was in process of writing it when he died in 2013 and then it was published a year later. wonder how many changes were made after his involvement decreased while he was sick or after he died?

    DR is a top name that would draw people's attention and drive sales. i agree it's way too personal to provide this level of detail, just vulgar. but what we don't know is if that was Richard or the co-writer

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    The book is not just about "kiss and tell." It's very enlightening about the realities of being a Motown star. I don't know why he went into such depth about DR and their relationship.

    Re: Damon Harris. Richard talks him up as a fellow "new member" at the time. He said at first that he did a good job in the group but that he couldn't hold an audience's attention. People compared him to Dennis and David, and in their opinions he came up empty. Did you all know that when the Temps joined Atlantic Records in the 70's, that Atlantic was going to give the group a million dollar contract, but said it was only under the condition that Dennis came back. Dennis wouldn't do it [[at first) so the group got a reduced amount of money for signing. The Temps almost completely stopped doing shows in that era, which is why the new guys were all broke. They depended on the live dates to generate income since the royalties they were receiving were small due to poor record sales. Very stressful situation. They sometimes had to take out personal loans to buy performance gear!

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    LOL!!! Omigod, when Ron Tyson joined the group, Cholly Adkins nicknamed him "white folks" because he couldn't dance!! LOL!! I love good trash.

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    I have this book on a very long list of books I want to buy. I'll remove it now since I can just read it in this thread. Money saved.

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    If you're a Motown fan, you'll like it

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    The book is not just about "kiss and tell." It's very enlightening about the realities of being a Motown star. I don't know why he went into such depth about DR and their relationship.

    Re: Damon Harris. Richard talks him up as a fellow "new member" at the time. He said at first that he did a good job in the group but that he couldn't hold an audience's attention. People compared him to Dennis and David, and in their opinions he came up empty. Did you all know that when the Temps joined Atlantic Records in the 70's, that Atlantic was going to give the group a million dollar contract, but said it was only under the condition that Dennis came back. Dennis wouldn't do it [[at first) so the group got a reduced amount of money for signing. The Temps almost completely stopped doing shows in that era, which is why the new guys were all broke. They depended on the live dates to generate income since the royalties they were receiving were small due to poor record sales. Very stressful situation. They sometimes had to take out personal loans to buy performance gear!
    interesting! i'll probably go ahead and get the book myself too. its always interesting hearing how the group evolves, personnel changes, group dynamics

    i find the whole Ricky Owens [[?) situation fascinating. someone that was a member for only a few weeks

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=BobbyC;696619]The book is not just about "kiss and tell." It's very enlightening about the realities of being a Motown star. I don't know why he went into such depth about DR and their relationship.

    There is only ever one reason why any of these people go "into depth about DR and their relationship".

    There is only ever one reason to do this - to get people to buy and read your book. They have to go for the main attraction. Mary Wilson did it. Tony Turner did it. Randy Tarraborelli did it.

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    Someone should write a new book. ‘Diana And The Men Of Motown’.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    Hey guys--I'm about halfway through the book now. Richard gets so much just plain wrong. He talks about a song that got shoved onto the Supremes when other groups passed on it, they complained that it was childish and poppy. He also said that this song had people walking on planks of wood for the intro. He's talking about Where Did Our Love Go, right? Nope. He says those things about Baby Love. He also outlines Florence's gripes about the group, forcing her to leave, but then he really gets it wrong saying Florence KILLED HERSELF. That just isn't true. Bette Midler once famously remarked that some of her fans knew her music better than she did, and in this case she was right. Anyway, more later.
    I think it was in the book “Girl Groups” which, although it seemed to be well researched in other chapters, its chapter on Motown had lots of errors and one was the same story that the song the Marvelettes rejected which The Supremes ended up recording was “Baby Love.”

    It’s odd but sometimes what gives away a writer who publishes perjured narratives and exposes them is because of the mistakes they repeat that other authors originally propagated. I believe this happened with Brian Wilson’s autobiography, because he repeated errors that other writers had made about the group because his own memory was foggy and therefore he relied on others narratives to help develop his.
    Last edited by kenneth; 04-12-2022 at 05:53 PM.

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    Turns out that a woman named Toi actually wrote this book, but she was going off a bunch of taped interviews with Richard. At least that's what the book says. You can get it for $9 on Kindall and I'd recommend it. If you are interested in the down side of show biz, you'll be glad you got it.

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    TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

    This ranks up there when Precious Ballard went on about her bloody tampax.

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    Is Richard Street mentioned in books about/ or written by Diana Ross?

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    i'd be shocked if his name ever came up even in regards to the Temps much less anything specific w Diana. he wasn't an official Prime and didn't really come into the Temps until after Diana left the Sups and the duet albums/shows were long done.

    typically the romances associated with Diana and her early Motown years are around Smokey and Eddie Holland.

    also i want to point out that it seems DR gets a bit of a bad wrap about supposedly hooking up with Smokey and Brian Holland. i say "supposedly" because all of the stories are quite speculative and none of the specific parties have said "we were hooking up for X months"

    mary wilson certainly had her fair share of boyfriends. There are tons of stories of the Marvelettes and Vandellas and everyone hooking up on the Motortown Revue tours. why is any of this shocking? they were young adults. All of us should think back to when we were in High School or college - most young adults at that time are exploring love, romance and their sexuality. whether it's dating, hooking up, "going all the way", messing around, etc. What diana, mary, smokey, flo, richard or any of them did is perfectly normal and frankly what all of us did in varying forms

    some books have alluded to the idea that Diana hooked up with Smokey, Berry and Brian with the primary goal of having them produce the sups. that's a bunch of bs. Smokey had introduced the group to motown and produced those first sessions - years before this supposedly hook up. Brian also wrote I Want A Guy and did work with the group on Meet the Sups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Is Richard Street mentioned in books about/ or written by Diana Ross?
    In her first book, Mary wrote that Richard and Diana had attended the same elementary school. She went on to say that later, Richard became "infatuated" with Diana but she doubted whether Diana even knew, as she seems to have eyes for everyone but him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    In her first book, Mary wrote that Richard and Diana had attended the same elementary school. She went on to say that later, Richard became "infatuated" with Diana but she doubted whether Diana even knew, as she seems to have eyes for everyone but him.
    hee haw!!



    here's an interesting wiki tidbit :
    Street was the first [& only?] Temptation from Detroit

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    I've always believed in holding back until one’s wedding night. Whenever i got the urge, i would always bake a cake. Carrot or walnut, it didn’t really matter.
    Last edited by Ollie9; 04-14-2022 at 12:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I've always believed in holding back until one’s wedding night. Whenever i got the urge, i would always bake a cake. Carrot or walnut, it didn’t really matter.
    Oh, bad mistake. You should have gone for it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post

    ...also i want to point out that it seems DR gets a bit of a bad wrap about supposedly hooking up with Smokey and Brian Holland. i say "supposedly" because all of the stories are quite speculative and none of the specific parties have said "we were hooking up for X months"...
    In recent years, Smokey has admitted dating Diana.

    And in their recent book, HDH's Brian Holland has confessed that he and Diana had a relationship. But it doesn't seem to be the superficial, calculated thing it has been portrayed as. He made it sound as if they were really in love.

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    I am now reading HDH's book Come and Get These Memories. What struck me was that Richard Street, Brian Holland and others who dated Diana Ross all spoke of her in glowing terms. Brian Holland, in particular, had nothing but great things to say about her. By the way Kenneth--one of HDH [[can't recall which one) said that Where Did Our Love Go was always meant for the Supremes, not The Marvelettes or anybody else. On the other hand, I've read story after story from various artists saying that other groups were offered the song. So who knows? I recently saw an interview with Smokey and Berry, and they did not agree on who did Heard It Through the Grapevine first, Marvin or Gladys. Obviously they couldn't both be right. It's hard to be a Motown historian when nobody can agree on what happened all these years ago.

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    Ollie--I was saving myself too but I decided to cash out and put a down payment on a gumball.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    In recent years, Smokey has admitted dating Diana.

    And in their recent book, HDH's Brian Holland has confessed that he and Diana had a relationship. But it doesn't seem to be the superficial, calculated thing it has been portrayed as. He made it sound as if they were really in love.
    and i think all of those were done in an innocent enough manner and approach as to not be anything detrimental. And Richard's isn't detrimental to her reputation but is appallingly crass and excessively intimate.

    I don't think Smokey ever went as far as saying IF they ever did anything physical. and it could have been just sort of puppy love and typical teenage romance.

    it isn't necessary to be as vulgar as going into how she tasted! good lord lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    I am now reading HDH's book Come and Get These Memories. What struck me was that Richard Street, Brian Holland and others who dated Diana Ross all spoke of her in glowing terms. Brian Holland, in particular, had nothing but great things to say about her. By the way Kenneth--one of HDH [[can't recall which one) said that Where Did Our Love Go was always meant for the Supremes, not The Marvelettes or anybody else. On the other hand, I've read story after story from various artists saying that other groups were offered the song. So who knows? I recently saw an interview with Smokey and Berry, and they did not agree on who did Heard It Through the Grapevine first, Marvin or Gladys. Obviously they couldn't both be right. It's hard to be a Motown historian when nobody can agree on what happened all these years ago.
    some people have wondered or hypothesized that some of these infamous tales [[like the whole WDOLG one) have evolved over the years. in some books it's nearly as if the M's were in open revolt with pitchforks and torches, if they were to have been forced to record it. lol some are less dramatic

    Gladys has a version where she says they were played both WDOLG and Too Many Fish. she said that Fish had a much more engaging backing track with all of the instruments and all, while Where is mostly carried in the lead vocal. so if you were being played both in a rehearsal situation, Fish probably would come across as the more interesting one. She said they heard both and picked Fish, doesn't really go into the idea of "refusing" to do Where.

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    Hi Sup! I believe you that Gladys was played that demo. But Mary said of that song that she knew it was passed on from group to group, and that her group resented getting this hand-me-down, bottom-of-the barrel song. HDH said the girls shucked off attitude during the recording sessions. Apparently the original backing vocals were much more complex, but because of the attitude of the group, everything got kinda dumbed down so it became basically "baby Baby," in the background. Who knows what is the reality of what took place.

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    Uhg. Now I'm reading Lamont Dozier's book. He says that HDH DID first bring WDOLG to the Marvelettes as a demo. He said Gladys absolutely refused it. So who is correct in the scenario? I have no idea.

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    Lamont also says that the Supremes were last on a long list to sing it. HDH had already cut the backing track in the studio and they didn't want to have to pay for that session alone, so they cut it on the Supremes. Kinda hard to believe. Lamont was blunt that pretty much everybody at Motown had lost confidence in the Supremes, except Berry, who was happy that he gave the song to the girls! Mary Wilson, he claimed, asked him if this was "this the song Gladys song turned down?"

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    Now I’m Imagining Gladys Knight singing this . sort of exciting to think of it.
    Too bad it’s not in the vaults

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

    This ranks up there when Precious Ballard went on about her bloody tampax.
    LMAO and her daddy wiping his butt on a $5 bill.

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    To say that the Marvelettes were in any position to "refuse" recording a song is ridiculous. Their last [[and only) #1 hit had been 3 years prior. None of their 1963 singles hit the Top 40. It's not like these gals were carrying the company. Do you think for a second that Gladys was going to tell Berry Gordy "no"? Didn't Mary Wilson try that with "Love Child"? How did that work for her? Now, if this was 1968 or 1966, I could see Diana "refusing" to cut a record. But the Marvelettes in 1964? No way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    To say that the Marvelettes were in any position to "refuse" recording a song is ridiculous. Their last [[and only) #1 hit had been 3 years prior. None of their 1963 singles hit the Top 40. It's not like these gals were carrying the company. Do you think for a second that Gladys was going to tell Berry Gordy "no"? Didn't Mary Wilson try that with "Love Child"? How did that work for her? Now, if this was 1968 or 1966, I could see Diana "refusing" to cut a record. But the Marvelettes in 1964? No way.
    yeah i think "refuse" is not the case either. given some of the garbage that was issued on marvelettes albums, they certainly were not working with a high threshold

    IMO the situation would more likely have been producers were playing a bunch of songs for them and they opted to go with others. or maybe there was only a little time left in the studio and they didn't get around to Where.

    As you mention, the Ms weren't exactly "hot" in early 64. it had been quite a while since they had a big hit and HDH had done magic with the Vandellas. so the odds of the girls wanting to refuse a song and being able to refuse a song are certainly questionable.

    Given the massive impact the song later went on to have, it seems that there was probably some revisionism in the story

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    If I recall from that Marvelettes book that came out in the mid 00's by Marc Taylor, Gladys was quoted as saying she was presented with Where Did Our Love Go and Too Many Fish in the Sea and she chose Fish as it was musically more interesting. None of the other group members were there. If Motown execs ever did consult groups on decisions, I believe they usually just dealt with whoever they regarded as the leader of the group, not the entire group. The Marvelettes were considered Gladys' group, even after Wanda took more leads, so Gladys was more likely to be consulted not the group as a whole. Same applies for Supremes [[Diana) and Vandellas [[Martha).

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    Well I don't know what happened with WDOLG, I wasn't there-I wasn't even born yet. BUT I have seen, with my own eyes, an interview with Gladys where she said she was offered the song, but thought it was pathetic so she said no. As I said previously, the Hollands said the song was always meant for the Supremes, but Dozier said it was offered to the Marvelettes first and Mary Wilson called him on it. So who knows?

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    Didn't HDH produce a hand full of Marvelettes tunes around this time?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    yeah i think "refuse" is not the case either. given some of the garbage that was issued on marvelettes albums, they certainly were not working with a high threshold

    IMO the situation would more likely have been producers were playing a bunch of songs for them and they opted to go with others. or maybe there was only a little time left in the studio and they didn't get around to Where.

    As you mention, the Ms weren't exactly "hot" in early 64. it had been quite a while since they had a big hit and HDH had done magic with the Vandellas. so the odds of the girls wanting to refuse a song and being able to refuse a song are certainly questionable.

    Given the massive impact the song later went on to have, it seems that there was probably some revisionism in the story
    I think "revisionism" is the perfect word. And it makes the Supremes story THAT much more magical. Almost like all of the ugly stepsisters too wide to fit in the glass slipper, only for Cinderella to fit it.

    I think the meat of the story is that Gladys passed on it. Not refused it.

    It does beg the question then: what if Gladys had chosen WDOLG and gave TMFITS to the Supremes? You could start a whole thread on that, lol.

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    But but but I'm ever so jealous of Richard Street ..... Cal and Diana omg. And both still gorgeous. Shame I was just too young, ..... and maybe just too white, ..... and just too UK. Oh well.
    Last edited by mysterysinger; 04-23-2022 at 06:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    LOL!!! Omigod, when Ron Tyson joined the group, Cholly Adkins nicknamed him "white folks" because he couldn't dance!! LOL!! I love good trash.
    Ron mentioned that on he and the guys' sit down with Otis at City College NYC awhile ago.

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