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    Relationship between the original members and the replacements with Diana Ross

    I have read many times on this site that Cindy has "stated" to some that Mary was always trying to get her to side with her against Diana. I think there is more to it, though. I imagine that Diana, Florence and Mary started together as friends who all started this group together. They realized they were something special and each sang lead in their area of expertise. I am not slighting Diana here or not recognizing her talent or specialness but once she was designated as sole lead singer, I am sure the group didn't mind as Mary had said she was one of us and she was great and whatever it took to record and be a hit. I think that Diana's drive to be recognized alone and not having the group mentality that Florence and Mary had probably caused some inner turmoil between them, along with Florence leaving probably caused a rift between Diana and Mary. Mary stayed with Diana and stepped even further into the background using the group as a springboard for her solo aspirations until she was ready. Once Cindy came into Diana Ross & The Supremes, it was far different for her. She was already in Patti Labelle's group and was used to the lead singer being mainly in charge. She didn't have the history of starting the Supremes together as Mary, Florence and Diana had. She didn't have the history that they had to see anything negative about Diana that perhaps Mary and Florence had. Cindy liked both of them and probably didn't want to get involved with the politics. I am sure it was different than starting together as friends and while they did love each other I am sure that her solo aspirations and relationship with Berry put both Florence and Mary in an unenviable position. Cindy didn't go through that, although in later years Diana said she was a sweet girl who tried very hard to please. Diana also told Oprah Cindy was a Supreme "but not really a Supreme" which tried to make it seem as if she was waiting for Florence to come back which was something neither Berry or her would have stood for. Once Diana was a solo, I am not sure of her relations with the 70's group. I am not sure how much interaction she had with Jean, who took her place as she was planning her own hectic solo career. Scherrie said when she was rehearsing to replace Jean that she came to Mary's house and they made small talk. Ross had gone to see the Former Ladies of the Supremes perform a number of times, so theories are that when RTL didn't happen that Diana had a backup plan. Of course, Mary had the struggle of fighting Motown to keep the Supremes on top, later to just keep them alive so I am sure their relations with Mary would be far different from someone who just saw them in concert or chose them to sing with her with the promise of much needed cash. I really don't know how the relations were between Diana and Lynda,Jean,Scherrie and Susaye. But surely it had to be different than the original 3 who were together and started it together before the business and politics began. I just ponder because so many on here put blame about things on one person or the other. None of us really know because Diana, Mary and Flo were too media savvy to really let us in on these personal things. We also will never know how Cindy really felt or the 70's groupings. I just wonder because I know it would be so different from what we have seen through the years concerning the originals. One thing I do know is that even if they all moved on in life there is surely love between them even if there wasn't always a liking over behavior or how others acted. I don't want to start anything here but I have been thinking that now with Mary's passing, the Supremes have also passed.

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    from what i've pieced together, except maybe in their very earliest days, the group was never a "shared lead." Yes Flo and occasionally mary took a lead. But pretty much from Day 1, Diana was doing the vast majority of the songs recorded at motown. it's certainly possible they rehearsed some things on the others that were either never recorded or were erased. but if you go through the songs in 61, Diana did the most. and by 62 she was doing nearly all of them. So she was clearly the primary lead singer waaaaayyyyyy before WDOLG or fame or any "proclamation" by Berry

    Diana has said she was the "decision making type" whereas mary wasn't. and we know flo had her issues. Diana is just a classic Type A personality and so naturally would come to dominate things around the group. yes this might have eventually colored M's and F's perceptions of things. When Cindy joined, don't forget she was coming from a group with it's OWN type A personality in Miss LaBelle. during the DRATS era, Mary might have been trying to establish her own control and presence in the group but frankly it was too late. Berry and Diana were on a path and that's where the group was heading

    in regards to the 70s, stories from fans and all do state that Diana did attend their shows some and visa versa. i think once they got away from one another and the strains of the politics of things, and as they each individually naturally matured, they developed a more realistic outlook on things and how things happened. Some fans have reported that Diana was quite supportive of the group and their music. of course she had her own career to tend with, and a family. so she had her own stuff to do too and couldn't just sit around promoting Stoned Love or something.

    I think Diana definitely cared about the Sups and it's legacy but i've gathered that she is not an overly sentimental person. she doesn't dwell on the past or nostalgia. but she would come and meet the various women in the group, came to shows, seemed to want what was best for them. she also supposedly asked that the group retire when mary left as she felt it was best for the legacy of the group.

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    also we need to remember that after she left the Sups, diana wasn't just lounging around being catered to, or having every success just handed to her. she worked her tail off at preparing her new act, endlessly recording [[she had over 3 solo albums worth of material released by early 71 after all). she started a family and dove into a film career.

    and during this time, she wasn't being just given endless triumphs. her chart success was moderate at best. while her albums did perform better than the 70s Sups ones, they didn't do that much better. Surrender barely charted all that much higher than NW.

    diana didn't have the time or luxury to dedicate a lot of efforts to engaging with JMC or Lynda later. she couldn't be constantly a cheerleader for the group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    also we need to remember that after she left the Sups, diana wasn't just lounging around being catered to, or having every success just handed to her. she worked her tail off at preparing her new act, endlessly recording [[she had over 3 solo albums worth of material released by early 71 after all). she started a family and dove into a film career.

    and during this time, she wasn't being just given endless triumphs. her chart success was moderate at best. while her albums did perform better than the 70s Sups ones, they didn't do that much better. Surrender barely charted all that much higher than NW.

    diana didn't have the time or luxury to dedicate a lot of efforts to engaging with JMC or Lynda later. she couldn't be constantly a cheerleader for the group.
    Well stated. Though Diana may have had encounters with the many [many) singers who became Supremes after her departure, but like any one who leaves a place of employment there's really no logical reason to establish communications with those who come onboard afterwards. The topic gets brought up every few months and seems to usually be a troll for the Diana-Deniers.

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    well i don't know if Jim was being a Diana troll - lol. seems like the forum has been really quite calm and sedate for a long while now. partially this is because i think the number of active posters on here has dropped drastically. but also some is due to different people being here/not being on the forum.

    one interesting note is that on a couple of early tv shows, JMC made funny little lines towards diana. like during the ending of the Andy Williams show where they did that medley of Ladder and Everybody. the girls say something like "Good night Andy. And good night Diana!" then they turn to a different camera angle and say "wherever you are!' and the laugh track kicks in

    Diana certainly called out her partners in her stage dialog during the Sups segment. Also there's a pic of mary, lynda and Diana at the NAACP awards in 73 i think. for some reason Jean wasn't in attendance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    well i don't know if Jim was being a Diana troll - lol. seems like the forum has been really quite calm and sedate for a long while now. partially this is because i think the number of active posters on here has dropped drastically. but also some is due to different people being here/not being on the forum.

    one interesting note is that on a couple of early tv shows, JMC made funny little lines towards diana. like during the ending of the Andy Williams show where they did that medley of Ladder and Everybody. the girls say something like "Good night Andy. And good night Diana!" then they turn to a different camera angle and say "wherever you are!' and the laugh track kicks in

    Diana certainly called out her partners in her stage dialog during the Sups segment. Also there's a pic of mary, lynda and Diana at the NAACP awards in 73 i think. for some reason Jean wasn't in attendance.
    No, quite the opposite of being a Diana Troll. I really didn't become a fan until 1970 and I became a fan of both the Supremes and Diana Ross at the time. It was just a natural curiosity. I know so much has been made by fans but I think there was genuine love and friendship between them. They had their differences but I think so much has been blown out of proportion. I know it has been said Motown was a "family" so I was just pondering the relationships between the latter day Supremes and Diana. To be honest, in 1970 I had to backtrack to listen to alot of the early Supremes and DRATS era, I knew about them but wasn't into music just then as I was only in single digits. I know sometimes comments can get a little out of hand and my bringing up this topic surely made me think a number of times before posting anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    well i don't know if Jim was being a Diana troll - lol. seems like the forum has been really quite calm and sedate for a long while now. partially this is because i think the number of active posters on here has dropped drastically. but also some is due to different people being here/not being on the forum.

    one interesting note is that on a couple of early tv shows, JMC made funny little lines towards diana. like during the ending of the Andy Williams show where they did that medley of Ladder and Everybody. the girls say something like "Good night Andy. And good night Diana!" then they turn to a different camera angle and say "wherever you are!' and the laugh track kicks in

    Diana certainly called out her partners in her stage dialog during the Sups segment. Also there's a pic of mary, lynda and Diana at the NAACP awards in 73 i think. for some reason Jean wasn't in attendance.
    I didn't mean to call Jim a troll; he does a good job here and I'm always happy to see his posts. But ... I remain steadfast in stating that many [not all, but many) look to assign all of the world's problems starting with the murder of Jesus with Diana! I'll word my responses more carefully in the future.

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    Whenever anything goes wrong in my life, or anywhere in the world for that matter, I always blame Diana Ross first. Makes life a whole lot easier. And when it comes to personal failings and shortcomings, personal responsibility is such a drag. Blame Diana first! The current shortage in the US of infant formula? Diana's fault.


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    Diana did have an interest in every lady that joined the group, though it was not an obsession. She sweated blood, sweat and tears for the group and wanted them to continue with success, but not at her expense however.

    Also Diana did not "train" Jean as company press releases stated, she did champion Jean and was supportive. I think if anything Jean stayed away from Diana because she resented the comparisons. They certainly never bonded. She approved of Lynda and when Scherrie was hired Diana showed up at Mary's house unexpectedly during a group rehearsal. She knew Scherrie and liked her so she gave her approval on this as well. Mary had confided in Diana that she was upset with Motown's lack of support and Diana advised Mary to talk with Berry and pretty much left it at that.

    One fan visited Diana backstage in Vegas in 1976 and told me Diana was very upset with the way Cindy was fired. She questioned the fan on just who was this "Susaye" girl. I don't think Diana had anything against Susaye but she loved Cindy and was dismayed at how she was treated.

    All in all when all the lawsuits were flying in 1977 and 78, Mary appealed to Diana when it became apparent that Motown was entertaining a group of Supremes without an original member. It was Diana that went to Berry and shot it down.

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    It’s probably unpopular and likely Mary would not wish she’d done it - but I wish she had stayed with Scherrie or Susaye or someone else; after a lot of weak work and decline, High Energy showed promise.

    They would have needed a complete reinvention and an acceptance the greatest success was gone, but I question whether they wouldn’t have been at least as successful as they were - neither Mary nor the FLOS were a successful contemporary hit making act. Mary could still have written her book and gone to college etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spreadinglove21 View Post
    Whenever anything goes wrong in my life, or anywhere in the world for that matter, I always blame Diana Ross first. Makes life a whole lot easier. And when it comes to personal failings and shortcomings, personal responsibility is such a drag. Blame Diana first! The current shortage in the US of infant formula? Diana's fault.

    Seems perfectly natural to me. Apparently most of us already do it lol.
    I came across a thread the other day where the usual suspects were labelling forum members trolls and haters for simply not liking the perfume Diana was flogging online. It really is another world where sycophants create their own reality. I’ve always found it a bit creepy round the edges.

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    It's nice to read these comments about Diana being more involved with the post-Diana Supremes than I had known. It continues to seem that as time passes the truth of Diana's positive and generous acts finally emerge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    Diana did have an interest in every lady that joined the group, though it was not an obsession. She sweated blood, sweat and tears for the group and wanted them to continue with success, but not at her expense however.

    Also Diana did not "train" Jean as company press releases stated, she did champion Jean and was supportive. I think if anything Jean stayed away from Diana because she resented the comparisons. They certainly never bonded. She approved of Lynda and when Scherrie was hired Diana showed up at Mary's house unexpectedly during a group rehearsal. She knew Scherrie and liked her so she gave her approval on this as well. Mary had confided in Diana that she was upset with Motown's lack of support and Diana advised Mary to talk with Berry and pretty much left it at that.

    One fan visited Diana backstage in Vegas in 1976 and told me Diana was very upset with the way Cindy was fired. She questioned the fan on just who was this "Susaye" girl. I don't think Diana had anything against Susaye but she loved Cindy and was dismayed at how she was treated.

    All in all when all the lawsuits were flying in 1977 and 78, Mary appealed to Diana when it became apparent that Motown was entertaining a group of Supremes without an original member. It was Diana that went to Berry and shot it down.
    great info Bayou. what a great way to position Diana and her feelings on the group. she had worked herself nearly to death to establish the group and help it's success while a member. and after investing so much, its only natural that she would continue to care about the organization and want the best for it. of course she had to balance caring with not meddling. and i think she handled that well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    It’s probably unpopular and likely Mary would not wish she’d done it - but I wish she had stayed with Scherrie or Susaye or someone else; after a lot of weak work and decline, High Energy showed promise.

    They would have needed a complete reinvention and an acceptance the greatest success was gone, but I question whether they wouldn’t have been at least as successful as they were - neither Mary nor the FLOS were a successful contemporary hit making act. Mary could still have written her book and gone to college etc
    i think this is a very accurate statement. My interpretation of things is that when J and L left, mary wanted to be lead and use the group to eventually go solo. motown said no to her as lead but agreed to Scherrie being lead. and it seems motown was ok, more or less, with mary taking on much more lead material on the lps and definitely in the shows. To be honest though, i think that wasn't the best decision. Scherrie is an amazing singer and that isn't meant to knock mary or her abilities. Scherrie is just one of those wonderfully gifted and unique singers. yes after HMM she was lead on the singles but it seems she wasn't ever really spotlighted well with the group. on tv, in the stage act, she was definitely a far #2 to Mary and this prevented people from really making that connection with Scherrie. so people didn't know the group, didn't recognize the wonderful lead vocalist

    i've always thought the Supremes in a MS? combo could have continued long term, with some obvious and significant changes. their live act would have to be totally revamped, updated and improved. there would need to be a further development and presentation of all the personalities in the group, not just mary. and they could have become a bit of the "entertainment world establishment" Why couldn't they have done many of the things the Pointer Sisters ended up doing - guest spots on tv shows, commercials, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    Diana did have an interest in every lady that joined the group, though it was not an obsession. She sweated blood, sweat and tears for the group and wanted them to continue with success, but not at her expense however.

    Also Diana did not "train" Jean as company press releases stated, she did champion Jean and was supportive. I think if anything Jean stayed away from Diana because she resented the comparisons. They certainly never bonded. She approved of Lynda and when Scherrie was hired Diana showed up at Mary's house unexpectedly during a group rehearsal. She knew Scherrie and liked her so she gave her approval on this as well. Mary had confided in Diana that she was upset with Motown's lack of support and Diana advised Mary to talk with Berry and pretty much left it at that.

    One fan visited Diana backstage in Vegas in 1976 and told me Diana was very upset with the way Cindy was fired. She questioned the fan on just who was this "Susaye" girl. I don't think Diana had anything against Susaye but she loved Cindy and was dismayed at how she was treated.

    All in all when all the lawsuits were flying in 1977 and 78, Mary appealed to Diana when it became apparent that Motown was entertaining a group of Supremes without an original member. It was Diana that went to Berry and shot it down.
    Thank you for this information dear BayouMotownMan.

    Fondly,

    Roberta

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    I don't recall the circumstances around Cindy's final dismissal - can someone remind me? I know we've discussed it but I don't recall. Thanks -

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    I don't recall the circumstances around Cindy's final dismissal - can someone remind me? I know we've discussed it but I don't recall. Thanks -
    It was a slow burn building. Cindy's marriage wasn't in great shape and she herself admitted being a Supreme didn't mean the same to her anymore which I think contributed to how much heart she put into it. There was a change in her. Ultimately though it was Pedro's jealousy and wanting full control of Mary and the group that had everything to do with it. Cindy had been around since 1967, had legitimate say in the group's direction and had influence on Mary. Pedro saw her as a barrier to gaining that control and persuaded Mary to fire her which I don't think she ever really wanted to do. If I'm not mistaken I think Scherrie contemplated quitting the group as a result but changed her mind. Had Pedro not been in the picture, I think Mary, Scherrie and Cindy would have carried on much like the Three Degrees with Valerie, Helen and Cynthia did for 20 years. It's a shame she was let go. A lot of what made the Supremes legitimate left with her...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    It was a slow burn building. Cindy's marriage wasn't in great shape and she herself admitted being a Supreme didn't mean the same to her anymore which I think contributed to how much heart she put into it. There was a change in her. Ultimately though it was Pedro's jealousy and wanting full control of Mary and the group that had everything to do with it. Cindy had been around since 1967, had legitimate say in the group's direction and had influence on Mary. Pedro saw her as a barrier to gaining that control and persuaded Mary to fire her which I don't think she ever really wanted to do. If I'm not mistaken I think Scherrie contemplated quitting the group as a result but changed her mind. Had Pedro not been in the picture, I think Mary, Scherrie and Cindy would have carried on much like the Three Degrees with Valerie, Helen and Cynthia did for 20 years. It's a shame she was let go. A lot of what made the Supremes legitimate left with her...
    So much about the Supremes is steeped in sadness and misunderstanding. If only they had been able to avoid this.

    And then the debacles of Motown 25 and RTL and the fact that there was nothing at all to celebrate an end - nothing more than a picture reunion or some modest end in 1977 that was only a whimper.

    If only it could have ended like a picture I saw yesterday announcing a Doobie Brothers concert or tour featuring Michael MacDonald.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    So much about the Supremes is steeped in sadness and misunderstanding. If only they had been able to avoid this.

    And then the debacles of Motown 25 and RTL and the fact that there was nothing at all to celebrate an end - nothing more than a picture reunion or some modest end in 1977 that was only a whimper.

    If only it could have ended like a picture I saw yesterday announcing a Doobie Brothers concert or tour featuring Michael MacDonald.
    My guess / thought always has been that there could have been reunions but Mary put a knife in that possibility's heart with her first book, if not before then. From what we see in this thread, other information bubbling up in the past year or two, and of course contemporary events such as Diana's attendance at Mary's NY NY show, Diana and Cindy were generally cordial, at least. What's done is done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    It was a slow burn building. Cindy's marriage wasn't in great shape and she herself admitted being a Supreme didn't mean the same to her anymore which I think contributed to how much heart she put into it. There was a change in her. Ultimately though it was Pedro's jealousy and wanting full control of Mary and the group that had everything to do with it. Cindy had been around since 1967, had legitimate say in the group's direction and had influence on Mary. Pedro saw her as a barrier to gaining that control and persuaded Mary to fire her which I don't think she ever really wanted to do. If I'm not mistaken I think Scherrie contemplated quitting the group as a result but changed her mind. Had Pedro not been in the picture, I think Mary, Scherrie and Cindy would have carried on much like the Three Degrees with Valerie, Helen and Cynthia did for 20 years. It's a shame she was let go. A lot of what made the Supremes legitimate left with her...
    OK, lots of that sounds familiar. I do agree with your last sentences; MSC had more of a link to the original group and many of us loved Cindy -

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    Diana was there to support Cindy's Hippodrome show in the U.K. and Cindy acknowledged Diana during the show.

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    I do find how you saw it interesting seeing that Motown hadn’t put any interest in finding a replacement for Jean and Mary had secured her co-lead spot even before Scherrie came into the picture. I like the dynamics of the MSC combo but they needed better material.
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i think this is a very accurate statement. My interpretation of things is that when J and L left, mary wanted to be lead and use the group to eventually go solo. motown said no to her as lead but agreed to Scherrie being lead. and it seems motown was ok, more or less, with mary taking on much more lead material on the lps and definitely in the shows. To be honest though, i think that wasn't the best decision. Scherrie is an amazing singer and that isn't meant to knock mary or her abilities. Scherrie is just one of those wonderfully gifted and unique singers. yes after HMM she was lead on the singles but it seems she wasn't ever really spotlighted well with the group. on tv, in the stage act, she was definitely a far #2 to Mary and this prevented people from really making that connection with Scherrie. so people didn't know the group, didn't recognize the wonderful lead vocalist

    i've always thought the Supremes in a MS? combo could have continued long term, with some obvious and significant changes. their live act would have to be totally revamped, updated and improved. there would need to be a further development and presentation of all the personalities in the group, not just mary. and they could have become a bit of the "entertainment world establishment" Why couldn't they have done many of the things the Pointer Sisters ended up doing - guest spots on tv shows, commercials, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    I do find how you saw it interesting seeing that Motown hadn’t put any interest in finding a replacement for Jean and Mary had secured her co-lead spot even before Scherrie came into the picture. I like the dynamics of the MSC combo but they needed better material.
    here's how i've interpreted things in 73. and this is most definitely speculation. i'm pulling this together as my own opinion based on mary's books, randy's books, comments on here by lots of fans, etc.

    Motown was still pretty interested in the Supremes in early 72, as they still had solid bookings and had rebounded a bit on the charts with FJ. But AS and YWSSL did nothing much, the Jimmy Webb project was a disaster. by 73 the bookings really started to fall off, fighting within the group was rising, jean was even more difficult with not just mary but motown too. the last straw was the failure of BW.

    at this point Motown figured, alright - the group is done. J wants to leave so that's the end of the Supremes. we're finished.

    Mary has stated she was terrified that she could end up some day like Flo. broke and without any real prospects. Mary knew if the group left motown, they would relinquish the name. that [[combined with the heavy challenges of working with J and L) killed the idea for her of leaving the label. But what other options did she have?

    IMO motown was done with the group and done with mary. they had no interest in her as a soloist, no interest in a Mary-led Supremes and frankly no interest in The Supremes. Mary had no interest from any other labels, she had no options. i've heard that she had to plead with berry to give the group another chance, played on his emotional connection. who knows - maybe Diana helped here too. totally guessing with that

    there were still dates booked for the group so mary got Cindy back and recruited Scherrie. supposedly Ewart Abner flipped when he heard mary had hired Scherrie but i dont know about all of that. mary had no legal or contractual ability to "hire" anyone. more likely she just started training Scherrie and having her on stage for dates that weren't cancelled. and started introducing her to the press as "the new supreme"

    The sup fans still supporting the girls and in 74 they still toured with a decent schedule. finally whether it was berry feeling sorry for mary or the recognition that there was still some decent drawing power to the group, motown relented and the group was resigned

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    Quote Originally Posted by mowsville View Post
    Diana was there to support Cindy's Hippodrome show in the U.K. and Cindy acknowledged Diana during the show.
    Interesting; I didn't know that. Amazing that the Diana haters were able to show such vitriol for decades; seems to be crumbling now with facts like this coming to light bit-by-bit. Stay well!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    Interesting; I didn't know that. Amazing that the Diana haters were able to show such vitriol for decades; seems to be crumbling now with facts like this coming to light bit-by-bit. Stay well!
    There's video of it on Youtube - at least there was at one time. Cindy introduced Diana somewhat early in her set which may not have been the best move because everyone kept turning around to look at Diana throughout the show. Another interesting tidbit - the Hippodrome was the former Talk of the Town. Cindy mentions she remembers where she stood during that 1968 engagement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    Interesting; I didn't know that. Amazing that the Diana haters were able to show such vitriol for decades; seems to be crumbling now with facts like this coming to light bit-by-bit. Stay well!
    If so, it hasn't stopped you trying to label other forum members haters trolls and toads for thinking her moderately less then perfect. Why break old habits when it’s clearly what gets you off. Hmmm.

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    It's interesting that after Pedro was finally out of the picture, Motown was floating the idea of reforming the Supremes with Mary, Cindy and Scherrie in the early 80s. There have been plenty of discussions about that over the years here, but a shame it never got off the ground. I doubt such a line up would have achieved the success of the 60s Supremes or even JMC, but they could have done as well as the 80s incarnations of The Temptations and the 4 Tops, working steadily doing shows and putting out new music to please the core fans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    It was a slow burn building. Cindy's marriage wasn't in great shape and she herself admitted being a Supreme didn't mean the same to her anymore which I think contributed to how much heart she put into it. There was a change in her. Ultimately though it was Pedro's jealousy and wanting full control of Mary and the group that had everything to do with it. Cindy had been around since 1967, had legitimate say in the group's direction and had influence on Mary. Pedro saw her as a barrier to gaining that control and persuaded Mary to fire her which I don't think she ever really wanted to do. If I'm not mistaken I think Scherrie contemplated quitting the group as a result but changed her mind. Had Pedro not been in the picture, I think Mary, Scherrie and Cindy would have carried on much like the Three Degrees with Valerie, Helen and Cynthia did for 20 years. It's a shame she was let go. A lot of what made the Supremes legitimate left with her...
    Mary, Cindy and Scherrie were arguably the most visually and vocally appealing of the 70's groupings. At the time, Cindy did seem to not be into it as much as I remember seeing a You Tube video of Soul Train where she is just going through the motions in the start of one song and not even lip syncing. Cindy said that being a Supreme wasn't the same to her anymore and she had marriage problems that Mary alluded to her in book that she tried to comfort Cindy while going through her own marriage problems. Cindy and Mary still remained friendly after she left, Mary wrote when Cindy was saved she came over quite frequently to visit and when Mary needed someone to do the South American tour after Scherrie & Susaye refused because the group gave a farewell performance that Cindy agreed to go with her. I believe I read that Pedro did not go on the tour. Mary wrote in the one Anthology that Mary, Scherrie and Cindy was perhaps the nicest group so evidently they got along well but I do believe Pedro in the mix did cause problems. Mary also wrote Motown also wanted to replace Cindy at the time, it could be that Pedro may have just told her that at the time because he was "managing" the group. I love Susaye's voice but definitely agree had the Supremes gone on in any fashion that Mary, Scherrie and Cindy would have been the most cohesive group to do so plus their harmonies and blends were beautiful.

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    it's hard to compare the lineups. MSC had excellent harmonies on Sup 75, even if the song content was sometimes hit or miss. but the MSS grouping was truly amazing on record. IMO even stronger. Susaye's unique vocals and talents really re-established the group as 3 amazing singers. on record it worked beautifully. live - was a bit of a mess. the show itself was basically a disaster but there seems to have been 0 ability to avoid a vocal free for all. yes it's important be allow a singer to express him or herself. but there have to be agreed upon moments where you do and where you don't

    as for the Cindy Pedro conflicts, other than mary's books and bits and pieces from fans, i don't personally know too much. sounds like she, rightfully, wasn't just sitting back and letting pedro do whatever. given Cindy's tenure with the group, she did have the right to have a voice in things.

    maybe they should have gone back to the quartet model lol. MSSC lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    it's hard to compare the lineups. MSC had excellent harmonies on Sup 75, even if the song content was sometimes hit or miss. but the MSS grouping was truly amazing on record. IMO even stronger. Susaye's unique vocals and talents really re-established the group as 3 amazing singers. on record it worked beautifully. live - was a bit of a mess. the show itself was basically a disaster but there seems to have been 0 ability to avoid a vocal free for all. yes it's important be allow a singer to express him or herself. but there have to be agreed upon moments where you do and where you don't

    as for the Cindy Pedro conflicts, other than mary's books and bits and pieces from fans, i don't personally know too much. sounds like she, rightfully, wasn't just sitting back and letting pedro do whatever. given Cindy's tenure with the group, she did have the right to have a voice in things.

    maybe they should have gone back to the quartet model lol. MSSC lol
    Susaye was an excellent vocalist. I believe that Cindy as well as Scherrie and Susaye had conflicts with Pedro's "management". As for a quartet we did have MSSC on record for 2 songs on High Energy and one became the last top 40 pop hit. MSS were superb on recordings and would have moved the group into contemporary times but from what I have seen on You Tube their live performances were not as good as their recordings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim aka jtigre99 View Post
    Mary, Cindy and Scherrie were arguably the most visually and vocally appealing of the 70's groupings. At the time, Cindy did seem to not be into it as much as I remember seeing a You Tube video of Soul Train where she is just going through the motions in the start of one song and not even lip syncing. Cindy said that being a Supreme wasn't the same to her anymore and she had marriage problems that Mary alluded to her in book that she tried to comfort Cindy while going through her own marriage problems. Cindy and Mary still remained friendly after she left, Mary wrote when Cindy was saved she came over quite frequently to visit and when Mary needed someone to do the South American tour after Scherrie & Susaye refused because the group gave a farewell performance that Cindy agreed to go with her. I believe I read that Pedro did not go on the tour. Mary wrote in the one Anthology that Mary, Scherrie and Cindy was perhaps the nicest group so evidently they got along well but I do believe Pedro in the mix did cause problems. Mary also wrote Motown also wanted to replace Cindy at the time, it could be that Pedro may have just told her that at the time because he was "managing" the group. I love Susaye's voice but definitely agree had the Supremes gone on in any fashion that Mary, Scherrie and Cindy would have been the most cohesive group to do so plus their harmonies and blends were beautiful.
    In SUPREME FAITH, Mary also wrote that after one SMC show at Magic Mountain, Stevie Wonder came backstage. During his conversation with Mary, he shared some thoughts on Cindy's performance. He suggested that Mary think about replacing her which Mary found quite interesting as Stevie couldn't see Cindy. But he must have heard something in her vocals that seemed lacking.

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    Vocally, i think it was Susaye that brought something new and dynamic to the group. Her voice really stood out. Visually, Jean,Mary And Lynda made for a hot trio.

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    i realize it isn't really a fair comparison to compare Susaye and Cindy. Cindy is a very talented singer and entertainer but is more of a backing singer. this isn't to slight her any - given that she often sang the Soprano II part, she has a real talent for harmonizing and blending. that's very much needed in a group and she and M IMO had the best backing blend. they truly seemed to merge into just 1 voice. F and M were great singers but they still retailed rather distinct voices in the backing parts. but M and C were perfect.

    Susaye is a totally different singer. frankly totally different sound from any other supreme. her voice and vibrato seems to blend more with Scherrie. plus she had a whistle register, similar to what Minnie Ripperton at the time was doing and what more modern artists like Mariah Carey did. the Hollands were able to use this in a fascinating manner on Come Into My Life with those octave jumps that then blend into the synthesizer. very creative and interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i realize it isn't really a fair comparison to compare Susaye and Cindy. Cindy is a very talented singer and entertainer but is more of a backing singer. this isn't to slight her any - given that she often sang the Soprano II part, she has a real talent for harmonizing and blending. that's very much needed in a group and she and M IMO had the best backing blend. they truly seemed to merge into just 1 voice. F and M were great singers but they still retailed rather distinct voices in the backing parts. but M and C were perfect.

    Susaye is a totally different singer. frankly totally different sound from any other supreme. her voice and vibrato seems to blend more with Scherrie. plus she had a whistle register, similar to what Minnie Ripperton at the time was doing and what more modern artists like Mariah Carey did. the Hollands were able to use this in a fascinating manner on Come Into My Life with those octave jumps that then blend into the synthesizer. very creative and interesting.
    I think one of things that separates Cindy from the other Supremes is that she was never given a lead or even co-lead. She sung a line or two here and there, but otherwise was used strictly for background. Whether she just wasn’t good enough, or perhaps never given the chance is a point of conjecture.

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    Suzanne dePasse floated this in late 1982 after the success of the Temptations Reunion tour, which, although profitable, was a hot mess with singers not showing up and such. Mary didn't want to do it unless Berry was involved. When she went to his home he was clearly not interested in the group and was smarting over Diana leaving for RCA. Too many memories perhaps. So the idea died there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I think one of things that separates Cindy from the other Supremes is that she was never given a lead or even co-lead. She sung a line or two here and there, but otherwise was used strictly for background. Whether she just wasn’t good enough, or perhaps never given the chance is a point of conjecture.
    they started sharing lines in songs with Ladder and Bridge Over Troubled. then in their stage act too - like Love The One You're With. during the SMC era, there was a bit more of this. but in general she seems to be in a backing role versus featured role. I'm not sure one way or the other but i don't know that she was ever particularly interested in transitioning from backing to lead. other than in spotlights and occasion songs. but that's just my guess

    it appears Frank was approaching the girls and thinking about who they are, their individual sounds, etc. Smokey did this too. not sure they did enough recording as MSC to demonstrate this exactly - but they probably would have. if the Ivey Woodford tracks had been more of a focus on the Sup 75 album and a potential hit off of a song like Color My World Blue, then that production team might have continued their work. and i could imagine they could have looked to develop songs that would highlight the individual group members

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    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    Diana did have an interest in every lady that joined the group, though it was not an obsession. She sweated blood, sweat and tears for the group and wanted them to continue with success, but not at her expense however.

    Also Diana did not "train" Jean as company press releases stated, she did champion Jean and was supportive. I think if anything Jean stayed away from Diana because she resented the comparisons. They certainly never bonded. She approved of Lynda and when Scherrie was hired Diana showed up at Mary's house unexpectedly during a group rehearsal. She knew Scherrie and liked her so she gave her approval on this as well. Mary had confided in Diana that she was upset with Motown's lack of support and Diana advised Mary to talk with Berry and pretty much left it at that.

    One fan visited Diana backstage in Vegas in 1976 and told me Diana was very upset with the way Cindy was fired. She questioned the fan on just who was this "Susaye" girl. I don't think Diana had anything against Susaye but she loved Cindy and was dismayed at how she was treated.

    All in all when all the lawsuits were flying in 1977 and 78, Mary appealed to Diana when it became apparent that Motown was entertaining a group of Supremes without an original member. It was Diana that went to Berry and shot it down.
    Reading it through , a very educational thread!

    I didnít realize Cindy had been fired ! For what reason and by who ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    they started sharing lines in songs with Ladder and Bridge Over Troubled. then in their stage act too - like Love The One You're With. during the SMC era, there was a bit more of this. but in general she seems to be in a backing role versus featured role. I'm not sure one way or the other but i don't know that she was ever particularly interested in transitioning from backing to lead. other than in spotlights and occasion songs. but that's just my guess

    it appears Frank was approaching the girls and thinking about who they are, their individual sounds, etc. Smokey did this too. not sure they did enough recording as MSC to demonstrate this exactly - but they probably would have. if the Ivey Woodford tracks had been more of a focus on the Sup 75 album and a potential hit off of a song like Color My World Blue, then that production team might have continued their work. and i could imagine they could have looked to develop songs that would highlight the individual group members
    For me Cindy lacked a certain something, with Susaye proving a far more dynamic personality and vocalist. If a fine album such as Mary Scherrie & Susaye could die a dismal death, itís hard know which direction would have the right for the group to take. As regards the Supremes in general, i think had the group been put on ice from 77 - 80 to allow for individual projects, then return in 81 with a fresh new sound and image they might have found their niche.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    For me Cindy lacked a certain something, with Susaye proving a far more dynamic personality and vocalist. If a fine album such as Mary Scherrie & Susaye could die a dismal death, it’s hard know which direction would have the right for the group to take. As regards the Supremes in general, i think had the group been put on ice from 77 - 80 to allow for individual projects, then return in 81 with a fresh new sound and image they might have found their niche.

    I like this idea. I also wonder if in the back pocket of Berry Gordy's thinking was the possible plan B: where should Diana Ross as a solo act falter... a Supremes reunion act could be reintroduced for all's salvation? That could be a very good reason for him to keep The Supremes up and running and perceived as alive and legit...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    I like this idea. I also wonder if in the back pocket of Berry Gordy's thinking was the possible plan B: where should Diana Ross as a solo act falter... a Supremes reunion act could be reintroduced for all's salvation? That could be a very good reason for him to keep The Supremes up and running and perceived as alive and legit...
    Had that been the case, i hope Diana and Mary would have split the leads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    For me Cindy lacked a certain something, with Susaye proving a far more dynamic personality and vocalist. If a fine album such as Mary Scherrie & Susaye could die a dismal death, itís hard know which direction would have the right for the group to take. As regards the Supremes in general, i think had the group been put on ice from 77 - 80 to allow for individual projects, then return in 81 with a fresh new sound and image they might have found their niche.
    I believe their niche would be an "oldies" act. The Temptations where revived with Rick James. The Four Tops got two hit wonders [[Indestructible and Loco in Acapulco) in the start of their heyday.

    Motown was never interested in "oldies". They made enough money with reusing their catalog on other artists and greatest hits compilations.

    Money flowing in without handling the artists, their ego's and drama. Hmmm, I would like that too.

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    When I saw the Supremes in 1970 in Atlantic City Cindy came on stage first for Everybody’s GTRTL and sang the first verse then joined by Mary who sang verse and then by Jean who sang verse . In Supreme Faith Mary said At one point Cindy was upset about not getting more leads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    When I saw the Supremes in 1970 in Atlantic City Cindy came on stage first for Everybodyís GTRTL and sang the first verse then joined by Mary who sang verse and then by Jean who sang verse . In Supreme Faith Mary said At one point Cindy was upset about not getting more leads.
    What Mary was referring to in Supreme Faith was the MSC line up where she was splitting leads with Scherrie. Cindy was upset that she had no leads and complained about it. Mary said Cindy never really mentioned wanting to sing a lead at that time and that she got a part of a lead which Mary felt was fine and fair but also that Cindy remarked that if she didn't look out for herself no one would. Mary said she felt hurt because all of her efforts on Cindy's behalf were overlooked. She said that no one told her to leave the first time and that all of that time off was showing. Cindy really didn't sing solo until 1987,when Mary's Dreamgirl book gave rise to interest in former Supremes and her and the FLOs capitalized on that interest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    For me Cindy lacked a certain something, with Susaye proving a far more dynamic personality and vocalist. If a fine album such as Mary Scherrie & Susaye could die a dismal death, it’s hard know which direction would have the right for the group to take. As regards the Supremes in general, i think had the group been put on ice from 77 - 80 to allow for individual projects, then return in 81 with a fresh new sound and image they might have found their niche.
    i think MS&S died more from mismanagement and timing. Walking was really a big success for the girls, especially in the disco market. I think the problems with MS&S were:

    1. wrong lead single - berry always said to follow up with a song that was quite reminiscent of the hit. Let Yourself Go would have been just that. Wheel is a great song for dancing but it's too much for radio. there isn't enough melody, the chorus is practically shouted, etc. and it's just too different from Walking.

    2. Mary's decision to leave - the lp was released just prior to the disastrous Caesar's Palace gig. according to her book, it was during this engagement that she informed motown of our departure. what little promotion was happening for the lp died

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    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    When I saw the Supremes in 1970 in Atlantic City Cindy came on stage first for Everybody’s GTRTL and sang the first verse then joined by Mary who sang verse and then by Jean who sang verse . In Supreme Faith Mary said At one point Cindy was upset about not getting more leads.
    very cool!! had never heard this before but what a great story!! any more memories of that gig? what other songs? what gowns?

    and this was the first song in their act that night?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i think MS&S died more from mismanagement and timing. Walking was really a big success for the girls, especially in the disco market. I think the problems with MS&S were:

    1. wrong lead single - berry always said to follow up with a song that was quite reminiscent of the hit. Let Yourself Go would have been just that. Wheel is a great song for dancing but it's too much for radio. there isn't enough melody, the chorus is practically shouted, etc. and it's just too different from Walking.

    2. Mary's decision to leave - the lp was released just prior to the disastrous Caesar's Palace gig. according to her book, it was during this engagement that she informed motown of our departure. what little promotion was happening for the lp died
    Perhaps to survive the group needed to go a little more pop/mainstream as with some other black girl groups of the time. Driving Wheel”, though wrong choice for lead single is a far more soulful affair then “Let My Heart Do The Walking”. The same might also be said of most of the “MS&S” album.
    Marys announcement certainly didn’t help matters, but i have always considered the album way ahead of its time and a genre of music the public were not quite ready to embrace coming from the Supremes during that time frame. Had it been released a few years later it might well have found it’s audience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Perhaps to survive the group needed to go a little more pop/mainstream as with some other black girl groups of the time. Driving Wheel”, though wrong choice for lead single is a far more soulful affair then “Let My Heart Do The Walking”. The same might also be said of most of the “MS&S” album.
    Marys announcement certainly didn’t help matters, but i have always considered the album way ahead of its time and a genre of music the public were not quite ready to embrace coming from the Supremes during that time frame. Had it been released a few years later it might well have found it’s audience.
    totally agree. the album is extremely interesting and even experimental. yet i find it to still be a cohesive set. I think LYG should have been the lead single. then maybe Don't Want To Be Tied Down or even possibly Sweet Dream Machine. Tied Down would have continued their disco genre but Dream is really new and different and exciting. it picks up some of the elements, style and sound of HE [[the song, not the album). but i think it's a better song and i prefer Scherrie leads, although it's great that Susaye and Mary both get a verse. this song could have stretched them into some new areas. it would still have worked in the clubs but there's more to it than "mindless disco" and so R&B would have been all over it too. i think this would have helped them bridge the gap and not be earmarked solely as a disco act

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    Unfortunately doing stellar disco didn't always translate to 'hit' or sales. There was so much resistance by the conventional music industry , and just no room on the Top 40 /Soul playlists to accommodate so much product.

    By comparison, The Ritchie Family were HUGE in the clubs , yet largely ignored

    before IF THE WORLD JUST DANCE there was:



    how about this tasty interpretation:



    What the Supremes had going for them that the Ritchie Family did not, besides a name, was a well oiled
    record label backing them. But Motown did not push the Supremes as they should have. The DJs had plenty of material without them ....you had to cater to them, to the clubs ...get the product in their hands ...you had to go to them with special pressings and at no cost. They had gotten spoiled and weren't going to come to you.
    Without maximizing this avenue, The Supremes disco product didn't stand a chance, even though it was exceptional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Unfortunately doing stellar disco didn't always translate to 'hit' or sales. There was so much resistance by the conventional music industry , and just no room on the Top 40 /Soul playlists to accommodate so much product.

    By comparison, The Ritchie Family were HUGE in the clubs , yet largely ignored

    before IF THE WORLD JUST DANCE there was:



    how about this tasty interpretation:



    What the Supremes had going for them that the Ritchie Family did not, besides a name, was a well oiled
    record label backing them. But Motown did not push the Supremes as they should have. The DJs had plenty of material without them ....you had to cater to them, to the clubs ...get the product in their hands ...you had to go to them with special pressings and at no cost. They had gotten spoiled and weren't going to come to you.
    Without maximizing this avenue, The Supremes disco product didn't stand a chance, even though it was exceptional.
    As regards promotion for the “MS&S” album, Motown were probably just going through the motions with the probability the group would be breaking up. It’s a massive shame as even today the album holds up really well, and for me sounds more contemporary when compared to albums that other black girl groups were putting out around that time.
    ”Sweet Dream Machine”, “Closer Together”, “Let Yourself Go” and “Don’t Wanna Be Tied Down” all could and should have been hits of some kind.

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    my interpretations of things is that motown was caught offguard by the success of Walking. in looking at the chart data at the time, Walking was huge! and was on the charts a long time - both pop and dance. although it never got above #40 on the pop chart, i was on the Top 100 charts for much longer than you would have expected.

    mary mentions motown wanting to manage the group again. I think this was in response to the success of the song - motown figured out "hey the clubs are still hot for the girls, the Hollands have sort of hit on a sound, maybe with this MSS lineup things will perk back up"

    Bayou mentioned on here about how motown was sort of late to the game in regards to disco acts. and that with the success of Walking, motown thought "ok let's repurpose the Sups for this" and since there was the potential for some money to be made, they wanted to manage the group as opposed to Pedro. but we know that never happened

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