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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I've often wondered why Mary wanted that elusive recording contract. Other than "One Night With You" and "Turn Around", nothing she recorded from 1979 until her death was all that exciting or showcased her true talents. Mary was, more than anything, an entertainer and carved out a pretty decent 40 year "solo" career.
    i've long wondered why Mary continued to chase after that elusive "pop star" idea. sure it's the more lucrative but by 1979 she should have had some degree of self awareness about her abilities and where her vocal strengths were. and pop music really wasn't it. plus she was 35 in 1979 which is getting quite old to be a pop star, much less trying to launch a pop career.

    although probably significantly less money, something like an Anita Baker or a jazz singer would have been glorious for her. a beautiful way to highlight her talents.

    as for your comments on the FLOs, to be honest, i don't really know much about their careers. seems though that they've had significant enough bookings. i don't know how much more or less than Mary's. but to the general public, they're probably rather interchangeable. it probably would have been best to join forces. person conflicts aside, for mary, scherrie, lynda or whatever grouping could have had ALL of the oldies circuit. plus it wasn't SO many bookings that they couldn't still have had time for individual projects. mary could have still done the plays she was in. they certainly could have collaborated and made things better for all.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I've often wondered why Mary wanted that elusive recording contract. Other than "One Night With You" and "Turn Around", nothing she recorded from 1979 until her death was all that exciting or showcased her true talents. Mary was, more than anything, an entertainer and carved out a pretty decent 40 year "solo" career.
    I very much enjoyed her Walk The Line cd, with the exception of Bodyguard which was not in a good range for her and seemed out of place on the recording. I've gone back to that multiple time, most recently when her Motown Anthology was released.

  3. #53
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    For me it was about production. Some of the songs were cheesy and far below par..
    I did like No Matter What Sign ,but think it was dated for 1969 but may have worked a year earlier....but now with Jimmie Hendrix and the doors on scene..these songs were just to lite..
    To many gems on LC that went unnoticed..I would have went with a few of these gems.
    You Gave Me Love.
    Beginning of The end Of Love was a gem that remained in the vaults way to long.
    Not sure who was calling the shots but, something or somebody was making poor choices in my opinion..
    One of the reasons why I was hoping universal would finish the expanded editions.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    For me it was about production. Some of the songs were cheesy and far below par..
    I did like No Matter What Sign ,but think it was dated for 1969 but may have worked a year earlier....but now with Jimmie Hendrix and the doors on scene..these songs were just to lite..
    To many gems on LC that went unnoticed..I would have went with a few of these gems.
    You Gave Me Love.
    Beginning of The end Of Love was a gem that remained in the vaults way to long.
    Not sure who was calling the shots but, something or somebody was making poor choices in my opinion..
    One of the reasons why I was hoping universal would finish the expanded editions.
    Couldn't agree more. So many good songs left in the vaults. You're Gonna Hear from Me, Beginning of the End of Love, Am I Asking Too Much, and Stormy all come to mind.

  5. #55
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    I think for Mary to have gone solo in 1979 while disco was reigning Supreme was definitely the wrong time with the wrong material. Mary didn't start to do her Up Close show until much later in life and even then she had to add some Supremes songs to the show. In essence, Mary was a pop star as a member of the Supremes until about 1973 when the group hit hard times.
    I know that when Diana went solo in 1970 that there was no way they were also going to have Mary as a solo artist. Other labels many years later allowed group members to have a solo project while still being a member of the group. Had Motown done that for Mary while giving her soul ballads and perhaps duets with other male Motown artists like Eddie Kendricks on ballads she could have emerged as Motown's premier female soul balladeer.
    I guess Mary's stardom was always tied to the Supremes and that was pop stardom. Her personae changed during DRATS when she went from being the cool, sexy one with a calm demeanor to a bubbly personality. I can only guess it was far more lucrative to try to attain pop stardom but I always wondered why she didn't follow the Sade/Anita Baker/Roberta Flack route as her voice would have been perfect for that type of material. Motown must have really played with her confidence, IMHO.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i've long wondered why Mary continued to chase after that elusive "pop star" idea. sure it's the more lucrative but by 1979 she should have had some degree of self awareness about her abilities and where her vocal strengths were. and pop music really wasn't it. plus she was 35 in 1979 which is getting quite old to be a pop star, much less trying to launch a pop career.

    although probably significantly less money, something like an Anita Baker or a jazz singer would have been glorious for her. a beautiful way to highlight her talents.

    as for your comments on the FLOs, to be honest, i don't really know much about their careers. seems though that they've had significant enough bookings. i don't know how much more or less than Mary's. but to the general public, they're probably rather interchangeable. it probably would have been best to join forces. person conflicts aside, for mary, scherrie, lynda or whatever grouping could have had ALL of the oldies circuit. plus it wasn't SO many bookings that they couldn't still have had time for individual projects. mary could have still done the plays she was in. they certainly could have collaborated and made things better for all.
    Interestingly enough, it appears Lynda performed a "solo" set yesterday with Pam and Joyce Wilson on backup. They all look great! But if we're calling a spade a spade, isn't that "basically" another FLOs lineup, competing with Scherrie and Susaye?

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i've long wondered why Mary continued to chase after that elusive "pop star" idea. sure it's the more lucrative but by 1979 she should have had some degree of self awareness about her abilities and where her vocal strengths were. and pop music really wasn't it. plus she was 35 in 1979 which is getting quite old to be a pop star, much less trying to launch a pop career.

    although probably significantly less money, something like an Anita Baker or a jazz singer would have been glorious for her. a beautiful way to highlight her talents.

    as for your comments on the FLOs, to be honest, i don't really know much about their careers. seems though that they've had significant enough bookings. i don't know how much more or less than Mary's. but to the general public, they're probably rather interchangeable. it probably would have been best to join forces. person conflicts aside, for mary, scherrie, lynda or whatever grouping could have had ALL of the oldies circuit. plus it wasn't SO many bookings that they couldn't still have had time for individual projects. mary could have still done the plays she was in. they certainly could have collaborated and made things better for all.
    Joining forces would have been logical and rational but none of the decisions that were made by Mary and/or Pedro were logical or rational; they appeared to be driven by emotion or wild eyed dreams.

  8. #58
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    It's really something when you think that as SOON as the name change happened, the group began struggling HEAVILY. They had Reflections and In and Out of Love in the top ten but this was from a group who just months earlier had had number one hits with Love Is Here and Now You're Gone and The Happening but with the name change and Flo's exit, Motown was stuck.

    Like you go from a group that between WDOLG and IAOOL was spotless almost:
    10 number ones
    14 top fives
    14 top tens
    15 top twenty hits

    To AFTER 1967, it was this:
    2 number ones
    3 top fives
    4 top tens
    9 top 40s

    With some songs barely clinging to the top 40 and at least one missing it altogether.

    Combine that with changing times, the growing independence of some Motown acts [[namely Marvin & Stevie) and their show overshadowing the music, it was clear they were far from the group that had dazzled the world between 1964-67.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    For me it was about production. Some of the songs were cheesy and far below par..
    I did like No Matter What Sign ,but think it was dated for 1969 but may have worked a year earlier....but now with Jimmie Hendrix and the doors on scene..these songs were just to lite..
    To many gems on LC that went unnoticed..I would have went with a few of these gems.
    You Gave Me Love.
    Beginning of The end Of Love was a gem that remained in the vaults way to long.
    Not sure who was calling the shots but, something or somebody was making poor choices in my opinion..
    One of the reasons why I was hoping universal would finish the expanded editions.
    Agree regarding The Beginning Of The End Of Love” being a gem. It was certainly worthy of single consideration yet never even released.
    Does anyone have a recording date for the song?.

  10. #60
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    Joining the FLOS meant Mary would have been sharing a third of the profits. True, it also meant she would only be paying for a third of the expenses, but depending on how much the profits from a FLOS gig would be, it still might have been more profitable to be a solo act than a member of the group.

    And again, because it bears repeating, as a solo artist you only have to deal with yourself. Mary had been singing partners with eight other women from the time she was about 14 up until she was 33. Diana could only stomach five singing partners from 14 to 25, and she was sick of it. I imagine Mary was the same way.

    Mary's problem was her lack of self awareness [[the same issue Diana had going into RCA) and lack of a management team geared toward maximizing her opportunities. Those two things were never going to be assets for Mary after leaving the Supremes, and especially after leaving Motown. When you think of some of the people who got shoved down our throats in the 80s, and then think of Mary Wilson, and come up with Mary didn't have the talent, star power, etc to make it, it boggles my mind. But she was out there alone and apparently didn't have a clue about what to do. I still have yet to hear the name of even one person who was managing her during this time.

    I say kudos to Mary for at least recognizing that she was good on her own. She did rely way too much on the Supremes, but that was her legacy, more than anyone else's, aside from Diana and Florence, and her right. Taking everything into account, I think she was happier having the stage to herself, rather than touring again with Jean, Lynda, Scherrie or Susaye, when things could have gotten sticky.

    I also don't believe for one moment that the FLOS booked more or better gigs than Mary Wilson, not in the US.

  11. #61
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    I really don't think the name change from Supremes to DRATS made much of a difference to their success. I think if it were going to be a big issue, the public really would have turned "Reflections" off as soon as they found out it was a DRATS single. I agree with others that it all came down to the quality of music. The songs that hit, sounded like hits. The songs that didn't, don't. I'm on the fence with "Sign". I agree with others that there were better singles buried on albums and left in the vault, although I'm not sure I'm convinced that there were any monster hits left in the can.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I've often wondered why Mary wanted that elusive recording contract. Other than "One Night With You" and "Turn Around", nothing she recorded from 1979 until her death was all that exciting or showcased her true talents. Mary was, more than anything, an entertainer and carved out a pretty decent 40 year "solo" career.
    Money. If the recording contract was with a record label that knew exactly what to do with her, and she had management who knew exactly how to market her, it could have been a much more lucrative money stream than her touring set.

    In actuality, Mary may have wanted a recording contract, but there's very little evidence that she actively sought one out. I've always believed that had she constantly knocked on doors, some would have opened. So many artists have stories about shopping demos around and going on audition after audition to get a break. Mary shopped her GD demos for a time, but when she writes about that time, by then the demos sounded dated IMO and didn't do her the favors they might have had she shopped them immediately after leaving Motown.

    Because of her age, Mary was always going to have an uphill climb, but it wasn't unachievable. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, she chose not to bring in anyone who could help her with this. Her loss.

    But I agree, without it, she did carve out a pretty decent post Supremes career. She may not have been making Diana Ross money, but I bet she was making more than most of her peers in the "former group" category. And after her initial money issues when she finally had the courage to leave Pedro, we never heard about Mary struggling financially.

  13. #63
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    The Beginning Of The End Of Love was recorded 26th March 1968

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Money. If the recording contract was with a record label that knew exactly what to do with her, and she had management who knew exactly how to market her, it could have been a much more lucrative money stream than her touring set.

    In actuality, Mary may have wanted a recording contract, but there's very little evidence that she actively sought one out. I've always believed that had she constantly knocked on doors, some would have opened. So many artists have stories about shopping demos around and going on audition after audition to get a break. Mary shopped her GD demos for a time, but when she writes about that time, by then the demos sounded dated IMO and didn't do her the favors they might have had she shopped them immediately after leaving Motown.

    Because of her age, Mary was always going to have an uphill climb, but it wasn't unachievable. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, she chose not to bring in anyone who could help her with this. Her loss.

    But I agree, without it, she did carve out a pretty decent post Supremes career. She may not have been making Diana Ross money, but I bet she was making more than most of her peers in the "former group" category. And after her initial money issues when she finally had the courage to leave Pedro, we never heard about Mary struggling financially.
    Which is funny because now, my understanding, is that the money is in touring, not recording.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Money. If the recording contract was with a record label that knew exactly what to do with her, and she had management who knew exactly how to market her, it could have been a much more lucrative money stream than her touring set.

    In actuality, Mary may have wanted a recording contract, but there's very little evidence that she actively sought one out. I've always believed that had she constantly knocked on doors, some would have opened. So many artists have stories about shopping demos around and going on audition after audition to get a break. Mary shopped her GD demos for a time, but when she writes about that time, by then the demos sounded dated IMO and didn't do her the favors they might have had she shopped them immediately after leaving Motown.

    Because of her age, Mary was always going to have an uphill climb, but it wasn't unachievable. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, she chose not to bring in anyone who could help her with this. Her loss.

    But I agree, without it, she did carve out a pretty decent post Supremes career. She may not have been making Diana Ross money, but I bet she was making more than most of her peers in the "former group" category. And after her initial money issues when she finally had the courage to leave Pedro, we never heard about Mary struggling financially.
    And I also agree, to a large point, that Mary was more bark than bite. Did she REALLY want a recording contract? You can't tell me that there weren't at least several offers to her over the years, especially after DREAMGIRL and RTL, for at least curiosity sake. If Nedra Talley could get a record deal, no reason why Mary couldn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Which is funny because now, my understanding, is that the money is in touring, not recording.
    Yeah, now that seems to be the case, especially for artists that may not write and produce their own material.

    Did Mary ever dabble in songwriting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    And I also agree, to a large point, that Mary was more bark than bite. Did she REALLY want a recording contract? You can't tell me that there weren't at least several offers to her over the years, especially after DREAMGIRL and RTL, for at least curiosity sake. If Nedra Talley could get a record deal, no reason why Mary couldn't.
    I think she really wanted a contract. I just don't think she was savvy enough to get it. Think about it: Mary was a social butterfly. She had friends all over the place, all over the business. Singers, writers, producers, record execs...Mary was extremely popular. And with maybe the exception of her friendship with Marla Gibbs giving her the opportunity to appear on 227, Mary didn't seem to use any of those connects to further her career. Insane.

    To be fair, though, Mary did eventually sign with CEO Records. And then the label went belly up the day of or before her album hit the street, or something like that. There was interest from Atlantic Records, where Mary cut four or five songs. What happened with that, no one seems to know.

    Ian Levine was interested in Mary, but that isn't saying much. He was interested in anybody connected to Motown. Word on the street is that he tried to get the blind girl who won the Sing Supremes record contest back in the 60s to join a revamped Supremes.

    She also had some releases on some other labels throughout the 90s. If there were people interested in Mary in the 90s, when she was much older and in a whole other category than she would have been in the 80s, surely had she knocked on the right doors in the 80s something would have happened. Would she have had a Tina Turner or Patti Labelle re-emergence? Probably not. Those two were a bit of anomaly in the business at that point, me thinks. But she could have done something.

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    The 80s were up in the air with regards to how Mary could have carved out a place for herself beyond an "oldies act". How she didn't see what changing lanes did for Natalie Cole in the 90s is mind boggling. Mary has stated many times how much she loved jazz. Seems like I recall her saying that jazz was the bulk of what she listened to [[as an adult). That jazzy direction was tailor made for Mary. Instead, she was recording stuff like "U". No self awareness at all. Same with Diana. Had she used the 90s as a transition from whatever she was in the 80s to a mellow songstress, ala Stolen Moments, rather than doing "Take Me Higher" [[although I love the song), I think her musical legacy could have continued on high notes.

    I can't help but wonder if Berry's smothering of the Supremes contributed to their inability to figure out who they truly were as artists. I fear had she lived, or had she continued to forge a singing career after ABC, that Florence may have been in the same position. Many critiques have been made about even those ABC sessions and how wrong much of the material was for Florence. Perhaps some of that was her own doing, not knowing exactly what she should be doing on account of Gordy basically telling the three of them who they were. Once allowed to figure it out for themselves, they were like deer in the headlights. Just a thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Yeah, now that seems to be the case, especially for artists that may not write and produce their own material.

    Did Mary ever dabble in songwriting?
    I believe Mary co-wrote at least one song with her friend Brenda Russell.

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    in terms of why Mary didn't ever get a solo contract somewhere other than motown? of course i don't know exactly. when she was leaving the Sups in late 77, my guesses would be:

    1. by 1978 she was probably just too old for other labels. she was in her mid 30s and there were SO many younger potential artists to sign.

    2. her voice wasn't suited for disco which was king in 78.

    3. You had some gigolo managing her named Pedro. any label boss would probably be wary

    4. track record - the group didn't just disband. it sort of crashed and burned. the madison square garden fiasco. the horrible Caesar's Palace gig. plus only a blip or two of real action on the disco charts and nothing on R&B or pop.

    5. rumors - i would guess that people in the industry talk. if mary was trying to get a deal with label X, i'm sure someone there would have had knowledge of people at motown or would be chatting at a reception at some industry function. word spreads. and the major problems Mary and Pedro caused for motown plus the terrible intra-group relations would have been discussed over cocktails.

    then in the early 80s when she left motown and in the mid 80s when she published Dreamgirls, the reasons probably included:

    1. too old - she was approaching/well into her 40s.

    2. mary wilson's voice is just not a pop voice - Mary's just doesn't have that flexibility in her voice like a Natalie Cole or the Pointers. mary is more like an Anite Baker or Sade. but mary is nearly 15 years old than Anita and Sade

    3. history - sometimes major successes can be a burden. mary will always be associated as a supreme. a lot of people are just not willing to allow someone to expand beyond that. they're forever locked in that role or image.

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    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    It's really something when you think that as SOON as the name change happened, the group began struggling HEAVILY. They had Reflections and In and Out of Love in the top ten but this was from a group who just months earlier had had number one hits with Love Is Here and Now You're Gone and The Happening but with the name change and Flo's exit, Motown was stuck.

    Like you go from a group that between WDOLG and IAOOL was spotless almost:
    10 number ones
    14 top fives
    14 top tens
    15 top twenty hits

    To AFTER 1967, it was this:
    2 number ones
    3 top fives
    4 top tens
    9 top 40s

    With some songs barely clinging to the top 40 and at least one missing it altogether.

    Combine that with changing times, the growing independence of some Motown acts [[namely Marvin & Stevie) and their show overshadowing the music, it was clear they were far from the group that had dazzled the world between 1964-67.
    have you ever heard of Holland Dozier Holland? They wrote and produced the 10 Supremes records that went to number one before Florence left. They also wrote and produced all the top tens before Florence left. They also wrote and produced the first two top, tens before Florence left. And then they left a Motown. Martha and the Vandellas never had another top 10. The Four Tops never had another top 10 at Motown. Holland Dozier and Holland were responsible for almost all of the top 10 product of both of those groups as well as the Supremes. If youíre going to compare before, and after, you might also want to include what it is youíre comparing. You keep me hanging on versus a Composer. stop in the name of love versus some things you never get used to. You canít hurry love versus the weight. Baby love versus no matter what sign you are. The Happening versus forever came today. Do you think that the material that was released before and after Florence left itís fairly similar and itís quality and radio friendly attributes? Sam might argue that the records recorded after Florence left the group or a giant step down from what they recorded prior to that, which, if true, might have an impact on the sales. I could be wrong. Maybe the composer and the weight and some things you never get used to wouldíve been top 10 records.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    have you ever heard of Holland Dozier Holland? They wrote and produced the 10 Supremes records that went to number one before Florence left. They also wrote and produced all the top tens before Florence left. They also wrote and produced the first two top, tens before Florence left. And then they left a Motown. Martha and the Vandellas never had another top 10. The Four Tops never had another top 10 at Motown. Holland Dozier and Holland were responsible for almost all of the top 10 product of both of those groups as well as the Supremes. If you’re going to compare before, and after, you might also want to include what it is you’re comparing. You keep me hanging on versus a Composer. stop in the name of love versus some things you never get used to. You can’t hurry love versus the weight. Baby love versus no matter what sign you are. The Happening versus forever came today. Do you think that the material that was released before and after Florence left it’s fairly similar and it’s quality and radio friendly attributes? Sam might argue that the records recorded after Florence left the group or a giant step down from what they recorded prior to that, which, if true, might have an impact on the sales. I could be wrong. Maybe the composer and the weight and some things you never get used to would’ve been top 10 records.
    i think there are a whole range of reasons as to why the group's chart performance dropped. sure 1 huge reason was HDH's departure. but it's not like HDH waxed nothing but #1s AFTER they left motown. sure there was definitely some good music at Invictus but it seems much of their magic was gone too. which brings up the question - had they stayed at motown would their run have continued?

    after "the summer of love" in 67, the growing unrest and riots with students, Woodstock and so many other influences, the younger generation wanted something different that what most of motown was releasing. motown didn't keep up with the times, at least not to the degree they had before. Motown defined music trends in the years 64 - 67. they followed music trends from 68 on.

    we've also talked about how much quality work the girls recorded. when they recorded YCHL and YKMHO, they also recorded Going Down 3rd Time, There's No Stopping Us, Mother Dear #3, Love is Here, Shake Me Wake Me, refelctions, Misery Makes it's Heart, Then, I Guess I'll always love you, going all the way to true love, come on and see me, in and out of love, the happening, all i know about you. all of this was [[more or less) recorded within the span of 12 - 18 months. any of these tunes could have been singles. and while it's true that YCHL and the other big hits really did stand out of the crowd even among these superstar recordings, every one of these is lightyears better than Composer or much of the stuff they did in 68 and 69. all of the people involved had just reached their zenith and you can't expect that to last forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Interestingly enough, it appears Lynda performed a "solo" set yesterday with Pam and Joyce Wilson on backup. They all look great! But if we're calling a spade a spade, isn't that "basically" another FLOs lineup, competing with Scherrie and Susaye?
    No it is not. This was a Lynda Laurence solo show with backing vocalists, totally different from the FLOs act which is a Supremes tribute act.

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    If the Diana! TV special flopped in the ratings it might have been because ABC ran it at 10:00 PM on a Sunday night. Not actually the right time slot for the J5 fans to be up watching when they have school in the morning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenpwood View Post
    If the Diana! TV special flopped in the ratings it might have been because ABC ran it at 10:00 PM on a Sunday night. Not actually the right time slot for the J5 fans to be up watching when they have school in the morning.
    i wonder if that was possibly done to accommodate time zones. 10 EST, 9 CST, 8 MST, 7 PST?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i wonder if that was possibly done to accommodate time zones. 10 EST, 9 CST, 8 MST, 7 PST?
    In those days, that only happened for live events like The Oscars. That special was obviously pre-taped. It sounds to me like ABC wanted to burn it off for some reason. Typically, a special like that would be run at 8 or 9 PM. I don't recall anything in it that wasn't family friendly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i think there are a whole range of reasons as to why the group's chart performance dropped. sure 1 huge reason was HDH's departure. but it's not like HDH waxed nothing but #1s AFTER they left motown. sure there was definitely some good music at Invictus but it seems much of their magic was gone too. which brings up the question - had they stayed at motown would their run have continued?

    after "the summer of love" in 67, the growing unrest and riots with students, Woodstock and so many other influences, the younger generation wanted something different that what most of motown was releasing. motown didn't keep up with the times, at least not to the degree they had before. Motown defined music trends in the years 64 - 67. they followed music trends from 68 on.

    we've also talked about how much quality work the girls recorded. when they recorded YCHL and YKMHO, they also recorded Going Down 3rd Time, There's No Stopping Us, Mother Dear #3, Love is Here, Shake Me Wake Me, refelctions, Misery Makes it's Heart, Then, I Guess I'll always love you, going all the way to true love, come on and see me, in and out of love, the happening, all i know about you. all of this was [[more or less) recorded within the span of 12 - 18 months. any of these tunes could have been singles. and while it's true that YCHL and the other big hits really did stand out of the crowd even among these superstar recordings, every one of these is lightyears better than Composer or much of the stuff they did in 68 and 69. all of the people involved had just reached their zenith and you can't expect that to last forever.
    The biggest reason was the focus of the DRATS shifted, and thus began the PUSH to get Diana into the small screen stratosphere; let's do TCB, let's do GIT, let's get her some speaking lines on Tarzan, let's pair her up with Dinah and Lucy, let's have her host Hollywood Palace, and then it was like, oh shite, we better release some records.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    The biggest reason was the focus of the DRATS shifted, and thus began the PUSH to get Diana into the small screen stratosphere; let's do TCB, let's do GIT, let's get her some speaking lines on Tarzan, let's pair her up with Dinah and Lucy, let's have her host Hollywood Palace, and then it was like, oh shite, we better release some records.
    i think that's part of it but if we look across the material they recorded, they just didn't really have the goods. very few of them are compelling. but at the same time listen to Sugar and Spice or Natural Resources by MRATV, Four Top Now! or Soul Spin, or marvelettes In Full Bloom. none of these were a level of quality that prior material was

    seems like the Temps were holding their own with the new Whitfield stuff. i'm not as familiar with their material as other groups but i thought i read Cloud Nine had that amazing title track but the rest of the lp wasn't really the same. but later lps really raised the bar

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    Been a while since I read this but
    In regards to Mary and Ian Motorcity..
    Ian wrote about it somewhere, thought it was here not sure but as I recall ...
    He wanted Mary on board for an album.she wanted money up front, like 50 grand...he paid..he got one song ,Oo Child and she took off
    No album..they folded..
    Maybe someone else can fill in the blanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    Been a while since I read this but
    In regards to Mary and Ian Motorcity..
    Ian wrote about it somewhere, thought it was here not sure but as I recall ...
    He wanted Mary on board for an album.she wanted money up front, like 50 grand...he paid..he got one song ,Oo Child and she took off
    No album..they folded..
    Maybe someone else can fill in the blanks
    From what I recall, Ian Levine started NIGHTMARE RECORDS in 1987 to record on Kim Weston. Weston connected Levine to Mary, who recorded "Don't Get Mad, Get Even". Levine later went on to recruit over 100 former Motown stars.

    In 1989, Levine offered Mary a contract, now under Motor City Records, and she recorded OOH CHILD. Around this time, Levine was busy recording Jean, Lynda, and Scherrie, but struggled to find distributors for his product. He managed to get a hit, on all people, with Frances Nero. But Nero immediately started questioning her royalties which disillusioned many of the artists, including Mary, that he had signed.

    Mary, being business savvy, saw this as a sign to look elsewhere and started shopping OOH CHILD, resulting in a contract with CEO. Claiming that Levine was too busy recording other artists with questionable ethics regarding future payment, Mary hired a new manager who got her out of her Levine contract and kept her signing bonus.

    Levine, at least in my opinion, was too ambitious, promising success to too many artists that hadn't had hits in years.

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    I think the extent of the artistic vision that Diana and Mary had for their careers is along the lines of: Singing popular songs [[preferably hits they made) to the best of their abilities while wearing glamorous clothes and making as much money as possible. Later Diana added wanting to sing songs that were positive and uplifting.

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    It didn't flop it just didn't attract the viewership TCB did or what Gordy wanted for Diana. I would better myself to call the special a mild success. I don't think it won its time slot, but I can't remember for sure.

    Actually none of Diana's tv specials, including 1977 and 1981 were huge ratings winners.

    Disgustingly Out Of Darkness did poorly in the ratings as well. Her last movie Double Platinum did much better, but one has to wonder if that was because of Brandy, who was a much hotter artist at the time. The ratings should have been reversed, OOD almost superceded LSTB in terms of Ross's acting abilities. A brilliant, heart-wrenching performance.

    I have no idea why she stopped making TV film.

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    As far as when was the opportune time for Mary to go solo, hindsight is always perfect vision.

    The time to make a break is when your group is hot, such as what Diana did with Someday We'll Be Together.

    With this philosophy I think the best time for Mary to have made the solo move would have been after the release of the Floy Joy lp. She had major hit records after Ross left and became more visible in the act itself. During the following two singles off the FJ lp, which didn't do well, it would have been a good time for Mary to issue a solo lp in an effort to test the waters.

    When a group member waits until their group is cold to go solo it's basically like starting all over again. Jean Terrell waited five years to issue a solo lp. Sorry Jean, but the record buying public had forgotten you by then. Likewise with Mary in 1979, the group was dead and buried and she was associated with that. So launching her solo career then, as I said, was like starting all over, as though they had never been popular recording artists.

    But Motown would have none of that

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    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post

    Disgustingly Out Of Darkness did poorly in the ratings as well. Her last movie Double Platinum did much better, but one has to wonder if that was because of Brandy, who was a much hotter artist at the time.
    Really? One has to wonder? I'd wager about 99 percent of the viewing audience was because of Brandy.

    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    The ratings should have been reversed, OOD almost superceded LSTB in terms of Ross's acting abilities. A brilliant, heart-wrenching performance.
    I'm actually going to go further than that and say Out of Darkness was Diana's best acting ever. I've actually cooled off of her LSTB performance. She was unquestionably good, but when I watch it now, I'm not quite as impressed as I once was. I think her singing and connection with the music is what really makes LSTB worthwhile, not so much her acting. Out of Darkness was so unexpected. I don't think anyone saw it coming, that Diana would even portray a character with those issues. She played that part brilliantly. I think she deserved an Emmy for Out of Darkness more than she deserved an Oscar for LSTB.

    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    I have no idea why she stopped making TV film.
    Same reason she stopped making quality music...too much work involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    As far as when was the opportune time for Mary to go solo, hindsight is always perfect vision.

    The time to make a break is when your group is hot, such as what Diana did with Someday We'll Be Together.

    With this philosophy I think the best time for Mary to have made the solo move would have been after the release of the Floy Joy lp. She had major hit records after Ross left and became more visible in the act itself. During the following two singles off the FJ lp, which didn't do well, it would have been a good time for Mary to issue a solo lp in an effort to test the waters.

    When a group member waits until their group is cold to go solo it's basically like starting all over again. Jean Terrell waited five years to issue a solo lp. Sorry Jean, but the record buying public had forgotten you by then. Likewise with Mary in 1979, the group was dead and buried and she was associated with that. So launching her solo career then, as I said, was like starting all over, as though they had never been popular recording artists.

    But Motown would have none of that
    I absolutely agree and have made those points before myself. The only problem was Mary's self doubt. Had she had the confidence of a Diana or Florence, there's no telling how different the Mary story is. Yes, Mary was always a confident performer. But I think that confidence relied on her sharing the stage with Diana and Florence, and then later the replacements. Diana and Flo were confident enough to stand onstage alone and do what they do. Mary played the scared game, stayed at the fair too long, and a lot of options she would have had, dried up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    From what I recall, Ian Levine started NIGHTMARE RECORDS in 1987 to record on Kim Weston. Weston connected Levine to Mary, who recorded "Don't Get Mad, Get Even". Levine later went on to recruit over 100 former Motown stars.

    In 1989, Levine offered Mary a contract, now under Motor City Records, and she recorded OOH CHILD. Around this time, Levine was busy recording Jean, Lynda, and Scherrie, but struggled to find distributors for his product. He managed to get a hit, on all people, with Frances Nero. But Nero immediately started questioning her royalties which disillusioned many of the artists, including Mary, that he had signed.

    Mary, being business savvy, saw this as a sign to look elsewhere and started shopping OOH CHILD, resulting in a contract with CEO. Claiming that Levine was too busy recording other artists with questionable ethics regarding future payment, Mary hired a new manager who got her out of her Levine contract and kept her signing bonus.

    Levine, at least in my opinion, was too ambitious, promising success to too many artists that hadn't had hits in years.
    I applaud Ian for the idea. The execution, on the other hand, was atrocious. It's sad that he was the one who thought of this. Had Motown been smart, in the wake of Motown 25's success, and as the 80s wore on and the 60s nostalgia was through the roof, it would have created a sub-label where it re-signed a lot of those old Motown artists. Perhaps in Motown's hands, regrouped Marvelettes, Contours, Velvelettes, and folks like Kim Weston, Brenda Holloway, Jimmy Ruffin, could have been paired with a retro but current sound, which honestly was all the rage, and yielded far, far, far better quality material than what Ian gave to these legends.

    Of course, there's almost zero chance Mary or Jean would have had anything to do with official Motown product at that point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    It didn't flop it just didn't attract the viewership TCB did or what Gordy wanted for Diana. I would better myself to call the special a mild success. I don't think it won its time slot, but I can't remember for sure.

    Actually none of Diana's tv specials, including 1977 and 1981 were huge ratings winners.

    Disgustingly Out Of Darkness did poorly in the ratings as well. Her last movie Double Platinum did much better, but one has to wonder if that was because of Brandy, who was a much hotter artist at the time. The ratings should have been reversed, OOD almost superceded LSTB in terms of Ross's acting abilities. A brilliant, heart-wrenching performance.

    I have no idea why she stopped making TV film.
    I thought I had heard that Diana was contracted for three tv films; Out of Darkness in 1994, Double Platinum in 1999. Not sure what the third was to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I thought I had heard that Diana was contracted for three tv films; Out of Darkness in 1994, Double Platinum in 1999. Not sure what the third was to be.
    I wonder if it was to be Hot Snow, the Valaida Snow biopic that never was...

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    my guess is the fact that OOD was so well done and then so underappreciated had much to do with her interest in continuing to pursue projects. she invested so much of herself in that role and so much time. it also required so much time aware from her family.

    i'm not meaning to say that Diana would only do things that generate tons of awards but to have such a work be ignored by the Emmys, the viewing public, etc had to be wildly discouraging.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post

    i'm not meaning to say that Diana would only do things that generate tons of awards but to have such a work be ignored by the Emmys, the viewing public, etc had to be wildly discouraging.
    yes Tracee is still distraught over crap like not being invited onto late nite gossip shows.

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    I definitely watched Double Platinum cause Brandy was on it. I mean it did get me to buy Diana's album.

    But it seems it didn't motivate anyone else besides the diehards [[which I am not) and besides it probably only helped Brandy, I think I actually bought Never Say Never BECAUSE of the movie since it had the song "Happy" on it [[I already was familiar with "Have You Ever").

    And I bought EDIAND mainly cause I believed Brandy would be on it [[they even sang it together on Oprah IIRC) and was soooo disappointed when she wasn't.

    Out of Darkness was so random - despite the good reviews, so I'm sure few really paid attention to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I thought I had heard that Diana was contracted for three tv films; Out of Darkness in 1994, Double Platinum in 1999. Not sure what the third was to be.
    Only one I can recall was Motown 40 that she hosted for ABC [[all three programs aired on ABC). But I don't know if that counted. It seems after OOD, the ABC deal either went kaput or was finished. IDK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    It didn't flop it just didn't attract the viewership TCB did or what Gordy wanted for Diana. I would better myself to call the special a mild success. I don't think it won its time slot, but I can't remember for sure.

    Actually none of Diana's tv specials, including 1977 and 1981 were huge ratings winners.

    Disgustingly Out Of Darkness did poorly in the ratings as well. Her last movie Double Platinum did much better, but one has to wonder if that was because of Brandy, who was a much hotter artist at the time. The ratings should have been reversed, OOD almost superceded LSTB in terms of Ross's acting abilities. A brilliant, heart-wrenching performance.

    I have no idea why she stopped making TV film.
    You forgot to mention the soundtrack to the "Diana!" TV special actually wasn't too successful. It only reached number 46 on the Billboard 200, a far cry from the DRATS/Temptations first TV special's soundtrack to TCB, which reached number 1 and this was three years later. Then again, the album to the DRATS/Tempts' Broadway TV special, "GIT", didn't do so hot either [[only reaching the bottom of the top 40 at number 38).

    I reckon you COULD call it a moderate success: Diana got an Emmy nomination allegedly from it. Oddly enough the only Emmy she got a nod on.

    As for why she stopped making TV films. Well after her marriage to Arne fell apart and then all her demons coming to surface, I don't think she was in the mood to do anything else, and then the RTL debacle nearly destroyed her for good. So after that, she decided "screw it".

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I really don't think the name change from Supremes to DRATS made much of a difference to their success. I think if it were going to be a big issue, the public really would have turned "Reflections" off as soon as they found out it was a DRATS single. I agree with others that it all came down to the quality of music. The songs that hit, sounded like hits. The songs that didn't, don't. I'm on the fence with "Sign". I agree with others that there were better singles buried on albums and left in the vault, although I'm not sure I'm convinced that there were any monster hits left in the can.
    Well we have to think that Reflections hit because it was the Supremes [[Diana, Mary and a departing Flo) and HDH at the peak of their powers. In and Out of Love being successful just off their name but not well enough as Reflections.

    Afterwards, with HDH gone and Motown reeling, no one knew what to do with them. They got lucky with Love Child because the music scene had drastically changed to grittier soul, including the psychedelic sound from Sly but, besides from Livin' in Shame and I'm Gonna Make You Love Me, the magic was gone.

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    The third movie was to be Hot Snow...
    I think I read someone was paid to write a script ,took the money n ran.
    The project fell apart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Well we have to think that Reflections hit because it was the Supremes [[Diana, Mary and a departing Flo) and HDH at the peak of their powers. In and Out of Love being successful just off their name but not well enough as Reflections.

    Afterwards, with HDH gone and Motown reeling, no one knew what to do with them. They got lucky with Love Child because the music scene had drastically changed to grittier soul, including the psychedelic sound from Sly but, besides from Livin' in Shame and I'm Gonna Make You Love Me, the magic was gone.
    But within a year it was back with Someday Weíll Be Together

    All this is relative. A #9 or number 20 hit for Diana or the Supremes is a flop but itís big for Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers and the New Supremes and the originals etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    have you ever heard of Holland Dozier Holland? They wrote and produced the 10 Supremes records that went to number one before Florence left. They also wrote and produced all the top tens before Florence left. They also wrote and produced the first two top, tens before Florence left. And then they left a Motown. Martha and the Vandellas never had another top 10. The Four Tops never had another top 10 at Motown. Holland Dozier and Holland were responsible for almost all of the top 10 product of both of those groups as well as the Supremes. If you’re going to compare before, and after, you might also want to include what it is you’re comparing. You keep me hanging on versus a Composer. stop in the name of love versus some things you never get used to. You can’t hurry love versus the weight. Baby love versus no matter what sign you are. The Happening versus forever came today. Do you think that the material that was released before and after Florence left it’s fairly similar and it’s quality and radio friendly attributes? Sam might argue that the records recorded after Florence left the group or a giant step down from what they recorded prior to that, which, if true, might have an impact on the sales. I could be wrong. Maybe the composer and the weight and some things you never get used to would’ve been top 10 records.
    There was no way songs like The Composer or The Weight would've been top ten hits. Motown was basically looking at the post-Flo DRATS as a Vegas/casino/show business act than a musical one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    But within a year it was back with Someday We’ll Be Together

    All this is relative. A #9 or number 20 hit for Diana or the Supremes is a flop but it’s big for Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers and the New Supremes and the originals etc
    I purposely didn't mention SWBT because of the history behind it almost being a Diana solo. I mean she had to leave the Supremes with a bang some kind of way!

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    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    I purposely didn't mention SWBT because of the history behind it almost being a Diana solo. I mean she had to leave the Supremes with a bang some kind of way!
    I also wouldn't be surprised if Someday hit big because it was advertised as Diana's swan song with the Supremes. It also was released at the right time: the end of the sixties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    I wonder if it was to be Hot Snow, the Valaida Snow biopic that never was...
    Diana was supposed to star in some kind of May/December romance movie with Blair Underwood in the mid 90s. I wonder if this was under her or from an outside offer.

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