Stop! In The Name of Love By The Supremes

October 5, 2015

The Supremes made music history on March 27, 1965, when they became the first group to have four number one hits in a row.

“Stop In The Name Of Love” was recorded January 5th and entered the Pop Chart February 20th.  Five weeks later it reached the top of the charts for a two week stay.

The question was, could they make it five in a row. Stay tuned.


Baby Love By The Supremes

April 23, 2015

It took the Supremes several years and a number of failed singles before they became successful. “Where Did Our Love Go” hit the top of the charts August 22, 1964. Two months later, on October 31, 1964, they reached number one again with “Baby Love,” where it remained for four weeks.

Their second number one hit established Diana Ross, Florence Ballard, and Mary Wilson as one of the top vocal groups in the United States. They may not have known it at the time but the best was yet to come.


Ain’t No Mountain High Enough 45 by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

October 9, 2012

Marvin Gaye sang duets with the likes of Diana Ross, Mary Wells, and Kim Weston but none could hold a candle to his work with Tammi Terrell. She remains one of the great “what might have beens” of soul music. She and Gaye placed 11 songs on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart but in 1970, at the age of 24, she passed away from brain cancer.

Their version of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enopugh” was far differewnt than the one Diana Ross took to number one. Gaye and Terrell were able to prod and coax each other as they brought passion to the lyrics and music.

Released during the early spring of 1967, it peaked at number 19 on the Pop Chart during its 12 week stay. Any compilation album of their material is worth owning.


Where Did Our Love Go 45 by The Supremes

February 16, 2012

“Where Did Our Love Go” is the song that made The Supremes superstars. They has had five singles make the American singles charts but the highest charting had been “When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes,” which reached number 23.

“Where Did Our Love Go” was released during the summer of 1964 and spent two weeks on top of the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart. It was the first of five straight number one single releases.


Nothing But Heartaches 45 by The Supremes

January 22, 2012

The Supremes were on a roll from mid-1964 to mid-1965 with five number one singles in a row. Diana Ross, Florence Ballard, and Mary Wilson sat near the top of the music world.

They released “Nothing But Heartaches” July 31, 1965. It was an up-tempo and smooth pop song, which was similar to their past hits. The music industry can be funny at times as it only reached number 11 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart. Their next release, “I Hear A Symphony,” would return them to the top of the charts.

The Supremes remain one of the most successful pop groups in history with 47 chart singles and 12 reaching number one.


You Can’t Hurry Love 45 by The Supremes

September 3, 2011

The Supremes were a hit making machine for the Motown Label. Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballad, (replaced by Cindy Birdsong), charted 12 number one hits between 1964-1969. All in all they charted 47 singles between 1962-1976. They were inducted into THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME during 1988.

One of their memorable hits was “You Can’t Hurry Love.” Released August 13, 1966, it topped the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart for two weeks.

It was a catchy up-tempo pop song that remained in your mind. It was representative of most of their big hits. The Supremes place in music history is secure as one the the greatest pop groups of the 1960s.


Reflections: The Definitive Performances 1964-1969 by The Supremes

May 23, 2009

Reflections: The Definitive Performances 1964-1969 is a DVD set that gathers hours of rare, lost, and forgotten performances by The Supremes. My only problem with some of these four decade and older performances is that I seem to remember when they originally aired, which means that I am older than they are.

The Supremes of the 1960’s — Diana Ross, Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, and replacement Cindy Birdsong — were the jewels in the Motown empire crown, selling millions of albums and producing twelve Number One pop singles. They came across as beautiful, sophisticated, and mature while appealing to both teenagers and adults; as well, they were a rare group that was appreciated by black and white music fans alike.

The tracks are wisely presented in chronological order and so you see The Supremes grow up before your eyes as the lashes get longer, the hair is piled higher, and the dresses become more expensive.

The performances are consistently interesting even if the video and sound quality is below average in places. While these problems may be annoying, there is not much that can be done with television shows over forty years old.

A performance of “Where Did Our Love Go” from The Steve Allen Show during 1964 finds the group looking young and happy. While the sound on “Come See About Me,” taken from Teen Town in 1965, may have a fuzzy quality, it finds the girls singing into one mic; plus, if you look closely you can see the Funk Brothers in the background.

One of my favorite Supremes tunes, “Nothing But Heartaches,” which is shown here as sung on the Hullabaloo show, is unfortunately another song with audio issues. Incidentally, I have a number of these shows in my collection and I have to say that the sound quality is consistently below par, which is too bad as it detracts from an otherwise spectacular performance.

The mistakes are presented alongside the brilliant performances. Diana Ross forgets the lyrics of “I Hear A Symphony” during the Mike Douglas Show in 1965. And the lip syncing of “Stop! In The Name Of Love” ranges from abysmal to funny.

When The Supremes were at the top of their game, though, few were any better. “You Can’t Hurry Love,” from The Ed Sullivan Show in 1966, and “Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone,” from the 1967 Andy Williams Show, illustrate what Sixties pop music is all about.

Reflections: The Definitive Performances 1964-1969 is a treat as it presents one of the great groups in the history of pop music. It would be nice to see a volume two as there are a number of Ed Sullivan performances that were missing. It would be nice to see some of their lesser known material collected as well. Still, if you have never seen any of these performances or if you are like me and are resurrecting them from the mist of time, they make for a worthwhile and entertaining set.