Introducing The Supremes Sept 15, 2005 14:03:17 GMT -5
Post by Motorcity on Sept 15, 2005 14:03:17 GMT -5
The group began as the Primettes. Formed for Florence Ballard; she occassionally sang with the Primes, who were future Temptations, Paul Williams and Eddie Kendrick and also Kell Osbourne. They and their manager, Milton Jenkins, thought a sister group would add to their shows. Florence asked Mary Wilson to join her and Betty Travis. Paul Williams recommended Diane Ross as the fourth member of the group.
The group performed locally in Detroit. Soon, Betty and Florence had to break due to poor grades before Betty eventually quit. Barbara Martin became their fourth member but also had to break to concentrate on her schoolwork. For a brief time, Mary and Diane performed as a duo until Florence and Barbara were permitted by their parents to return.
Florence's voice was considered the strongest of the four and she was their original lead singer.
After an impromptu audition for Smokey Robinson, he connected them to Berry Gordy for an official audition. Gordy suggested they finish school. The girls continued to hang around the Motown offices hoping to get their break. They still performed around the Detroit area which lead to the chance to record at Lupine Records. The recording didn't do well, so they returned to Motown and provided backgrounds for signed artists.
Finally, they were signed to Motown but had to change their name. Florence chose the name the Supremes.
Initially known as the no-hit Supremes, the group released about 8 singles before getting the Marvelettes' rejected "Where Did Our Love Go". By that time, Barbara had left the group, making them the trio that made history with three number 1 singles from the same album, with "Baby Love" and "Come See About Me".
In 1967, Cindy Birdsong became Florence's replacement and
the group was briefly known as Diana Ross and the Supremes.
Jean Terrell replaced Diane Ross in 1970. This form of the Supremes saw hits with "Nathan Jones", "Stoned Love", "Up the Ladder to the Roof" and "Floy Joy". This lineup also recorded three albums with the Four Tops producing the hit, "River Deep, Mountain High".
After various member rotations, the Supremes disbanded in 1979.