expo 67 lounge

Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

26 September 2006

The Supremes

The Supremes were one of Motown's signature acts in the 1960's, and one of the best known girl groups in musical history. Formed by Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard, the girls shot to stardom out of the poverty-stricken Brewster-Douglas Projects of Detroit, Michigan.

The Supremes' first few singles went unnoticed, but then in August 1964, they released "Where Did Our Love Go", which became their first #1 hit. The group had a total of 12 #1 singles between 1964 and 1970, and often appeared on such television shows as Dick Clark and Ed Sullivan.

Though Florence Ballard was the group's founder and original lead, Diana Ross came to the forefront and overshadowed Ballard early on. Producer Berry Gordy was aware that Ballard's voice was far more powerful than Diana's, but considered Diana's voice to be fresher and more commercial.

Tensions rose as Berry Gordy lavished all his attention on Diana Ross, and the situation was further complicated by a romantic liaison between the two. Personal problems and depression lead to Florence Ballard's dismissal in 1967, and Diana Ross left for a solo career in 1970.

As a child, I was always captivated by the look and sound of The Supremes. I have always loved their fabulous matching gowns and bouffant hairdos, not to mention their perfect little dance choreographies.

Original Supreme Mary Wilson recently put some Supremes gowns on exhibit. A montage of this exhibit can be viewed here.

photo: redferns.com

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Anonymous Chas007 said...

Wow... you are covering just about everything. The Supremes made a visit to Expo, the reason I remember this is because my sister was extremely upset that our vacation dates did not fall within the time frame of the Supremes appearance. However she got over it.
We did see The Fifth Dimension, and they put on a great show, come to think of it that would have to be my first concert.

1:59 am  
Blogger jason67 said...

That's really cool, I never knew they appeared at Expo.

Unfortunately, there are many appearances such as this that were never noted in Expo history, and would be forgotten altogether, if it weren't for the personal recollections of folks like you...

I've actually wanted to write a post about the Fifth Dimension, but I'm having trouble finding good pictures of them...

Do you remember where these shows were held?

7:31 am  
Anonymous Chas007 said...


I would want to say "Place of Nations" I don't know the exact French spelling, and I'm not really sure about it. All I know that there were a lot of people there and the venue was big. Well it was big to me at the time, I was only 14-15 yrs old. :)

2:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Supremes performed at the Expo Theatre on the Cite du Havre portion of Expo 67. A postcard showing the Expo Theatre with the Supremes advertised on the billboard was available for collectors. It was the Temptations who performed at Place des Nations on Isle St-Helene at Expo

2:00 pm  
Blogger chadd said...

Berry Gordie also gave Diana Ross another thing....a baby she named Rhonda. She only recently admitted Gordy as the father of her first child....shocking!

12:54 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attended one of the shows at the Expo Theatre,which had The Spinners opening for The Supremes. Both acts were brilliant,and I'll never forget Diana Ross' cat eyes glistening even from my distant seat! By the way,my first or second concert,the other being Neil Diamond opening for The Four Seasons at the same venue.

3:33 am  

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