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The Motown Gossip Thread

Of course I totally anticipate that this will turn into a Diana Ross thread, but I’m really interested in hearing dish on the other stars in the stable as well - Smokey, The Temptations, Mary Wells, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder and of course, The Jackson Five. Anything that you can share.

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by Anonymousreply 495October 26, 2023 1:12 PM

It was Berry Gordy’s little fiefdom. But he put too much emphasis on Diana and then the Jacksons at the expense of his other acts. But Marvin and Stevie were too brilliant to be held back by him.

by Anonymousreply 1February 24, 2023 4:07 PM

Marvin was murdered by his father.

by Anonymousreply 2February 25, 2023 12:34 AM

Lots of stuff has been uncovered about Marvin…not good stuff either. One of his wives was underage when they got together and he was cruel to her. Marvin Sr. was a prick for killing his son, Marvin Jr. had some issues.

Probably because of Sr.

by Anonymousreply 3February 25, 2023 12:40 AM

I had a long talk one afternoon with Mrs. Edwards, Esther Gordy, Berry's sister at the museum when no one else was in. We sat in the office and the reminisced. She preferred the early talent, and took us around and explained everything in the studio. It was great.

Except she didn't seem to think much of the Temptations, compared to the Four Tops.

A real pro and sharp as a blade.

by Anonymousreply 4February 25, 2023 12:42 AM

I read that Martha Reeves didn't approve of the chorus of her Vandellas single "I Can't Dance To That Music You're Playin'," so she only sang the song verses and was overdubbed on the chorus parts by Syreeta ("Rita") Wright, who herself sounded a lot like non-Motowner Polly Brown trying to approximate Diana Ross.

by Anonymousreply 5February 25, 2023 2:26 AM

The biopic they should have made is Marvin Gaye with Jesse L. Martin.

THAT would have been interesting.

by Anonymousreply 6February 25, 2023 2:40 AM

Surprised that there is not more dirt being exposed about the organization

by Anonymousreply 7February 25, 2023 2:55 AM

So I take it that the Four Tops were all tops? Well, except for that one who maybe put a bit too much heart and soul in his dancing. See if you can spot him!

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by Anonymousreply 8February 25, 2023 11:08 AM

This one references the dislike towards Berry Gordy's star performer and lover, Diana Ross. The gossip is really focused on 3:35, where David Ruffin ad-libs his part in a duet to upstage Diana Ross.

[Quote]Tony Turner reveals the following in his book, "Deliver Us From Temptation:"

[Quote]While the Temptations and Supremes rehearsed for an joint appearance on the "Ed Sullivan Show," David Ruffin became angry, because the set featured several boxes with the names "The Temptations" and "The Supremes," all across them but if those names came up thirty times, the name "Diana Ross" came up sixty times. Worst of all, her name was overlapping not just the Supremes name but the Temptations too. So visually, you had something like, "Diana Ross Temptations-Diana Ross Supremes and there was nothing the Tempts could do about it.

[Quote]The real problem started when the two groups started rehearsing and realized the Tempts songs and the Supremes songs were arranged in different keys and Diana could not sing in David's key. As usual, after the rehearsal Diana started complaining about the whole thing and when the Tempts left and came back to rehearsal the next day they all knew she must have run and called Berry Gordy because everything had been changed. Overnight, somebody had transposed the Tempts charts into Diana's key and rehearsed the band to play the new charts. The guys were shocked. They hadn't worked with Diana in a while and they weren't used to seeing her treated almost like a solo star with her own separate staff and everything. Little did they know, Diana had the nerve to be upset because she had the audacity to think that the Tempts were riding her coattails.

[Quote]David whispered to Mary Wilson, "Is this what goes on all the time?" "Yes, said Mary, "she always gets her way."

[Quote]Later, before the actual show, David told me. "Watch, Tony. When I get up there tonight, I'm gonna give that phony wig-wearing bitch a run for her money." I didn't know what he was planning but I knew David could murder Diana vocally and he did. He did exactly what he was supposed to do as far as his dance steps and movements were concerned but when it came time to singing, he did a whole lot of ad libbing and completely threw Diana off. Diana was livid by the end of the show.

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by Anonymousreply 9February 25, 2023 11:21 AM

R9 is from this source.

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by Anonymousreply 10February 25, 2023 11:22 AM

R8 the one on the left?

by Anonymousreply 11February 25, 2023 12:24 PM

Miss Ross pulled all the same antics during the Motown 25 reunion. People were older and tired of it.

by Anonymousreply 12February 25, 2023 12:28 PM

They kept their business to themselves and it took a very long time for any sordid details about Marvin Gaye to be made public, even after his death at his father's hand. His wife, really the love of his life, recently passed away.

Berry Gordys sister presents as the true widow of Marvin Gaye, but it is a lie.

Mary Wilson's book was just a teaser and published just after Gayes death. She only mentioned he was handsome, shy and well mannered. She did not discuss his drug issues or her own.

by Anonymousreply 13February 25, 2023 12:55 PM

Joe Jackson turned out his boys.

by Anonymousreply 14February 25, 2023 1:03 PM

I'm always mystified by what seems to be almost a total lack of gay talent within the ranks of Motown.

by Anonymousreply 15February 25, 2023 1:15 PM

I read that book 30+ years ago "You'll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again" in it, the author asserted that one of the male singers at motown had beaten Tami Terrell in the gead with a hammer. Anyone else recall reading it?

by Anonymousreply 16February 25, 2023 1:24 PM

Both Barry and Diana ruined their reputations in Hollywood with their ridiculous, full court press campaign to have Ross star in "The Wiz." A 30+ something playing a teenager was such a stupid idea.

That alone could have been forgiven if the movie had been a hit, but it tanked majorly, and so did Ross' and Gordy's careers in Hollywood.

by Anonymousreply 17February 25, 2023 1:44 PM

I am a fan of James Brown music but he has been identified as one of Tami Terrells abusers. Another is David Ruffian. I have no idea what possess people to think they have a right to put their hands on someone

by Anonymousreply 18February 25, 2023 2:01 PM

For all of the sordid deeds committed at Motown and all of the "look the other way" decisions when men screwed and/or underage girls - none of which I condone, the BIGGEST crime allowed to go on and on and on was the abuse heaped upon Michael and his brothers by Joe Jackson.

Gordy, Quincy Jones and others must have known someone who know someone who could have offed Joe Jackson and made it look like some random crime.

Everyone knew what a monster Joe Jackson was and everyone decided to look the other way because of the cash that was coming in.

by Anonymousreply 19February 25, 2023 2:14 PM

oops - my mistake. I meant to type, "when men screwed and/or beat underage girls"

by Anonymousreply 20February 25, 2023 2:16 PM

It's worse, Jupiter. MJ is gone and it is too late for his story to be told. But HIS story is a metoo tale and some of his tormentors are still around.

by Anonymousreply 21February 25, 2023 2:17 PM

This is unrelated to Motown but after he died, a revered and accomplished comedian has been identified as a person who abused minors. One of his victims is Richard Pryor's son.

by Anonymousreply 22February 25, 2023 2:23 PM

Patti Labelle recounted how Jackie Wilson attempted to set her up for a gang bang. It’s in her memoirs.

I too, am bemused by the lack of tales of same-sex gossip within the ranks of Motown. Someone has to know something…

by Anonymousreply 23February 25, 2023 2:55 PM

Chris Clark, the first white girl signed to Motown was sleeping with Berry Gordy the same time Diana was. Clark later co-wrote Lady Sings the Blues, receiving an Oscar nomination for her efforts.

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by Anonymousreply 24February 25, 2023 3:03 PM

R22, it's not George Carlin, is it?

by Anonymousreply 25February 25, 2023 3:58 PM

No. Google Richard Pryors son and the name instantly pops up

by Anonymousreply 26February 25, 2023 4:01 PM

Did/does Smokey Robinson have many bad habits, or was he more of a cash-the-check and quietly enable type?

by Anonymousreply 27February 25, 2023 4:08 PM

Major cokehead. Womanizer.

by Anonymousreply 28February 25, 2023 4:11 PM

^ Someone whom Diane fucked when he was useful to her.

by Anonymousreply 29February 25, 2023 4:18 PM

No reason to be coy.

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by Anonymousreply 30February 25, 2023 4:21 PM

I don't remember which book I read it in, but my favorite David Ruffin story was when the Tempts and the Supremes were backstage, and David pulled out a pen and a pad of paper and told Diana "Bitch, why don't you write down the names of everybody whose dick you HAVEN'T sucked at Motown?"

Of course, she won in the end, she became a legend as is still kicking, and he died in a crack house in relative obscurity, but for that one brief, glorious moment, he OWNED her ass.

by Anonymousreply 31February 25, 2023 4:30 PM

[quote]I read that book 30+ years ago "You'll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again" in it, the author asserted that one of the male singers at motown had beaten Tami Terrell in the gead with a hammer. Anyone else recall reading it?

Yes, she said there was a rumor that Marvin Gaye beat Tammi. Poor Tammi had such a sad life.

by Anonymousreply 32February 25, 2023 4:32 PM

Never read Terrell was abused by Gaye, never read they were romantically involved. I did read Terrell was in an abusive relationship with James Brown. This soured my fan worship of James Brown.

by Anonymousreply 33February 25, 2023 4:35 PM

Years after the fame was over, Cindy Birdsong returns to Motown - as a secretary! She's treated with all the indifference an ordinary secretary would be subjected to in that role. Her once good friend Suzanne dePasse pities her as she (likely) orders a cup of coffee.

by Anonymousreply 34February 25, 2023 4:36 PM

I think Mary Wilson spoke about the Supremes not being paid properly. And maybe that they were paying for all the gowns but weren’t allowed to keep them.

by Anonymousreply 35February 25, 2023 4:40 PM

What's the scoop on "the thing" that Flo Ballard had on Berry Gordy? It's written about in several biographies - her threatening him again and again with exposure of something she knew about.

by Anonymousreply 36February 25, 2023 4:40 PM

[Quote]I'm always mystified by what seems to be almost a total lack of gay talent within the ranks of Motown.

R15 They did have this group signed to them in the 1970s, The Dynamic Superiors, whose lead singer, Tony Washington, was openly gay. I'm sure most of the gay talent remained closeted, and/or behind-the-scenes.

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by Anonymousreply 37February 25, 2023 4:42 PM

Working as a secretary is a step backwards and an honest living. An old hooker doesn't understand what an honest days work is about, not when sucking crusty ass can be so much more lucrative.

by Anonymousreply 38February 25, 2023 4:45 PM

Clearer picture of Tony Washington from the performance in r37. He's in the center of the photo.

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by Anonymousreply 39February 25, 2023 4:52 PM

They ALL look a lil shaky...

by Anonymousreply 40February 25, 2023 5:20 PM

Tragically, Smokey Robinson is also a very bad plastic surgery victim.

by Anonymousreply 41February 25, 2023 5:28 PM

Sam Harris was on Motown and extremely gay

by Anonymousreply 42February 25, 2023 6:55 PM


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by Anonymousreply 43February 25, 2023 6:57 PM

Dusty Springfield had a serious crush on Martha Reeves and opened the doors for Motown in England.

by Anonymousreply 44February 25, 2023 6:59 PM

Suzanne DePasse and Thelma Houston were allegedly roomies for awhile

by Anonymousreply 45February 25, 2023 7:01 PM

Ooooh, r39, complete with mascara too. Could not have sat well with Berry.

I know that there was always talk about Michael, but his brother Randy pinged to me as well, but I've never heard any kind of rumors about him other than that he pissed away his money and briefly worked as a grocery bagger...

by Anonymousreply 46February 25, 2023 7:05 PM

[quote]David whispered to Mary Wilson, "Is this what goes on all the time?" "Yes, said Mary, "she always gets her way."

That was a common theme during the Diana years at Motown. Gladys Knight and the Pips were booted off a tour with The Supremes because the Empress of Soul could sing circles around Diana. "You're giving my star act a little bit of trouble," Berry Gordy told her over the phone. "You guys are coming home." Gladys recalled that just before Gordy's phone call, she saw Diana peeking through the stage curtains, watching how Gladys & her Pips had the audience enraptured.

I also read that the Marvelettes were scheduled to perform at the Apollo on the same week The Supremes were to perform at the Copa ('65). When Diane found out about this, she rang up Berry and told him she didn't want the Marvelettes performing anywhere near Upper Manhattan, stealing away this momentous occasion. The Marvelettes were promptly rebooked at a smaller venue in Lower Manhattan, and fulfilled their Apollo engagement a few months later.

by Anonymousreply 47February 25, 2023 8:00 PM

^Randy was never on Motown (he joined The Jacksons when they left Motown for Epic), but he has the best piece of Jackson gossip. Namely, the time he was stalking Tina Turner's son's ex-girlfriend (or ex-fiance, or ex-wife, I can't remember exactly), while she was hiding away from him at Tina's house. He found out where she was staying, showed up there, and threw a brick (or a rock, or something) through a window, in an attempt to break in and retrieve the young woman. Tina pulled out her shotgun and proceeded to shoot Randy in the ass. Yes, that actually happened. Tina Turner really shot Michael and Janet Jackson's brother Randy in his ass.

The Jackson brother who briefly bagged groceries for a living was Marlon, not Randy. None of them have any money of their own, and Marlon is really the only brother who had the strength of character to distance himself from that dysfunctional, toxic family. All the rest of the brothers live off of handouts from the estate (and lived off of MJ when he was alive), in this perpetual delusion that they are still Music Royalty and America's First Family of Popular Music. Not Marlon. He was the only one who realistically understood the situation, and set off on his own. He is reportedly doing very well as a real estate agent in the San Diego area. He made a mint as one of the founders of the Black Family Channel, when it was sold. He still dabbles in show business occasionally, when an opportunity arises.

He's also the only one of the brothers who hasn't made an utter mess of his personal life...still married to his first wife Carol, with no hint of scandal, affairs, or outside children. And yet, the rest of the Jacksons reportedly don't care for Carol...they see her as responsible for distancing Marlon from the family.

by Anonymousreply 48February 25, 2023 8:07 PM

[quote]I think Mary Wilson spoke about the Supremes not being paid properly.

None of the Motown acts were paid properly. And Mary Wilson fought long and hard to get legacy artists PAID.

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by Anonymousreply 49February 25, 2023 8:21 PM

^Good for Mary! But she still didn’t have any talent, except for looking pretty.

by Anonymousreply 50February 25, 2023 9:39 PM

[quote] But she still didn’t have any talent, except for looking pretty.

She got primo cock in her prime. She must have had hidden talents.

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by Anonymousreply 51February 25, 2023 9:46 PM

She hooked up with Tom Jones allegedly.

Is it true that when Mary Wells was dying of cancer, that Berry Gordy wouldn't foot her medical bills? I always wondered why they had to have a fundraiser for her...it would have been just a slice off of his block of cheese. He sounds like a real asshole.

by Anonymousreply 52February 25, 2023 9:49 PM

[Quote]Dusty Springfield had a serious crush on Martha Reeves and opened the doors for Motown in England.

R44 Yes, Dusty Springfield was presenting the Motown acts on a show she was hosting. Berry Gordy wanted Diana Ross to perform a duet with Dusty, but Dusty refused. She wanted, and got, Martha Reeves. You could tell that she was smitten by singing with Martha.

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by Anonymousreply 53February 25, 2023 10:03 PM

[quote]Tragically, Smokey Robinson is also a very bad plastic surgery victim.

As bad as Jermaine Jackson, who looks shellacked all the time. Is his hair painted on or something? He reminds me of that Burger King character.

by Anonymousreply 54February 25, 2023 10:10 PM

R9 Hell yeah I loves it. Love Diana but not a powerhouse singer. No male contemporary could ever do such a thing to Queen Bey. But most importantly Queen Bey is not a cunt so it never would happen.

by Anonymousreply 55February 25, 2023 10:10 PM

That is awesome, r53

by Anonymousreply 56February 25, 2023 10:12 PM

In the end, Gordy did to Ross what he'd done to the rest of them. She left Motown for RCA with $200k in the bank. From the time of her first number one hit to the day she signed with RCA, she was a world-wide super-star for 17 years under Motown. Ross was big - a major money maker. Gordy is on record stating, and I quote "Motown never made any money on Diana because the company was always paying to promote her.". He actually told that huge lie with a straight face! Ross was very smart to go for the gold when the opportunity presented itself. She took that $20 million and grew it to $250 million today. Gordy, himself, is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 million. Right before she signed with RCA, she was crying on Smokey Robinson's shoulder " Can you believe what Berry has done to me?" and the rest of them gave out a resolute, collective "HELL YEAH!!" in response.

by Anonymousreply 57February 25, 2023 10:29 PM

Isn't Barry Gordy the father of one of Diana's daughters?

by Anonymousreply 58February 25, 2023 11:12 PM

The ugly one r58.

by Anonymousreply 59February 25, 2023 11:15 PM

Yes. He has strong genes and the daughter looks just like him.

by Anonymousreply 60February 25, 2023 11:21 PM

Ms Ross first born is cousins to LMAO singer duo.

by Anonymousreply 61February 25, 2023 11:25 PM

And actually I’m wrong they aren’t cousins, they are siblings.

by Anonymousreply 62February 25, 2023 11:26 PM

It just needs to be said. Berry Gordy is 93 and looks great for his age. I saw him in person in 2007 so he was late 70s then and looked 55.

by Anonymousreply 63February 25, 2023 11:28 PM

[quote] It just needs to be said. Berry Gordy is 93 and looks great for his age. I saw him in person in 2007 so he was late 70s then and looked 55.

Black don’t crack.

by Anonymousreply 64February 26, 2023 12:04 AM

So glad I started this thread. Keep it coming.

I guess Ross will be mentioned because, love her or hate her, she played a HUGE role in Motown's success.

by Anonymousreply 65February 26, 2023 12:33 AM

R65 agreed Op. I would love for new miniseries chronicling Motown its rise and fall to be produced. And not a musical.

by Anonymousreply 66February 26, 2023 1:04 AM

[quote] would love for new miniseries chronicling Motown its rise and fall to be produced.

I’d watch that as long as no Smolletts are involved.

by Anonymousreply 67February 26, 2023 1:08 AM

I think that after Berry Gordy dies, they might do some steamy mini-series about Motown. You know they have all the titillating stories that even young viewers would enjoy seeing -- drug use, cheating on spouses, beating up girlfriends, false promises, robbed of your money/royalties, everything!

by Anonymousreply 68February 26, 2023 1:25 AM

Gordy family in the 1950s. They were an upwardly mobile, enterprising family long before Motown ever came to fruition. Mom ans Pops Gordy in the middle with all the siblings on either side. Berry second from right.

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by Anonymousreply 69February 26, 2023 1:32 AM

R67 ?????????

Or are you suggesting Empire was influenced by Motown.

by Anonymousreply 70February 26, 2023 1:35 AM

R69 Yeah I already knew Berry came from black excellence before he created Motown. He was a shrewd businessman.

by Anonymousreply 71February 26, 2023 1:37 AM

Anna Gordy used her status as the bosses sister to get her hands on a young, attractive performer who in other circumstances would not have even noticed her.

There was a 16 year age difference between the two, she was older.

Unable to conceive, she roped in a female relative to have sex with her husband and have his child.

Her husband, Marvin Gaye could have refused both circumstances.

by Anonymousreply 72February 26, 2023 1:40 AM

Anna was no joke. A cougar and a bitch, but no joke.

by Anonymousreply 73February 26, 2023 1:44 AM

Unable to conceive, she roped in a female relative to have sex with her husband and have his child.

The child was adopted by the Gayes.

Anna treated her brothers business like a stud farm. And reached into her own family to breed her husband.


by Anonymousreply 74February 26, 2023 1:45 AM

Jermaine Jackson thought he was making a power move by marrying the boss' daughter. No such luck. Gordy used him as a pawn when the Jacksons defected from Motown. Poor Jermaine - it ain't easy bein' greasy!

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by Anonymousreply 75February 26, 2023 1:49 AM

I loved the thread on how loony the Jacksons are and how they begged Michael and Janet for money. And those Baja Fresh vouchers she gave them.

by Anonymousreply 76February 26, 2023 2:20 AM

That clip is awesome R53

by Anonymousreply 77February 26, 2023 8:54 AM

Nick Ashford allegedly cruised the Rambles in Central Park on a regular basis.

by Anonymousreply 78February 26, 2023 1:32 PM

According to Otis Williams, the Temptations realized early on that the audience loved in when they performed with erections.

by Anonymousreply 79February 26, 2023 1:34 PM

Berry Gordy and Jimmy Carter are cousins.

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by Anonymousreply 80February 26, 2023 1:36 PM

Then there were the rumors about Michael Jackson and composer/actor Clifton Davis......

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by Anonymousreply 81February 26, 2023 1:41 PM

Richard Street of the Tempts wrote in his bio about how he was Diana Ross's first.

by Anonymousreply 82February 26, 2023 1:43 PM

There was a rumor that Marvin Gaye was bisexual.

by Anonymousreply 83February 26, 2023 1:48 PM

Diana Ross sucked off Smokey Robinson's big ol' dick a few times when she was a teenager. Problem was that he was already married. His wasn't the only one she sucked off, either. She actually had a reputation for that, like Nancy Reagan.

by Anonymousreply 84February 26, 2023 1:53 PM

When Florence Ballard left the Supremes she signed away all future royalties. Rumor has it that from that day on Motown still paid her share of royalties to a company owned by Berry Gordy himself. If true, this would mean that royalties for every reissue of a Supremes recording for which Flo would have received the money goes in Gordy's pocket. Meanwhile, her children grew up in poverty.

by Anonymousreply 85February 26, 2023 2:05 PM

[quote]I guess Ross will be mentioned because, love her or hate her, she played a HUGE role in Motown's success.

That's MISS Ross to you, peasant

by Anonymousreply 86February 26, 2023 2:17 PM

Wut-wut R78? First time I heard that? Did Valerie Simpson know?

by Anonymousreply 87February 26, 2023 2:19 PM

Once, after a show, In the early 60s Diana Ross tried to run over Gladys Horton, lead singer of the Marvelettes, who were doing better on the charts at the time, with a car because Diana was jealous and resentful that the Marvelettes were getting hits and had a good spot on the Motortown revue show and The Supremes weren't doing well on the charts and were an opening act.

by Anonymousreply 88February 26, 2023 2:41 PM

Diana is a supreme CUNT. Does she have any friends at all from Motown?

by Anonymousreply 89February 26, 2023 2:43 PM

What does Steve Wonder think of Diana?

by Anonymousreply 90February 26, 2023 2:55 PM

[quote] David pulled out a pen and a pad of paper and told Diana "Bitch, why don't you write down the names of everybody whose dick you HAVEN'T sucked at Motown?"

As some hilarious poster noted here some years ago, Diane has a career because she said, at the right time to the right person, "Oh Berry, it's so BIG."

by Anonymousreply 91February 26, 2023 2:59 PM

[quote]I'm always mystified by what seems to be almost a total lack of gay talent within the ranks of Motown.

How many of the 60s black/soul singers were gay?

Only Arthur Conley as far as I know.

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by Anonymousreply 92February 26, 2023 3:18 PM

[quote]Nick Ashford allegedly cruised the Rambles in Central Park on a regular basis.

He never sucked my dick.

by Anonymousreply 93February 26, 2023 3:32 PM

Nick Ashford was a known cockgobbler.

by Anonymousreply 94February 26, 2023 3:35 PM


Solid Like A Cock!

by Anonymousreply 95February 26, 2023 3:36 PM

More on Arthur Conley...

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by Anonymousreply 96February 26, 2023 3:37 PM

Arthur Conley was v. cute and a great singer.

He said he had to move to Holland where he could relax about being gay.

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by Anonymousreply 97February 26, 2023 3:46 PM

Billy Preston was also gay.

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by Anonymousreply 98February 26, 2023 3:49 PM

Was Billy with Motown, though?

by Anonymousreply 99February 26, 2023 5:03 PM

[quote]Was Billy with Motown, though?


by Anonymousreply 100February 26, 2023 5:10 PM

Please check out "The Fan that Knew Too Much: Secret Closets of American Culture" by historian and musicologist Anthony Heilbut. Gospel Music incubated Motown et al and it was queer as queer could be. I recently rewatched the documentary of Aretha's "Amazing Grace" with an eye toward the male musicians. Queens galore.

by Anonymousreply 101February 26, 2023 5:12 PM

Billy was with Motown in the early 80's, when he had that final hit "With You I'm Born Again", with Syreeta.

by Anonymousreply 102February 26, 2023 5:13 PM

[quote]Billy was with Motown in the early 80's, when he had that final hit "With You I'm Born Again", with Syreeta.

Oh, right, yes...and this which I loved at the time

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by Anonymousreply 103February 26, 2023 5:15 PM

Wasn't Preston accused of sex with a minor at one point?

by Anonymousreply 104February 26, 2023 5:34 PM

I don't know.

I remember Keith Richards got caught up in some gay incident with him - I think they were on tour. He wrote about it in his book.

Don't get excited, Keith was just a bystander.

by Anonymousreply 105February 26, 2023 5:37 PM

Moms Gordy being walked down the aisle to renew her vows with Pops as Miss Ross looks on. 1968. I suppose Diana is coveting an interception of that bouquet as she really did want to marry Berry Gordy. Said Berry "This woman is way too selfish. I need somebody to kiss MY ass!" He refused.

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by Anonymousreply 106February 26, 2023 5:48 PM

David Ruffin had a really bad drug problem. He had the voice but I think they ended up kicking him off the Temptations. And they never sounded the same!

by Anonymousreply 107February 26, 2023 6:04 PM

Why did Marvin Gaye move to Holland?

by Anonymousreply 108February 26, 2023 6:12 PM

It was the wooden shoes and wind mills which appealed to him, Dora.

by Anonymousreply 109February 26, 2023 6:23 PM

[Quote]Wut-wut [R78]? First time I heard that? Did Valerie Simpson know?

R87 I'm not r78, but I heard the same thing about Nick Ashford. If it's true, I'm sure that Valerie turned a blind eye to it, as many married women do.

Now, about Valerie. Marvin Gaye himself said that she substituted Tammi Terrell's vocals on their later duets, since she was supposedly too sick with cancer to sing them herself. Valerie denied it for the longest, then said she sang the sample tracks, which an ill Tammi still managed to sing over. But many people still believe it's completely Valerie's voice, particularly in The Onion Song. The deception was so Tammi's family could still receive pay and royalties for her medical treatments.

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by Anonymousreply 110February 26, 2023 7:31 PM

[quote] Don't get excited, Keith was just a bystander

I hope so, that corpse would be hard to handle if he was in the middle of things

by Anonymousreply 111February 26, 2023 7:36 PM

I love M&T but God I hate that Onion song.

by Anonymousreply 112February 26, 2023 7:38 PM

What Valerie said in an interview.

[Quote]Tammi was very ill. We would have everything ready, the track and Marvin's vocal, and then I'd get her alone in the studio and we'd go line by line. There were a couple things that were tweaked, but not a lot. I couldn't just sing like Tammi. People give me the credit of thinking I could be Tammi Terrell, but it's just not true. We did some production edits to fix things, but that's about it.

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by Anonymousreply 113February 26, 2023 7:51 PM

A lot of the duet stuff they put out Tammi had already sung solo, years earlier and they just dubbed in Marvin's voice.

by Anonymousreply 114February 26, 2023 7:55 PM

Tony Turner's book, "Lead Us Not Into Temptation," is almost impossible to find in print - but, there is a e-book copy of it on Archive.org.

by Anonymousreply 115February 26, 2023 8:29 PM

Tammi Terrell's original solo "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"

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by Anonymousreply 116February 26, 2023 8:30 PM

"It just needs to be said. Berry Gordy is 93 and looks great for his age. I saw him in person in 2007 so he was late 70s then and looked 55. Black don’t crack."

And evil never dies.

by Anonymousreply 117February 26, 2023 8:36 PM

Bitch looks like she drew rings around her eyes with a black Sharpie, r106.

by Anonymousreply 118February 26, 2023 8:41 PM

Stevie Wonder isn't really blind. The truth is out there.

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by Anonymousreply 119February 26, 2023 8:47 PM

Stevie and Diana had always been good friends. Here they are celebrating her 75th birthday among a crowd. Side note: I've always believed that Ross was a cunt when someone fucked with her - when someone got in and tried to block her way.

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by Anonymousreply 120February 26, 2023 8:49 PM

He saw the whole thing.

by Anonymousreply 121February 26, 2023 8:52 PM

Don't front with misinformation. Stevie IS and always was blind. Ever see him without the glasses? I have...

by Anonymousreply 122February 26, 2023 8:52 PM

[quote] I've always believed that Ross was a cunt when someone fucked with her

Diane is a cunt in the morning. A cunt in the evening. A cunt in winter, spring, summer and fall. Miss Ross is all cunt, all the time.

by Anonymousreply 123February 26, 2023 8:57 PM

Michael Jackson had a steamy, sexual affair with Stephanie Mills. He would screw her all night, every night, with his huge cock, which hung down to his knees. According to Stephanie, he really was the manliest man who ever manned. He also wrote many songs about their torrid sex life: Don't Stop Til You Get Enough, I Just Can't Stop Loving You, and The Way You Make Me Feel, to name a few.

Unfortunately, it was his family pushed them apart. Stephanie had a very broad, African nose, and we all know what that family thought of broad, African noses.

by Anonymousreply 124February 26, 2023 8:57 PM

R124 That was right before the affair she had with big butch stud Luther Vandross, right?

by Anonymousreply 125February 26, 2023 8:58 PM

R122 What else didn't he have on?

by Anonymousreply 126February 26, 2023 9:02 PM

Mary and Flo curse the day that Paul Williams dragged that sorry Diane into their fabulous girl group.

by Anonymousreply 127February 26, 2023 9:03 PM

Here's a great funny: I believe I read this years ago in "To Be Loved" - Berry Gordy's autobiography (good read!). Anyway, one of Gordy's sons was eight or nine years old when he was staying with Gordy in a hotel where Diana Ross and the Supremes were appearing for a few weeks (Vegas?). The son just happened to be in the hotel elevator as Diana was riding down to start the show that night. He says that the elevator stopped on a floor and two white couples git on the elevator who just so happened to be going to the show as well. According to him, these couples wrre ooohing and awing over Diana, telling her how gorgeous she was as she ate it all up. He says he can't recall whatever possessed him, but when the elevator reached the desugnated floor, and right when the doors began to open, he jumped up and snatched Diana's wig off her head and ran off with it, leaving her screaming in humiliation!

by Anonymousreply 128February 26, 2023 9:10 PM

^ horrid story!

by Anonymousreply 129February 26, 2023 9:12 PM

Diana wears a wig?

I'll be right over!

by Anonymousreply 130February 26, 2023 9:12 PM

Another gay (actually, bi) Motown artist: Bobby DeBarge, of the group Switch.

Died of AIDS in '95.

by Anonymousreply 131February 26, 2023 9:16 PM

In one of the Motown books, there was a story about Suzanne De Passe.

When she was still new with the company and working, I believe, as Berry's assistant, he often treated her like shit.

One day, at a meeting with bunch of executives, he decided to "test" her, and told her to do a gorilla imitation for the group.

Instead of objecting, and without hesitation, Suzanne dutifully did her gorilla impersonation...making "ook ook" grunting noises, scratching her armpits, and waddling around the room. Everybody in the meeting laughed at her.

Considering where she eventually wound up with the company, it was the right move from a purely professional standpoint.

Or was it? Does one ever truly live down that kind of humiliation? I mean, to most of the world, she's now the ultimate Boss Bitch, but to the people in the room that day, she's the chick who let herself be degraded for Berry Gordy's amusement.

by Anonymousreply 132February 26, 2023 9:29 PM

Ooh, the DeBarge family is (or was) a mess! I can't elaborate now, because I got to attend to other things, but I'll leave you with this video from 2011. I hope they recovered since then.

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by Anonymousreply 133February 26, 2023 9:46 PM

[quote] I mean, to most of the world, she's now the ultimate Boss Bitch, but to the people in the room that day, she's the chick who let herself be degraded for Berry Gordy's amusement.

But was that specifically for his amusement? Or was that a test of loyalty?

by Anonymousreply 134February 26, 2023 9:53 PM

The test that you pass or fail involving degradation is how and why some people make it and others end up working as secretaries or hostesses at the Waffle House in their dotage.

by Anonymousreply 135February 26, 2023 9:58 PM

R115. Tony Turner also wrote a wildly entertaining book about the Supremes called ‘All That Glitters’. He claimed to be great friends with Flo Ballard, so he was hilariously bitchy about Diana.

by Anonymousreply 136February 26, 2023 9:58 PM

thank you R115

by Anonymousreply 137February 26, 2023 10:00 PM

[quote] He claimed to be great friends with Flo Ballard, so he was hilariously bitchy about Diana.

Martha Reeves also hated her and calls her "Ross" in interviews.

by Anonymousreply 138February 26, 2023 10:05 PM

[quote]Diana is a supreme CUNT. Does she have any friends at all from Motown?

Miss Ross has removed herself completely from her humble beginnings in Detroit. Even the men she chose, post-Berry Gordy, as lovers and husbands are a far cry from the men she had at Motown.

In contrast, her one-time rival Martha Reeves continues to live in Detroit and even served one term in the Detroit City Council.

by Anonymousreply 139February 26, 2023 10:21 PM

Mary Wilson carefully explained the projects back then weren't the scourge they are know as today. It was middle class, working class.

by Anonymousreply 140February 26, 2023 10:24 PM

Off topic, but the first public housing projects built in the late 1930s/early 1940s were built specifically for working/middle class families who were being squeezed by the Depression and unemployment. Those early projects were expected to pay property taxes, the mortgage and maintenance from rents collected.

It wasn't until the late 1950s and 1960s that public housing became the dumping ground for the poorest of the poor.

by Anonymousreply 141February 26, 2023 11:24 PM

[quote] Suzanne dutifully did her gorilla impersonation...making "ook ook" grunting noises, scratching her armpits, and waddling around the room.

Trust me, that was no gorilla impersonation. That was just Suzanne being Suzanne.

by Anonymousreply 142February 27, 2023 12:20 AM

R141 To expand on your post....

When many cities did "urban renewal" in the 1950s and 1960s they demolished urban neighborhoods, often to build highways. (If you live east of the Mississippi and near a large city, especially in the northern US, your city probably did this.)

The projects were supposed to provide clean, low income housing. Not so much a "dumping ground" per se but what planners at that time would be a solution or a win-win - the cities got their roads, the poors got shiny new housing, and everyone was supposed to be happy.

Problem was, in the planning of these projects, most of the local agencies/states depended on federal money to sustain the infrastructure and maintain those places, and when federal money dried up in the late 60s, around the time of Nixon's first term, those buildings went to shit and became terrible places.

(Recommended if you're interested - view the Pruitt Igoe documentary, which I think is available free on YouTube.)

by Anonymousreply 143February 27, 2023 1:10 AM

I love Stephanie, but she acts like she’s the keeper of MJ when in reality, he considered her as a mere friend. It’s kind of sad. Her and that no-neck Flo Anthony.

by Anonymousreply 144February 27, 2023 10:31 AM

Flo Anthony makes me sick too. Do the Jacksons pay her for the fluff she spews out about them?

by Anonymousreply 145February 27, 2023 12:52 PM

[quote]One of his wives was underage when they got together and he was cruel to her.

Their relationship was public - people knew she was underage. It was the era of the 14-year-old groupies. No one cared.

David Ruffin was the boyfriend Marvin claimed gave Tammi a head injury, which may have later been a factor in the brain cancer that killed her. Although there were definitely some feelings between Marvin and Tammi, they were never involved.

Nick Ashford pinged to high heaven. Smokey has always pinged to me as well, any bi rumors?

[quote]The biopic they should have made is Marvin Gaye with Jesse L. Martin.

They did make that biopic...and ran out of money before it could be completed. Here's the trailer. What could have been!

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by Anonymousreply 146February 27, 2023 12:56 PM

[quote]A lot of the duet stuff they put out Tammi had already sung solo, years earlier and they just dubbed in Marvin's voice.

Diana Ross hated Marvin Gaye so much (she really disliked that he stunk up the stupid with weed) that she refused to sing with him. They had to record their duets separately.

Cut to a few years later: Diana is tearfully dedicating "Missing You" to Marvin, whom she loved and missed so much. Whatever, bitch.

by Anonymousreply 147February 27, 2023 2:56 PM

How I hate Diane.

by Anonymousreply 148February 27, 2023 3:18 PM

Whenever I said that I disliked Diana, I would get dragged by my barfly crew. They were almost as bad as the Beyhive. She could do no wrong. Rationale was thrown out of the window.

I loved Syreeta though. I WANNA BE BY YOUR SIDE was my jam. But when she split up with Stevie Wonder, her recording career was inconsistent at best.

by Anonymousreply 149February 27, 2023 3:25 PM

R149 I think she and Minnie Riperton were very similar - fighting over some of the same material and market share.

Both very talented in their own ways, and both woefully underappreciated.

by Anonymousreply 150February 27, 2023 3:29 PM

During the early days of their ascent to Supreme super-stardom, the girls always had a female chaperone travel with them (Diana's mother fulfilled this role from time to time, too). Mary used to use blankets to manipulate her human form under a blanket, complete with mannequin wigged head on a pillow so she could sneak out for some dick!

by Anonymousreply 151February 27, 2023 3:44 PM

Diana Ross said she was so glad when Minnie Riperton died. "At least we won't have to hear another of those 'la la la la la la la la AAAAAAAAAAAAA' screeching songs!"

by Anonymousreply 152February 27, 2023 3:55 PM

I’m glad to see her decline. Long, slow and sad.

by Anonymousreply 153February 27, 2023 4:02 PM

R67 The girl Smollette is actually a very good actress Jussie is done. Unfortunately he could have been the first crossover mainstream gay.

by Anonymousreply 154February 27, 2023 4:10 PM

I once saw a video of Diana's sister, Dr Barbara Ross-Lee, giving some sort if key-note speech at some sort of medical gathering where she POINTEDLY disclosed that "NO ONE put me through medical school. I worked my own way through school!"

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by Anonymousreply 155February 27, 2023 4:15 PM

I'm still here, bitches! Hate all you want, but my appearances on Ed Sullivan (along with the two other girls) opened doors for singers like Beyoncé years later. So there!!

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by Anonymousreply 156February 27, 2023 4:24 PM

Go away hasbeen lady.

by Anonymousreply 157February 27, 2023 4:30 PM

Scarily thin, in her youth. Rounder now.

by Anonymousreply 158February 27, 2023 9:17 PM

Smokey Robinson admitted to cheating on his wife, Claudette Rogers Robinson, with Diana Ross. Claudette, whom Berry Gordy dubbed "The First Lady of Motown," was in The Miracles with Smokey, which became "Smokey Robinson & The Miracles" in 1965. That was Gordy's clever way of charging venues double the rate since they were getting two acts on one bill.

Here's Claudette with the mistress and the Marvelette.

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by Anonymousreply 159February 27, 2023 10:21 PM

Diana should dress less slovenly.

by Anonymousreply 160February 27, 2023 10:43 PM

Smoke was having fun with groupies. Ross is a climber and Smoke was a star. Unfortunately he was married.

by Anonymousreply 161February 27, 2023 11:12 PM

Really like Syreeta. I love "I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel For You"

by Anonymousreply 162February 27, 2023 11:30 PM

Marvin Gaye had a kid with his 16-year-old niece

by Anonymousreply 163February 27, 2023 11:33 PM

This was Claudette Robinson 10 years ago at age 71. Fucking incredible!

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by Anonymousreply 164February 28, 2023 1:27 AM

The world needs a good Tammi Terrell biopic badly.

by Anonymousreply 165February 28, 2023 6:23 AM

How many people even know who she is?

by Anonymousreply 166February 28, 2023 8:17 AM

PLUS the fact those biopics are mostly HORRENDOUS. You don't need to have any imagination to know what a TT biopic would be like.

by Anonymousreply 167February 28, 2023 8:18 AM

^^ Viola Davis would be the perfect person to play Tami. They look like they were separate at birth!

by Anonymousreply 168February 28, 2023 8:58 AM

Just realised something, TT had a gay iconic moment - this song was playing in Julius's at the start of Boys In the Band.

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by Anonymousreply 169February 28, 2023 9:17 AM

She wasn't much good on her own, her voice was too shrill. She needed Marvin's bass to balance it out.

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by Anonymousreply 170February 28, 2023 9:21 AM

I saw a video of Marvin Gaye laying down on a couch and his singing was still perfect. He really did have natural talent.

He sounded so great with Tammi Terrell, I think she died young from brain cancer.

I wondered if the James Early character in Dreamgirls was based on him.

by Anonymousreply 171February 28, 2023 9:24 AM

This is the Marvin duet most people seem to love, the people who love this stuff at least.

WHET Kim Weston?

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by Anonymousreply 172February 28, 2023 9:38 AM

This is my favorite

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by Anonymousreply 173February 28, 2023 9:51 AM

Yes, love this song^^.

by Anonymousreply 174February 28, 2023 11:31 AM

Any dish on Teena Marie and other white artists that were signed up with Motown? There were a few…

by Anonymousreply 175February 28, 2023 12:22 PM

R108: Marvin Gaye stayed for quite a while in the small port city of Ostend, Belgium, as he was struggling with his drug addiction and financially. A local music promotor helped Gaye get clean; he started writing again, including his comeback single Sexual Healing. For those of you who are interested, here’s a link to a documentary about Gaye’s stay in Ostend (part of it in French, but parts in English with French subtitles).

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by Anonymousreply 176February 28, 2023 12:49 PM


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by Anonymousreply 177February 28, 2023 1:57 PM

Gaye was in Ostend to avoid tax.

Terrell deserves an Oscar-calibre biopic precisely because people don't know her.

by Anonymousreply 178February 28, 2023 2:50 PM

Tammi was the prettiest girl too.

by Anonymousreply 179February 28, 2023 3:00 PM

[quote]Terrell deserves an Oscar-calibre biopic precisely because people don't know her.

She had a few hits with Marvin Gaye and died young. What else?

by Anonymousreply 180February 28, 2023 3:33 PM

Dennis Edwards loved the cocaine.

by Anonymousreply 181February 28, 2023 4:12 PM

Aretha Franklin worked her way through the stable of Motown studs. Dennis Edwards was her favorite. I suspect he was packing.

by Anonymousreply 182February 28, 2023 4:18 PM

[quote]She had a few hits with Marvin Gaye and died young. What else?

Was she related to Jean Terrell from the post-Diana Supremes?

by Anonymousreply 183February 28, 2023 4:58 PM

English singer Kiki Dee signed to Motown - she'd already spent most of the '60s trying to get a hit in England - Motown proved no better.

She eventually got her single hit 6 years later and then faded away again.

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by Anonymousreply 184February 28, 2023 5:12 PM

^ check out the outfit and the spastic dancing! Star she was not.

by Anonymousreply 185February 28, 2023 5:13 PM

Kiki's Motown single - The Day Will Come Between Sunday And Monday - great title!

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by Anonymousreply 186February 28, 2023 5:14 PM

Interesting that Aretha was not a Motown Star

by Anonymousreply 187February 28, 2023 5:27 PM

R187 Her daddy said hell no.

[Quote]In fact, Motown founder Berry Gordy allegedly tried to woo the Detroit-raised Franklin to his upstart label early in her career but the Rev. Franklin rejected the overtures, believing Gordy’s fledgling family-operated independent was a woefully insufficient home for his daughter’s enormous talents.

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by Anonymousreply 188February 28, 2023 5:35 PM

Tammi Terrell's life was seriously tragic: born to a mentally ill mother. Raped at 11 by 3 neighborhood boys. Abusive relationships with James Brown (he once beat her for walking away backstage and not watching an entire performance) and David Ruffin. It didn't help that she suffered from migraine headaches (she once passed out in Marvin's arms on stage) for most of her life. Marvin Gaye stated in various interviews that they were never a couple and some have said that he never got over her tragic death (brain cancer) at just 24 year of age.

by Anonymousreply 189February 28, 2023 5:43 PM

Tammi's speaking voice. She sounded very mature for a girl of 21 years.

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by Anonymousreply 190February 28, 2023 5:54 PM

When Gordy was seeking to replace Diana Ross in the Supremes, he considered Barbara Randolph, Tammi Terrell, Syreeta Wright, and Claudette Robinson but settled on Jean Terrell. Having Florence Ballard return to the group was not an option.

by Anonymousreply 191February 28, 2023 5:54 PM

Tammi singing after speaking.

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by Anonymousreply 192February 28, 2023 5:54 PM

Love Smokey

by Anonymousreply 193February 28, 2023 5:56 PM

Diana was a bitch but I consider her more ambitious than evil. The thing was she and Berry were both extremely ambitious. Together they were unstoppable. And Berry was very transparent that Diana came first.

Surprisingly Stephanie Mills is very complimentary of Diana considering Miss Ross did everything to land the role of Dorothy in The Wiz, a role Mills originated on Broadway and many presumed Mills would be cast as Dorothy in the film version.

by Anonymousreply 194February 28, 2023 6:01 PM

Franklin was wise to go with Atlantic. Motown would have tried to force fit her into the same mold as the other singers and she would have eventually pushed back.

It would be delicious to imagine a battle between Franklin and Ross, though. The Queen of Soul would have flattened Miss Ross without breaking a sweat.

by Anonymousreply 195February 28, 2023 6:01 PM

Speaking of Kim Weston, I really like "Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)"

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by Anonymousreply 196February 28, 2023 6:02 PM

R183, Jean Terrell was Tammi's sister-in-law. Tammi married boxer Ernie Terrell in the mid-60s; he was Jean's brother.

by Anonymousreply 197February 28, 2023 6:04 PM

Regarding a Motown film, IMO, not only do I think it will not happen as long as Barry Gordy is alive, I don't think Diana Ross will either. DREAMGIRLS is the closest we will get for the time being.

by Anonymousreply 198February 28, 2023 6:20 PM

My favorite Motown song is "Bernadette" by the Four Tops

by Anonymousreply 199February 28, 2023 6:22 PM

LOVE it, R196!!

by Anonymousreply 200February 28, 2023 6:40 PM

[quote] Surprisingly Stephanie Mills is very complimentary of Diana considering Miss Ross did everything to land the role of Dorothy in The Wiz, a role Mills originated on Broadway and many presumed Mills would be cast as Dorothy in the film version.

No way in hell would Mills have ever been cast as Dorothy

by Anonymousreply 201February 28, 2023 8:45 PM

[R197] Not true according to Quora. Tammi and Jean were not related.

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by Anonymousreply 202February 28, 2023 10:26 PM

R201, harsh but true. Stephanie was not photogenic enough at the time. We’ve talked about it here before.

Michael’s chocolate drop.

She actually had a contract with Motown too, but the albums flopped.

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by Anonymousreply 203February 28, 2023 11:40 PM

Another Kim Weston gem: Looking for the Right Guy

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by Anonymousreply 204February 28, 2023 11:43 PM

[Quote]No way in hell would Mills have ever been cast as Dorothy

R201 It's been said that she was supposed to play the movie version, but Diana Ross insisted upon herself to be chosen, instead, and made it happen.

[Quote]Stephanie Mills *was* in serious consideration to reprise her Broadway role. This was when it was a lower budgeted production that was being produced by Motown Productions.

[Quote]Miss Ross got wind of it and she contacted Berry Gordy, who told her she was too old for the part. Since Miss Ross doesn't take no for an answer she got Rob Cohen from Universal involved. Cohen loved the idea and got in contact with Berry Gordy and convinced him to cast Diana and in turn Universal would co-produce the film with Motown.

[Quote]This afforded them a much bigger budget than intended, financial security and a big star in the lead to assure box office success.

[Quote]We all know how *that* turned out.

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by Anonymousreply 205March 1, 2023 12:03 AM

I don't see how Ross could have been the massive slut painted in this thread and yet successfully raise five children, none of whom are addicts or maladapted in so far as the public knows. Sluts like all addicts fuck up their children. IMHO.

by Anonymousreply 206March 1, 2023 12:04 AM

Despite The Wiz being a flop, Diana did give it her all.

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by Anonymousreply 207March 1, 2023 12:07 AM

R163 why wasn’t she on the pill. Wreckless slut.

by Anonymousreply 208March 1, 2023 12:24 AM

R171 No more James Brown, but some Marvin in there. A conglomeration if characters but mainly James Brown.

by Anonymousreply 209March 1, 2023 12:25 AM

I remember people laughing when she says "I'm 24" in the movie

by Anonymousreply 210March 1, 2023 12:27 AM

R210 who and what movie?

by Anonymousreply 211March 1, 2023 12:28 AM

Aretha Franklin gave birth to her first child at age 12. Her father, the “Reverend” Franklin, fathered a baby with a 12 year old parishioner of his.


by Anonymousreply 212March 1, 2023 12:32 AM

r212, I think not!

by Anonymousreply 213March 1, 2023 12:34 AM

My favorite Tammi Terrell solo tune.

It's my favorite because it's the only one I know!

To my ears, it sounds like it should have been a hit.

"Come On and See Me"

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by Anonymousreply 214March 1, 2023 12:39 AM

R211 Diana Ross played a 24-year-old Dorothy in The Wiz. She was actually 34 at the time.

by Anonymousreply 215March 1, 2023 12:47 AM

The Wiz is one of my favorite films but I always hated how frumpy Ross looks in it. Dry. Old!

by Anonymousreply 216March 1, 2023 12:55 AM

Post Motown, Mary Wells married and had kids with Cecil Womack (of the Valentinos and brother of Bobby Womack). He was reportedly very physically abusive to her.

After they divorced she got knocked up by his Cecil & Bobby's brother Curtis Womack .


by Anonymousreply 217March 1, 2023 1:01 AM

Stephanie Mills would not have done The Wiz movie. She always had a face for radio.

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by Anonymousreply 218March 1, 2023 1:09 AM

The Velvelettes were the fourth-rung Motown girl group, with two great singles. They never released an album.

The members bounced around all over the company.

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by Anonymousreply 219March 1, 2023 1:29 AM

Oooh r203, I thought that was a man when I first saw you picture…poor Stephanie. She definitely benefited from her plastic surgery.

by Anonymousreply 220March 1, 2023 2:11 AM

[quote]Motown founder Berry Gordy allegedly tried to woo the Detroit-raised Franklin to his upstart label early in her career but the Rev. Franklin rejected the overtures

If only ReRe had been able to reject Rev. Franklin's overtures.

by Anonymousreply 221March 1, 2023 2:19 AM

The Velvelettes - He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'

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by Anonymousreply 222March 1, 2023 2:19 AM

The Velvelettes - Needle in a Haystack

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by Anonymousreply 223March 1, 2023 2:21 AM

R222 I only knew that song from Bananarama

by Anonymousreply 224March 1, 2023 2:29 AM

I used to really like Junior Walker. He was also great looking but I didn't know that. When he played in NYC in the early 80s I went and took a bunch of friends, I was so excited - but he'd already lost his wind. Many pop people have very short shelf lives, even though they go on and on and on.

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by Anonymousreply 225March 1, 2023 2:33 AM

Over 200 posts and nobody mentioned Motown produced the Pippin Broadway cast album? That allowed Motown singers to perform music from the show.

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by Anonymousreply 226March 1, 2023 2:39 AM

Always liked this one

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by Anonymousreply 227March 1, 2023 2:56 AM

Ms. Ross did EST, the 70's incarnation of what is now the Landmark Forum, back in the day. Reportedly, she worked out her issues around her insatiable ambition there, realizing she never fully took in how successful and adored she was. I personally believe this. If you watch her in her concerts from the early 89's on, you can see a bit of a shift in how she interacts with the audience.

by Anonymousreply 228March 1, 2023 5:29 AM

The movie Sparkle (I prefer the older version) is also good

by Anonymousreply 229March 1, 2023 5:56 AM

I wonder what Diana thinks of Ashlee Simpson? I thought Diana's son her married her was gay.

by Anonymousreply 230March 1, 2023 5:57 AM

Irena Cara plays Sparkle in the 1976 version. The 2012 version it is Jordin Sparks with Whitney as mama.

by Anonymousreply 231March 1, 2023 6:01 AM

Pimps we're pimpin

by Anonymousreply 232March 1, 2023 6:05 AM

Stephanie got more attractive as he got older. She did have some tweaks done.

I still laugh when I recall reading Patti Labelle's book where Stephanie comes to visit Patti backstage after Patti performed, and Patti kept looking at Stephanie and wondering why she looked so refreshed until she realized Stephanie had a nose job. Patti was inspired to get one herself.

by Anonymousreply 233March 1, 2023 6:27 AM

The surgery improved their looks

by Anonymousreply 234March 1, 2023 6:32 AM

There seems to have been a disturbing trend of domestic violence in Motown.

by Anonymousreply 235March 1, 2023 8:02 AM

When I was oh so young I dated an older guy (32!) who had just quit his job at Motown managing Gladys Knight & the Pips. Having grown up in Detroit but sheltered, I was astounded that he would walk away from what I thought must be such an exciting glamorous job - naive, huh. WhenI asked why he told me it was for his own sanity and health - he realized he was putting away a fifth of Scotch daily due to the stress of all the infighting and backstabbing.

I will never forget going to dinner with him to his friends' house. Sitting on his lap, tripping, listening to Pharoah Sanders' album 'Jewels of Thought.' Remember him fondly.

Ross grew up in the Brewster Projects on the west side near downtown. Two towers of the architectural style "brutalist."

by Anonymousreply 236March 1, 2023 9:33 AM

I’m surprised The Supremes got as far as they did with Diana in the lead. She was ugly: that big head on that skinny body and she was hunchbacked and slouching all the time.

by Anonymousreply 237March 1, 2023 10:04 AM

[quote]the Temptations realized early on that the audience loved in when they performed with erections.

Pics please!

by Anonymousreply 238March 1, 2023 10:36 AM

[quote]Diana Ross played a 24-year-old Dorothy in The Wiz. She was actually 34 at the time.

And your point is?

by Anonymousreply 239March 1, 2023 10:40 AM

[quote]I’m surprised The Supremes got as far as they did with Diana in the lead. She was ugly: that big head on that skinny body and she was hunchbacked and slouching all the time.

Many people thought she was gorgeous. STR8 guys were often really attracted to her and I think women loved her and so did gays - you're an exception to the gay rule.

I always preferred the male groups and singers - like The Four Tops and Marvin Gaye and Stevie. My musical tastes are much more hetero than gay.

by Anonymousreply 240March 1, 2023 10:41 AM

My mom and my aunties always said that she wasn’t beautiful, but she was glamorous.

Stephanie in a bikini after the makeover:

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by Anonymousreply 241March 1, 2023 10:50 AM

In early 64, right before they hit big, The Supremes were booked with The Velvelettes at Detroit's Greystone Ballroom for a "Battle of the Bands" show. Both groups performed and the audience picked The Velvelettes as the winner of the battle. Diana Ross was so incensed she destroyed a woman's backstage bathroom at the Ballroom.

by Anonymousreply 242March 1, 2023 11:49 AM

It was Cindy Birdsong who brought Suzanne De Passe to Motown and Gordy's attention.

by Anonymousreply 243March 1, 2023 12:24 PM

Many of the songs at Motown were written by people trying to get into the business. Motown producers recorded the songs in exchange for publishing writes and writing credits. Songs like "Please Mr. Postman" and "Love Child" have many writers listed but most are getting a free ride. This was ans d is a common practice in the record industry,. Isn't it, Mickey Stevenson?

by Anonymousreply 244March 1, 2023 12:28 PM

I wonder what Berry Gordy thought of Joe Jackson?

by Anonymousreply 245March 1, 2023 12:30 PM

R212, David Ritz pretty much debunked the idea that Rev. Franklin fathered Aretha's kid in his book Respect, which was written to clear up all the lies Aretha told in their previous collab on her memoir. He investigated the claim just about as thoroughly as it can be investigated, and couldn't find anything or anyone to back it up - in fact, he names the dads of Aretha's first two boys. According to just about everyone Ritz talked to, Aretha was promiscuous from a young age while on the notoriously raunchy gospel circuit. Not saying she wasn't molested by someone even before that and of course, there's a possibility that Ritz got it wrong. But nobody in a position to know thinks she bore her father's kids.

by Anonymousreply 246March 1, 2023 12:52 PM

The myth of Florence Ballard’s stupendous vocal ability dies hard. Gordy tried Flo on the lead for several early Supremes singles and none of them sold. When she does take the lead on later albums the results are unremarkable. I’m sure she was a lovely, talented person but she was never going to be up there with Aretha or Ms. Ross herself.

If she coulda she woulda.

by Anonymousreply 247March 1, 2023 2:23 PM

[R247] Florence sang lead on one single "Buttered Popcorn". Once Ross hit, Motown producer and writers created songs suited to her voice and the sound that they had made. Diana Ross had the perfect voice for pop radio. It was unique. Had the Motown writers devoted as much creativity on the talents of Florence Ballard or Mary Wilson, the Supremes could have been like the Temptations with multiple lead singers. Surely, a company that could make hits with Wanda Rogers singing lead for the Marvelettes, they could have made magic with all three Supremes.

by Anonymousreply 248March 1, 2023 2:33 PM

R247, I agree. Nice enough voice, but her vocals lacked star quality that Diana had.

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by Anonymousreply 249March 1, 2023 2:38 PM

She wasn’t trained to sing lead…had she been , her career trajectory would have been different. But I’ve heard her two post Supreme singles, and they’re not really that good.

by Anonymousreply 250March 1, 2023 3:05 PM

When you listen to the very early Supremes work from their 1st album, Diana, Flo and Mary were roughly equal in vocal ability. Each of them had a unique voice, and they all sounded quite good. In fact, I'd give the edge to Flo at the beginning. On "Buttered Popcorn", she has lots of charisma, and a powerful, soulful voice.

Right after that, though, Berry tapped Diana as the sole lead singer. From then on, Mary and Flo were not given the same opportunity to flourish, and as the saying goes, if you don't use it, you lose it.

Flo's voice is astonishingly unimpressive on her solo work. She actually sounds exactly like what she was at that point...somebody who was stuck in the background and had tried to make herself stand out and be heard in that context. Her voice is harsh-sounding, lacking in flexibility, and not very pleasant to listen to on most cuts. On a few of them, she's OK.

Mary's singing on her debut solo album is also pretty underwhelming. On some of the later Supremes work where she takes the lead, she sounds fine, but it took her years and years to get her mojo back as a lead singer.

by Anonymousreply 251March 1, 2023 3:43 PM

Florence at her best.

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by Anonymousreply 252March 1, 2023 6:48 PM

Florence had confidence issues which affected her behavior. She was raped as a teenager, but never went to any type of therapy for that trauma. Those who knew her say she was a changed girl after that, falling into moments of anger and sadness, which she would increasingly alleviate with alcohol.

In this interview, she speaks about being separated from The Supremes, the mental anguish she had (from the loss of her career and marriage), and her plans to come back and "do something," presumably meaning to sing again. Unfortunately, her health gave out on her, and she died in 1976 of a heart attack, at the age of 32.

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by Anonymousreply 253March 1, 2023 7:21 PM

I agree, R237. She wasn't very attractive.

by Anonymousreply 254March 1, 2023 7:26 PM

Her rapist was an acquaintance who offered her a ride. He was a professional athlete who later died of a drug overdose. He told his victim that she looked like she was experienced but he used a knife to threaten her!

1. Even a hooker gets paid.

2. What woman is experienced in being raped at knifepoint?

by Anonymousreply 255March 1, 2023 8:25 PM

[quote]Right after that, though, Berry tapped Diana.

He sure as hell did. Over and over and over.

by Anonymousreply 256March 1, 2023 9:56 PM

R255 he was shot by an acquaintance.

by Anonymousreply 257March 1, 2023 11:18 PM

Diana screwed smart. Mary screwed often.

by Anonymousreply 258March 2, 2023 6:40 AM


Mary Wilson's remembrance on meeting the Beatles -

Wilson said the Supremes met The Beatles briefly during their first 1964 London visit, but their 1965 New York encounter proved much more memorable.

While in New York to tape an “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance, a meeting with The Beatles was arranged. “We wore smart, elegant day dresses, hats, gloves, high heels and jewelry, as well as fur jackets, Flo (Florence Ballard) in chinchilla, me in red fox and Diane (Diana Ross) in mink,” Wilson recalled. “We entered The Beatles’ suite, perfectly poised. Apparently, other people had been up to visit them earlier, including Bob Dylan and The Ronettes. The first thing I noticed was that the room reeked of marijuana smoke, but we kept on smiling through our introductions.”

Wilson felt unwelcome, that The Beatles were largely distant. “Paul was nice, but there was an awkward silence for most of the time. Every once in a while, Paul, George or Ringo would ask us about the Motown sound, or working with Holland-Dozier-Holland, then there would be silence again. … John Lennon just sat in the corner and stared.” The Supremes couldn’t wait to leave.

Years later, while Wilson visited Harrison in England, he told her, “We expected soulful, hip girls. We couldn’t believe that three black girls from Detroit could be so square!’”

by Anonymousreply 259March 2, 2023 1:12 PM

[Quote]“We expected soulful, hip girls. We couldn’t believe that three black girls from Detroit could be so square!’”

Berry Gordy demanded that they, and the other performers, take finishing school lessons to mold them into artists proper enough to be presentable to White people. In actually, most of the performers were very "hip and soulful," whenever they felt they could get away with it.

by Anonymousreply 260March 2, 2023 1:30 PM

I can't understand why someone would call Diana ugly or unattractive. She was gorgeous! Look at her working the hell out of that diaphram.

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by Anonymousreply 261March 2, 2023 1:36 PM

@R259 - must have been some hella primo good shit!

by Anonymousreply 262March 2, 2023 1:40 PM

[quote] I can't understand why someone would call Diana ugly or unattractive.

I can’t understand why anyone would find her attractive. Big head, wide mouth, bug eyes. Her closeups are hard to look at.

There’s another thread about Jackie Kennedy not being pretty. I think Diana Ross is the same. Both women had elegance and style, which attracted people, but they weren’t pretty.

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by Anonymousreply 263March 2, 2023 2:03 PM

The Beatles probably thought they were gonna get some black snatch and they got their faces broke, that’s all.

by Anonymousreply 264March 2, 2023 2:11 PM

R261 Diane stole that act from Lady Bunny.

by Anonymousreply 265March 2, 2023 2:24 PM

R263, what makes Ross attractive is that she has perfect facial symmetry and bone structure. Her big-ass smile and eyes peering out from under giant bouffant wigs was THE LOOK.

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by Anonymousreply 266March 2, 2023 4:25 PM

R266 Did Motown recycle those outfits on the cover of one of the post-Diana Supreme albums?

by Anonymousreply 267March 2, 2023 4:30 PM

I'm not sure if they recycled those particular gowns, but Mary definitely recycled many of the DRATS gowns. I recall seeing clips of her schlepping around in them years later.

by Anonymousreply 268March 2, 2023 4:39 PM

If I had been a Motown talent scout, I would have formed a girl group with big girls and called them THE LUNCHEONETTES!

by Anonymousreply 269March 2, 2023 4:41 PM

Barbara Martin, was one of the four original Suoremes. She is on their first album "Meet the Supremes" but was not pictured on the cover. She left the group in 1962 to get married. Their marriage lasted a lifetime and she passed away in 2020. In the early years when the quartet traveled, Martin and Ross were roommates as were Wilson and Ballard,

by Anonymousreply 270March 2, 2023 7:31 PM

Betty Kelly was one of the original Velvelettes, and later joined Martha & the Vandellas in 1964, after Annette Beard quit. She sang on some of their biggest hits: Nowhere to Run, Dancing in the Street, and I'm Ready For Love to name a few.

Crazy bitch Martha fired her in 1967 when she found out she was fucking her man.

by Anonymousreply 271March 2, 2023 7:52 PM

Miss Martha was hooked on cocaine and prescription pills for a time and was locked up and strait-jacketed in a mental facility. The poor dear was a mess.

by Anonymousreply 272March 2, 2023 10:38 PM

At least I'm not a drunk driver, Miss Ross

by Anonymousreply 273March 2, 2023 11:18 PM

Martha was a mess. Perhaps I shouldn't say because I'm not fully recalling the details, but something about convincing a few other acts to let her hold the gig money at some dive in the 70s, and she stole it all - gone looking for the drug man.

by Anonymousreply 274March 3, 2023 1:29 AM

Martha Reeves lost her voice ages ago. But she still has a loyal fan base who turn out to see her. (She starts singing at 2:45)

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by Anonymousreply 275March 3, 2023 1:38 AM

Martha and The Vandellas on The Mike Douglas Show. She was in full voice. Enjoy.

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by Anonymousreply 276March 3, 2023 1:46 AM

In the Supremes' first Motown recording "After All"? each of the four had a lead section. the order of voices is Florence, Mary, Barbara and Diana.

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by Anonymousreply 277March 3, 2023 5:58 AM

R264 - During their early tour, the Beatles hooked up with the Ronettes, who were the exact opposite of the fur and jewelry wearing Supremes.

Just saying...

by Anonymousreply 278March 3, 2023 1:08 PM

There has been a longstanding rumor, that's never been confirmed to my knowledge, that Smokey Robinson gambled away the rights to the name "The Marvelettes" in a poker game.

As a result, there were several groups of fake "Marvelettes" touring the country, made up of women young enough to be the daughters and granddaughters of the actual Marvelettes.

Meanwhile, the various actual Marvelettes who were still trying to earn a living by performing, were prohibited from promoting themselves as Marvelettes.

by Anonymousreply 279March 3, 2023 1:33 PM

[R279] No, the rumor is that Berry Gordy gambled away the rights t the name. All of that was fixed by legislation spearheaded by Mary Wilson.

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by Anonymousreply 280March 3, 2023 2:03 PM

Otis Williams has always been the least talented of the Temptations. He is the only surviving member of the original group. There have been over 30 Temptations in the group since its inception.

Similarly, Duke Fakir was always the least talented of the Four Tops. Levi Stubbs had the great voice. Renaldo and Obie were songwriters. There have been 10 members of the group.

by Anonymousreply 281March 3, 2023 2:44 PM

R277 Barbara Martin didn’t have the same polish as the other Supremes. It was good that she left.

by Anonymousreply 282March 3, 2023 3:50 PM

R277 Diana sounded like shit in that song. It's amazing she managed to become the lead singer based on that. Proper training and determination can change turn things around, luckily for her.

by Anonymousreply 283March 3, 2023 4:06 PM

In her early performances, Diane would bug her eyes and open her mouth in an exaggerated manner. It was on one of those Behind the Music shows. And her makeup was tragic, especially the eyebrows.

by Anonymousreply 284March 3, 2023 4:14 PM

R284 That's true. You can definitely witness that in the video at R263. Proper training definitely took care of that.

by Anonymousreply 285March 3, 2023 4:28 PM

Ooh r34 what happened to Tony Washington?

by Anonymousreply 286March 3, 2023 4:30 PM

I meant r37, not r34…

by Anonymousreply 287March 3, 2023 4:37 PM

Rick James wrote in his autobiography that Prince was once his opening act and he stole from Jame constantly. It got violent from time to time with James kicking ass. Even the concept of 'vanity 6 was stolen form James' plans to launch the Mary Jane Girls. prince liked the idea of a trashy female group and beat him to it.

by Anonymousreply 288March 3, 2023 4:43 PM

For r286.

[Quote]Washington is rumored to have died from AIDS circa 1989

Fucking HIV robbed us of such much of our best talent back then. He's a gay pioneer who I admire. He made no apologies for being gay during a time when it was actually prudent to do so.

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by Anonymousreply 289March 3, 2023 4:51 PM

R288 Rick James was a coked-up narcissist. Everybody stole everything from him.

by Anonymousreply 290March 3, 2023 7:24 PM


by Anonymousreply 291March 4, 2023 2:07 AM

Any tea on Jean Terrell? Sounds like she didn't put out for Gordy (at least initially) ...

Per Wiki: "After Ross's farewell show with the group at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas on January 14, 1970, Terrell joined the group on stage to be presented to the press and public. After this introduction, according to Mary Wilson, Gordy changed his mind about Terrell leading the group and suggested replacing her with another Motown act Syreeta Wright. Wilson vetoed this move, preferring to stick with Terrell.

Terrell made an instant impact fronting the new Supremes, recording prolifically and successfully with several of Motown's top producers. The revitalized Supremes scored more chart success right from the beginning of the new decade; scoring big in the United Kingdom, while managing several pop and soul hits in the United States: "Up the Ladder to the Roof", "Everybody's Got the Right to Love", "Stoned Love", "River Deep – Mountain High" (with the Four Tops), "Nathan Jones", and "Floy Joy".

After the success of "Floy Joy," Birdsong quit to start a family and was replaced by Lynda Laurence (a former member of Stevie Wonder's group the Third Generation). Despite the initial successes, toward the end of 1973, Terrell and Laurence decided that it would be best for the Supremes to leave Motown and seek another record company. As Motown, and not Mary Wilson, owned the name "Supremes", both Terrell and Laurence left the group that year. All three Supremes were unhappy with Motown's seeming lack of interest in promoting this line-up of the group. In addition, Laurence was expecting a child at the time. So Scherrie Payne replaced Terrell and Cindy Birdsong returned to replace Laurence, although it would not be until 1975 that the group released any further recordings."

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by Anonymousreply 292March 4, 2023 2:51 AM

Jean Terrell had a really good voice

by Anonymousreply 293March 4, 2023 2:56 AM

I like this one:

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by Anonymousreply 294March 4, 2023 2:57 AM

[quote]Any tea on Jean Terrell? Sounds like she didn't put out for Gordy (at least initially) .

Jean was 24-years old when she signed to Motown, and she intially signed on as a solo act before Gordy changed his mind and put her in the Supremes. While Diana and Mary practically grew up at Motown and had that toe-the-company line mentality, Jean was more independent-minded and voiced her opinions. She was also more of an R&B soul sista than a glitz and glamour pop diva, so she wasn't exactly a perfect fit in the beginning. The Supremes did, however, evolve their looks and sound to match Jean's vision and even convinced Mary to sing as co-lead, which Mary really hadn't done since the early days of the Supremes.

by Anonymousreply 295March 4, 2023 3:45 AM

'71 Supremes

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by Anonymousreply 296March 4, 2023 3:46 AM

Interesting background to "Stoned Love": Per Wiki: "A plea for love and peace similar to those recorded by Sly & the Family Stone in the late 1960s, the lyrics of "Stoned Love" were a plea for the people of the world to end conflict and animosity between each other, specifically the Vietnam War. Writer Kenny Thomas chose the term "stone love" to define the concept of an unchanging bond between one another. The same phrase appeared more than sixteen years later in Kool & the Gang's title "Stone Love" and in a slight variant two years later in The Stylistics' title "I'm Stone in Love with You" The song was originally written and recorded as "Stone Love", but during the process of mixing and releasing, it was mislabeled as "Stoned Love".

Many people saw the song as a coded reference to drug use, and many radio station owners were at first apprehensive to play the record. Motown founder Berry Gordy was also said to have hated the song, and label executive Barney Ales had to arrange for the RKO radio stations to agree to play "Stoned Love" before releasing the single. Fearing that the song was indeed a reference to drug use, CBS cut a live performance of the song from a November 1970 episode of The Merv Griffin Show.

Happy Mary is WORKAN in the clip from "Soul Train" - but that isn't Cindy. Jean is beautiful and much prettier than Diana.

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by Anonymousreply 297March 4, 2023 4:02 AM

[quote]As Motown, and not Mary Wilson, owned the name "Supremes", both Terrell and Laurence left the group that year. All three Supremes were unhappy with Motown's seeming lack of interest in promoting this line-up of the group.

When Motown packed up and moved its headquarters to L.A., many Motown acts refused to head west and left the label, including The Four Tops, who signed on to ABC-Dunhill. They almost convinced Mary and the gang to follow suit, but Mary backed out when Motown told her that she couldn't use the name "The Supremes." Jean and Lynda bailed and Mary reformed the Supremes with Cindy and Scherrie Payne. Berry was pissed because he wanted the Supremes over and done with so he could concentrate on Diana's solo career and their burgeoning career in films, while continuing to make money off the Supremes back catalog.

by Anonymousreply 298March 4, 2023 4:57 AM

In her 2nd book, Mary Wilson said that Jean Terrell and Lynda Laurence had become Jehovah's Witnesses, and that created a huge distance between her and them. Well, that and the fact that Mary made the age-old female celebrity mistake of putting her ill-tempered, incompetent husband in charge of their career.

Another thing she mentioned, and that I was always curious about, was that after she began dating her future husband Pedro, she learned that she wasn't the first female celebrity he'd fucked around with. She didn't name names, but I always wanted to know who it was who got his big Dominican dick.

I'm pretty sure it wasn't Miss Ross...at least let's hope so for Mary's sake that she wasn't getting "Diane's" sloppy seconds! Diane only fucked black men who she thought could help her career, though.

For sure Miss Warwick knows, but she's not talking.

by Anonymousreply 299March 4, 2023 10:12 AM

This is my favorite Jean era Supremes performance. A song from Pippin.

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by Anonymousreply 300March 4, 2023 12:49 PM

Rodger Penzabene, the lyricist or many big Motown hits, committed suicide after "I Wish it Would Rain" was released. The songs he wrote reflected what was going on in his life.

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by Anonymousreply 301March 4, 2023 12:58 PM

More on the tragic death of Penzabene

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by Anonymousreply 302March 4, 2023 1:04 PM

After Motown songwriter Mickey Stevenson wrote a number of musicals. One of them was called "Showgirls". One of the featured performers was Kaaren Ragland who now tours the world with her Suoremes tribute group "Sounds of the Supremes"

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by Anonymousreply 303March 4, 2023 1:33 PM

Wow. Poor Penzabene.

by Anonymousreply 304March 4, 2023 2:25 PM

Poor Cindy Birdsong…what a humbling experience to have to return to the record company that made you a star as a SECRETARY…how she must’ve bitten her pillow at night, crying herself to sleep.

A dinner of TEARS.

by Anonymousreply 305March 4, 2023 4:05 PM

the WordPress link offers no insight. It includes the lyrics of Rodger Penzabene's biggest hits and links to YouTube.

by Anonymousreply 306March 4, 2023 5:42 PM

"Similarly, Duke Fakir was always the least talented of the Four Tops. Levi Stubbs had the great voice. Renaldo and Obie were songwriters. There have been 10 members of the group."

Let's get one thing straight: from the group's founding until the Lawrence Payton's death in 1997, there were no personnel changes. From 1953 to 1997, there were only 4 Four Tops, the same 4 original guys. That has to be a record for singing groups or bands.

It wasn't until after Payton's death the revolving door of group members began.

by Anonymousreply 307March 4, 2023 5:43 PM

R305 MARY!

by Anonymousreply 308March 4, 2023 6:08 PM

The Jean Terrell years of the Supremes have some fantastic music. There was a box set issued years ago covering those years and it's terrific. Their album with Jimmy Webb was really good.

by Anonymousreply 309March 4, 2023 6:25 PM

One of my favorites from the post-Ross years. I think all three sing lead on this one.

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by Anonymousreply 310March 4, 2023 6:34 PM

[quote] Poor Cindy Birdsong…what a humbling experience to have to return to the record company that made you a star as a SECRETARY…how she must’ve bitten her pillow at night, crying herself to sleep.

[quote] A dinner of TEARS.

Oh, shut up, Patti! I know it's you!

by Anonymousreply 311March 4, 2023 6:57 PM

Diana Ross hinted that she grew up amid domestic violence in her autobiography. She took her share of beatings from her father during her teens for defying him and pursuing her dream of singing stardom. Fred Ross stressed the importance of further education ti the point that long after Diana was world famous, rich, and hugely successful he still harped on her, saying she should go back to school. He routinely turned down her offers to buy him this or that, telling her to save her money. He was not impressed by her fame. Poor Diana.

Diana with her then husband and parents Fred and Ernestine Ross.

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by Anonymousreply 312March 4, 2023 6:59 PM

This is a fun post-Diana Supremes song for me to watch. It has Mary Wilson, Scherrie Payne, and Cindy Birdsong co-leading. Too bad The Supremes fame fizzled, because I thought they weren't all that bad afterwards. They seemingly toured a lot.

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by Anonymousreply 313March 4, 2023 7:12 PM

^ Damn. The really sucked. Mary snortin too much caine and trying to be the new Diane...

by Anonymousreply 314March 4, 2023 7:15 PM

[Quote]Mary Wells married and had kids with Cecil Womack

An elder gay I used to run into told a great story about picking up Mary Wells and her man at the San Francisco airport sometime in the 80's for a performance at a Human Rights Campaign event.

He said Mary arrived shitfaced and messy. She and her guy fought all the way into the City both threatening to kill the other, calling each other muthafucka over and over..

He said it was quite amusing because Mary who was drinking out of a 5th bottle would lean forward and ask him very sweetly "Are we almost there, sugar?". Then her voice would drop a few octaves and she'd start up again with her man. " STFU muthfucka! "

But she made the show and performed like a pro.

by Anonymousreply 315March 6, 2023 12:29 PM

Wait, weren’t there gay/bi rumors surrounding one of the Temptations? I recall my mother saying something about it to one of her friends during her short lived ladies clubs.

by Anonymousreply 316March 6, 2023 4:11 PM

PS…can’t remember which one…Paul Williams, maybe?

by Anonymousreply 317March 6, 2023 4:12 PM

Why were there Four Tops but no Four Bottoms?

by Anonymousreply 318March 6, 2023 4:54 PM

Paul Williams of the Tempts did their early choreography and reputedly created the "Sop!" choreography for the Supremes.

by Anonymousreply 319March 6, 2023 7:07 PM

Mary Wells was another star who took advice from an idiot husband . He told her to leave Motown and her career nosedived, never to recover.

by Anonymousreply 320March 7, 2023 2:50 AM

{R319] Stop! not Sop!

by Anonymousreply 321March 7, 2023 6:05 PM

[quote]Why were there Four Tops but no Four Bottoms?

There was, but Berry Gordy had them change their name to The Spinners.

by Anonymousreply 322March 7, 2023 6:15 PM

^ lol

by Anonymousreply 323March 7, 2023 6:34 PM

r322 Wouldn't "spinners" be versatile?

by Anonymousreply 324March 7, 2023 6:43 PM


by Anonymousreply 325March 7, 2023 7:16 PM

Mary Wells - now that's what I'd call a vocal light-weight. It was initially Wells who Gordy was intending to mold into a super-star. She bolted. Gordy wanted to shape a huge female star in the tradition of old Hollywood. Enter Diana Ross. Sure, she scaled her heights if super stardom through her association with Gordy, but it's not stated NEARLY enough that Gordy attained the apex of his career ambitions through Ross. To quote him "She wanted to be where she was going to be, and I was going to be where I was going to be (he uses his index finger and extends his arm toward the ceiling to indicate the top) and we vowed never to let our personal relationship to interfere with that (goal)." He also said "Diana was the personality one in the group. And she was willing to pay the price, and willing to sacrifice." She certainly was expecting to marry him at that time.

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by Anonymousreply 326March 7, 2023 10:41 PM

R324 no. It's spinner as in that boy got spun. Maybe versatile in that they can take it in both ends at the same time.

I'm loving this thread a lot it's leading me to all sorts of cool songs that I love and some that I forgotten and lots of new discoveries.

by Anonymousreply 327March 7, 2023 10:46 PM

[quote] It was initially Wells who Gordy was intending to mold into a super-star.

It’s good that she bolted. She didn’t have the light sound and vocal purity that Diana had. Diana was just the right vocal type at that time.

by Anonymousreply 328March 7, 2023 10:50 PM

Berry could have helped Mary Wells with her medical bills. I mean, she was almost bankrupt.

by Anonymousreply 329March 7, 2023 10:53 PM

I see all five of Mary Wilson's fans found the DL.

You should be thankful her one album got a rerelease.

by Anonymousreply 330March 7, 2023 10:56 PM

And who's extolling the "vocal talents" of Mary Wilson?

I've had soda less flat than those dusty ass vocals.

by Anonymousreply 331March 7, 2023 10:59 PM

Mary Wells actually started out with much more raucous, soulful vocal style than the style she eventually became known for, under Berry and Smokey's direction.

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by Anonymousreply 332March 7, 2023 11:19 PM

Hey, back up the Mary Wells snark. She had a distinctive sound and made some great records. Smokey loved her sound and style.

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by Anonymousreply 333March 7, 2023 11:25 PM

She wasn't a powerhouse but I really like Mary Wells' voice. "Two Lovers" is my favorite song of hers

by Anonymousreply 334March 7, 2023 11:29 PM

Two Lovers

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by Anonymousreply 335March 8, 2023 12:10 AM

Mary Wells toured with the Beatles and was their favorite "girl singer".

by Anonymousreply 336March 8, 2023 2:28 AM

The Mary Wells slander is weird. She was a great singer. Sad life.

by Anonymousreply 337March 8, 2023 2:50 AM


Someone must have left the cages open over there at Lipstick Alley...

So, this is the MOTOWN gossip thread and the OP said let's not make it about Diana Ross. Yet, there are 337 posts and nearly 300 of them are about Diana Ross. Girls, your hatred is palpable.

by Anonymousreply 338March 9, 2023 10:11 AM

It’s like when someone creates a thread about royalty in Europe and it turns into a thread about the Winsdors.

by Anonymousreply 339March 9, 2023 10:27 AM

[quote]Berry could have helped Mary Wells with her medical bills. I mean, she was almost bankrupt.

Why should he? Was he responsible for her drug addiction? Her bad choices in men? Isn't she the one that was fucking the Womack brothers (one famous for "If You Think You're Lonely Now. Wait Until Tonight, Girl") and had children by both of them? What are the children? Brothers or cousins?

by Anonymousreply 340March 9, 2023 10:37 AM

[quote]Nick Ashford allegedly cruised the Rambles in Central Park on a regular basis.

[quote]Wut-wut [R78]? First time I heard that? Did Valerie Simpson know?

Gurl, please! Church boy, falsetto voice, long flowing hair, small/tight ass? (SLAP!) (SLAP!!!)

As someone posted earlier;

[quote]Please check out "The Fan that Knew Too Much: Secret Closets of American Culture" by historian and musicologist Anthony Heilbut. Gospel Music incubated Motown et al and it was queer as queer could be. I recently rewatched the documentary of Aretha's "Amazing Grace" with an eye toward the male musicians. Queens galore.

by Anonymousreply 341March 9, 2023 10:51 AM

[quote]Marvin Gaye had a kid with his 16-year-old niece

Never heard of that one. Maybe it was his wife Janet/Janice? Didn't she die recently? Anyway...

I personally don't think that Marvin Gaye knew who he was, or what he was, sexually himself. We have to remember that Marvin grew up in a very strict and religious household. A household where the father (a church Pastor) beat the shit out of him almost on a daily basis but that same Pastor would put on his/her makeup, dress, heels, and hair, at night, and become Evangelist/Sister Ragina.

Then he was married to the very over-sexed Gwen Gordy who demanded that she be fucked ever half hour on the hour of which he he couldn't keep up with. I believe he was with Janet/Janice because she was someone he could control. But, it is documented (I believe from her book) that Marvin got off from watching her being fucked by other men.

Bottom line... I believe he was very confused sexually BUT (IMHO) leaned more toward the gay side.

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by Anonymousreply 342March 9, 2023 11:15 AM

[quote]Nick Ashford allegedly cruised the Rambles in Central Park on a regular basis.

Here he comes. Walking down the street...

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by Anonymousreply 343March 9, 2023 11:39 AM

No one knows anything about Sisqo? There's GOT TO BE stories out there about him!

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by Anonymousreply 344March 9, 2023 12:04 PM

Sisqo's dick

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by Anonymousreply 345March 9, 2023 12:06 PM

Is Sisqo a Motown artist?

by Anonymousreply 346March 9, 2023 12:43 PM

Marvin was married to Anna Gordy. Gwen Gordy was married to Harvey Fuqua, a Motown executive and former member if Harvey Fuqua and the Moonglows.

by Anonymousreply 347March 9, 2023 1:17 PM

No r346, I don’t think he is…I hate sounding like a pedant, but let’s stay on topic.

Motown artists only.

by Anonymousreply 348March 9, 2023 1:31 PM

[quote]If I had been a Motown talent scout, I would have formed a girl group with big girls and called them THE LUNCHEONETTES!

Thanks! That made me laugh and I needed it!

by Anonymousreply 349March 9, 2023 1:39 PM

R349, let’s think of some song titles for them 😆

by Anonymousreply 350March 9, 2023 1:41 PM

Harvey Fuqua had a thing going with a young Etta James in the 50's. He mentored her, and they recorded duets together as Etta & Harvey. He was her first boyfriend, she was madly in love with him, and thought they'd get married and be together forever and be this couple of singing sweethearts for the rest of their lives.

Instead, Harvey took off for Detroit, started his own label with Gwen Gordy (which eventually became part of Motown) and married Gwen.

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe this heartbreak is what started her on the path to her serious drug addiction.

by Anonymousreply 351March 9, 2023 1:42 PM

You Can't Hurry Dinner, r350!

by Anonymousreply 352March 9, 2023 1:50 PM

[quote]No [R346], I don’t think he is…I hate sounding like a pedant, but let’s stay on topic. Motown artists only. —OP

Ho-Hum... 200 more postings about Diana Ross to go! Let's get a crackin'!!!

(Uhm... realize that a mistake can happen here and there)

by Anonymousreply 353March 9, 2023 2:02 PM

What I find always missing from threads like this is gossip--well... actually it isn't gossip it's FACT, is the talk about the incident when Brenda Richie beat Lionel Richie's naked ass in the streets of Los Angeles. He was so embarrassed by it that he got lost for a few years.

Now, how I always heard this was that Brenda returned home from shopping to her beautiful house and heard Lionel and some girl fucking in her bedroom. It was said that she lost it (wouldn't you? Some strange chic fucking on your bed and on your new sheets where the bill hasn't even come in to pay for them yet) and burst into the room ready to tear the place down. I've always heard that the side-chick jumped out of the bedroom window naked, but that it was Lionel that Brenda wanted, and she got him too. I've always heard that she was whupping his ass so bad that he thought he was going to die. Somehow, he managed to get to a door that led outside and ran down the street naked trying to get away from crazy Brenda. However, I've always heard that Brenda wasn't crazy. She was quite composed, determined, and focused upon the mission that she had to complete. She was calmly walking down the street (in her 7-inch heels) and using her index finger to let Lionel know to "Come here!" and finish getting his ass whupped.

But recently I found this accounting;

Velvet-voiced Lionel Richie didn’t have to ask, “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” when his wife, Brenda, suddenly materialized shortly after 2 a.m. on June 29 in the Beverly Hills apartment of Diane Alexander, a friend of the couple’s. According to police, Brenda found her husband with Alexander and promptly drop-kicked him sharply in what everyone is delicately referring to as the “stomach area.”

Lionel left before police arrived but later telephoned authorities to say he had been assaulted by his wife. Brenda, meanwhile, turned her fury on Alexander, a 22-year-old model and dancer. When officers arrived, they found Brenda striking and kicking Alexander on the living room floor.

“They were screaming and you could hear everything,” said Francies Devinney, a neighbor of Alexander’s. “Lionel was there, and it was obvious that his wife had just found him with Diane. His wife was really, really mad. Glass broke and furniture crashed around inside. It sounded like she was killing someone. It wasn’t very civilized.”

Another neighbor, Gary Oropeza, 35, reported seeing Brenda kicking and fighting with police outside Alexander’s apartment. “They had to push her down on her chest on the ground to get the cuffs on her,” he said. “She kept screaming for Diane to help her; she kept screaming, ‘Diane, don’t let them do this to me. Please, Diane.’ ”

Alexander refused medical treatment, but Brenda was treated for a cut on her right ankle and returned to police custody. She was charged with corporal injury to a spouse, resisting arrest, trespassing, vandalism, battery and disturbing the peace. By 9 a.m. she was free, after posting $5,000 bail provided by an unidentified female friend. She’ll be arraigned on those charges on July 29 and could face several months’ imprisonment and/or a hefty fine.

Devinney says Lionel was a frequent visitor to the apartment: “He parks in the back and walks right by my window all the time.” One source claims that Richie has been seeing Alexander for several years. The two are believed to have met at the 1984 Olympics in L.A., where Richie sang and Alexander was among the hundreds of dancers who performed in the closing ceremonies. More recently she appeared in the video of his 1986 hit Dancing on the Ceiling.

by Anonymousreply 354March 9, 2023 2:44 PM

Part 2

Long one of Hollywood’s most attractive couples, the Richies have been having marital problems for about a year, according to one insider. A friend of Lionel’s says that the singer moved out of the couple’s Bel Air mansion and into a Malibu bungalow for several months last spring, then moved back in with Brenda four to six weeks ago. “It’s been pretty intense for the last year,” the friend said. “Obviously, things aren’t too good at home.” The vehemence of Brenda’s reaction surprised her friends, one of whom, Sandra Moss, described her as “very soft-spoken. She’s just the most adorable, caring, pretty, bright…. I can’t believe she did this.”

So far, no divorce proceedings have been announced. Nor, for that matter, is there any talk of a rematch.

by Anonymousreply 355March 9, 2023 2:45 PM

I remember reading that Brenda and Lionel were trying to have a baby and they weren’t successful. It put a strain on their marriage. Can’t remember when they adopted Nicole.

I hope Brenda took Lionel’s ugly ass to the cleaners.

by Anonymousreply 356March 9, 2023 3:04 PM

Didn't Lionel eventually marry Diane and have more kids with her? Isn't she nepo baby Sophia Ritchie's mom?

Sophia is getting ready to marry Eliot Grainge, Lucien Grainge's son. She's been papped a lot with older sister Nicole recently, apparently there's been full reconciliation there. Lionel's had quite the career renaissance of late: Idol judge, Kennedy Center Honor, Gershwin prize.

by Anonymousreply 357March 9, 2023 3:40 PM

I'd forgotten all about Brenda Richie whipping Lionel's ass. That's a great story, thanks for reminding me about it!

Another piece of gossip I remember reading about Lionel Richie was regarding the "We Are the World" session.

Remember, Lionel never officially announced he was leaving the Commodores. He'd done "Endless Love" and then gone back and done an album with them, and then a solo album, so there was some thought that he might pursue a parallel solo career while still remaining a member of the band, not unlike Michael Jackson and The Jacksons.

He invited the Commodores to participate in the session. As co-writer of the song, he apparently thought he had more clout than he actually did, and he didn't clear it with anybody beforehand. The Commodores showed up, and Quincy Jones refused to let them in. They were offered the opportunity to watch the proceedings on live video in the lobby with various other guests, spouses, and relatives of the participants.

They were so furious at how they were treated, that any thought of Richie re-joining the band ended that night. They went on to do "Nightshift" without him, and he continued o have spectacular success as a solo act.

by Anonymousreply 358March 9, 2023 3:55 PM

^And yet, somehow LaToya Jackson makes the cut?

by Anonymousreply 359March 9, 2023 4:16 PM

How did Lionel devolve artistically like that? From a premier R&B funk band to AOR pablum. But he’s wealthy af. With that long horsey face of his.

Lol I remember when I was stationed in Japan the barmaids at this offbase bar we used to go to were obsessed with how long his face was. “Heem, have-a longu face-u, nay?”. Still cracks me up when I remember that.

by Anonymousreply 360March 9, 2023 4:28 PM

A sax player friend backed up Martha Reeves in the mid west in the late 70s

around 1980 he was based in NYC at the time she was to do a one off evening in Manhattan/

he was asked to join the gig/

he saw I had some pre recorded cassette tapes of Martha's and borrowed some of them to rehearse and reacquaint himself with the material.

I attended the show and met him backstage and met Martha.

She was larger than life and two thing she said I vividly remember (paraphrasing)

"Are you the one with the Richard Perry cassette tape? I've never seen a copy, and you better believe I never got paid for it."

when asked about a new artist named Prince who was just charting with Dirty Mind...

"Someone better put some diapers on that baby...He's going to catch cold!"

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by Anonymousreply 361March 9, 2023 4:33 PM

R352, you beat me to it, but I was going to offer "You Can't Hurry Lunch." Also,

Please Mr. Pie Man

Ain't No Pizza Large Enough

Ain't Too Proud to Beg for Food

by Anonymousreply 362March 9, 2023 4:46 PM

IMHO, the problem with Motown gossip is that one no longer knows what truth (or half-truth) is somewhat of a fact or complete fiction. Berry Gordy made a ton of money off of these kids and many of them are nowhere near where they should be financially given their hits and popularity. It's interesting that not much is ever rumored and written about Berry Gordy that I have seen. The "golden cow" is Ross. Now, I know that there are those of you who hate the air that she breathes, and I'll admit that I am a fan, but I try to be objective. But as someone posted earlier,

[quote]I don't see how Ross could have been the massive slut painted in this thread and yet successfully raise five children, none of whom are addicts or maladapted in so far as the public knows. Sluts like all addicts fuck up their children. IMHO.

This is quite true because most of the kids of these other Motown acts (and that includes Smokey, Gladys, and many others) are messes and some are 100% messes. I recall reading some excerpt from some male background singer (I honestly don't recall who) but even he said he slept with Ross. That book/excerpt was SO BADLY written with just about everything wrong with it that no one would find it credible. But when you need money and there is self-publishing... Yes, all of it could possibly be true about Ross but then again... Even Smokey has jumped on board with a recent interview revealing (after all of these years) that he and Ross slept together. I mean... c'mon! Does he need the money and publicity that bad? Maybe he does. Besides his divorce, drug addiction, and a few bad investments, he might need the money and relevancy.

In the meantime, Ross just continues to sell out venues and build her legacy.

by Anonymousreply 363March 9, 2023 4:49 PM

[quote]In the meantime, Ross just continues to sell out venues and build her legacy…

Are you a performance artist?

by Anonymousreply 364March 9, 2023 5:00 PM

Is Beyonce a Motown artist?

by Anonymousreply 365March 9, 2023 6:34 PM

Smokey fucking Diane was not new information.

Mary Wilson talked about it in her first book. It was also in another Motown book I recall, where the author stated that Smokey was very much in demand among the women of Motown, because of his good looks and big dick (the book referred to it as his "equipment").

Smokey also wrote an autobiography in which he was very open about his drug use and his extramarital affairs. I don't recall specifically if he mentioned the fling with Diane Ross, but he very well might have.

The point is, Smokey did an interview, he was asked a question, and he answered it honestly. It doesn't indicate any desperation for relevance, because a) he is every bit the legend Ross is and has no need to cling to her for relevance, and b) who DIDN'T fuck her at Motown anyway?

by Anonymousreply 366March 9, 2023 7:13 PM

Smokey and his oldest son

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by Anonymousreply 367March 9, 2023 7:26 PM

Damn, did he steal all of dad's food?

by Anonymousreply 368March 9, 2023 7:27 PM

Mary Wilson's daughter. She's in the middle

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by Anonymousreply 369March 9, 2023 7:28 PM

Gladys Knight's son


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by Anonymousreply 370March 9, 2023 7:32 PM

Diana Ross fucked pretty much every man at Motown. In the rock world, it was Grace Slick. She fucked pretty much everybody except Jimi Hendrix. Grace has gone on record as saying that not fucking Jimi is one of her biggest regrets in life.

by Anonymousreply 371March 9, 2023 7:35 PM

"Diane's" evil and bad-assed kids

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by Anonymousreply 372March 9, 2023 7:36 PM

Say what you want about Diana Ross, but her kids have all said that she was an excellent mother when they were growing up and she raised them the right way.

by Anonymousreply 373March 9, 2023 7:38 PM

No, Diana did NOT fuck every guy at Motown

by Anonymousreply 374March 9, 2023 8:08 PM

Diana used a plane the way people use automobiles. She routinely flew to her gigs every evening, did the show, and came on home that same night sleeping on the plane just so she could wake her kids up in the morning, have breakfast with them, and send them off to school. That's some loooove, baby!

by Anonymousreply 375March 9, 2023 10:49 PM

People trying to dismiss Diana. The woman worked hard. Even in Call Her Miss Ross, a number of people said that Diana worked hard, often even harder than Mary, Flo and Cindy.

She had ambition and it intimidates people when women have ambition, especially Black women.

by Anonymousreply 376March 10, 2023 12:38 AM

Re: The Luncheonettes - Come See About Feedin' Me!

by Anonymousreply 377March 10, 2023 1:06 AM

Someday, We'll Eat Together

by Anonymousreply 378March 10, 2023 1:27 AM

Love Eats

Always like to eat

Afraid, ashamed but always eating sweets

by Anonymousreply 379March 10, 2023 2:01 AM

[quote]a number of people said that Diana worked hard, often even harder than Mary, Flo and Cindy.

I can't imagine ANYONE thinking for one second that wasn't true.

Fuck, Mary and Cindy didn't even sing on some of the Diana Ross and the Supremes songs!

by Anonymousreply 380March 10, 2023 2:38 AM

Ross had some hella dominant genes in the genetic makeup of her kids. Even the four with white fathers are all dark skin. Usually, the kids will be lighter when the father is white coupling with a black woman.

by Anonymousreply 381March 10, 2023 2:53 AM

The poor Marvelettes - Great group but they all had perfect faces for radio.

by Anonymousreply 382March 10, 2023 3:09 AM

Otis Williams' home

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by Anonymousreply 383March 10, 2023 3:21 AM

One of my favorite Motown songs

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by Anonymousreply 384March 10, 2023 4:05 AM

Diana Diana Diana!

by Anonymousreply 385March 10, 2023 10:06 AM

r382: I was unfair. Gladys was the only one who wasn't camera-friendly. Wanda was lovely.

My favorite by the Marvelettes, One of Smokeys best, and one of the most sophisticated Motown songs.

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by Anonymousreply 386March 10, 2023 1:14 PM

Flo would have been much better off as a Marvelette or a Vandella.

by Anonymousreply 387March 10, 2023 2:23 PM

Flo would have been better off working in a liquor store where she got paid from stock.

by Anonymousreply 388March 10, 2023 2:28 PM

Mike Douglas must've liked Martha Reeves. She was on his show a few different times. I guess her drug problems prevented her from continued success after the 1960s.

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by Anonymousreply 389March 10, 2023 8:41 PM

The first recording of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" was by the Miracles. Marvin Gaye was second and Gladys Knight was third. The Gladys Knight version was released first.

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by Anonymousreply 390March 11, 2023 12:33 AM

Eddie Holland of the songwriting team that wrote the biggest hits by the Supremes, wanted Mary Wilson to sing lead on "Where Did our Love Go?" their breakthrough hit. He was overruled and the rest his history.

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by Anonymousreply 391March 11, 2023 1:34 AM

The Marvelettes performing Don't Mess with Bill while The Supremes watch

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by Anonymousreply 392March 11, 2023 2:26 AM

I love "Don't Mess With Bill"

by Anonymousreply 393March 11, 2023 2:33 AM

It gets so wearisome hearing some people go on about Diana Ross working so much harder than the other Supremes in the 1960s. Definitely her lead-singer role was different than that of Florence, Mary and then Cindy, but they made it look easy smiling all the way while doing their choreography and singing next to or behind Diana especially onstage -- regardless of how admittedly lower their mics were said to have been turned down during their live performances with her. They definitely had their own images, personalities, recognition ability and fandom among The Supremes' followers, something and often more so than that with other female groups' multiple members and "background singers" of that era. The Supremes circa 1964-1970 with Diana were especially some of those photographed female entertainers of the era.

by Anonymousreply 394March 11, 2023 2:47 AM

Who could miss Mary with her blonde wig?

by Anonymousreply 395March 11, 2023 4:01 AM

Why didn't Jackie Wilson ever record for Motown records?

There are a few reasons why Jackie Wilson never recorded for Motown records.

Firstly, Jackie Wilson was already a successful artist with his own record label, Brunswick Records, which released many of his hit songs. Motown founder Berry Gordy reportedly approached Wilson about signing with Motown in the early 1960s, but Wilson declined the offer because he was content with his existing label.

Secondly, Wilson's music style was more aligned with R&B and soul music, while Motown had a distinct pop and soul sound that was different from Wilson's style. Motown focused on producing more polished and sophisticated sounds, while Wilson's music was raw and passionate.

Finally, there were reportedly some personal conflicts between Jackie Wilson and Berry Gordy, which also may have contributed to Wilson's decision not to sign with Motown.

Overall, while Jackie Wilson never recorded for Motown, he still had a successful career and left a lasting impact on the R&B and soul music genres.

by Anonymousreply 396March 11, 2023 2:24 PM

Diane worked the hardest on her blowjob technique

by Anonymousreply 397March 11, 2023 2:37 PM

Berry Gordy's great-grandfather was a white plantation and slave holder.

[quote]No, Berry Gordy's father was not white. His grandfather, Berry Gordy I, was the son of James Gordy, a white plantation owner in Georgia, and a woman he enslaved. This means that Berry Gordy II (also known as Berry Gordy Sr.), the father of Motown founder Berry Gordy, was the product of an interracial union between a White man and an enslaved Black woman.

and therefore...

Former President Jimmy Carter and Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. are second cousins? Gordy’s grandfather was the son of plantation owner James T. Gordy, who was the great-grandfather of Jimmy Carter. Yes, James Gordy had sex with his slave, Esther Johnson.

by Anonymousreply 398March 11, 2023 3:24 PM

That's one interesting fact I learned from this thread, that Gordy and Jimmy Carter are close cousins (2nd cousins is kind of close). Gordy's father and Lillian Gordy Carter were first cousins. I wonder if they were all aware of this back in the 70s, when Carter was President.

by Anonymousreply 399March 11, 2023 3:27 PM

[quote]It gets so wearisome hearing some people go on about Diana Ross working so much harder than the other Supremes in the 1960s.

I tell ya what is wearisome (IMHO) are the people that still go on and on and have grudges against Ross, Gordy, etc. Uhm folks... two of the original Supremes are dead (actually 3. I believe Barbara Martin died some time ago) and the last surviving original Supreme is a senior citizen--no matter how great she may look. When are you people ever going to let this go? It's just insanity to keep spouting that Ross got to where she is because she slept with Gordy. She's been in the business and relevant for over 60 years now. I mean... pussy is only SO powerful and even Ross' pussy wouldn't have sustained a 60 year plus career! Give her credit for talent and hard work!

BTW: Barbara Martin is dead.

[quote]After leaving the group, Martin eventually earned a degree in psychology and worked in mental health. Out of respect for Diana Ross and Mary Wilson, she never spoke publicly about her tenure with the Primettes/Supremes. She denied interviews over the years, with the exception of one interview she gave in 2009 for the 2010 release of Meet the Supremes: Expanded Edition. Martin died in March 2020 at the age of 76.

[quote]Ms Martin brought up a family, gained a degree in psychology and worked in mental health. She never talked about her Motown days till she gave an interview with old friend Mary Wilson for the special re-release of ‘Meet The Supremes’. In the interview she confirms that it was Florence Ballard who came up with the “Supremes” name. She said she had no regrets on leaving while Mary Wilson opines that Barbara was the only Supreme to find the love of her life and stay with him… Barbara was married for almost 50 years!

[quote]BARBARA MARTIN: The Supremes' 4th member, Barbara Martin, was born in Detroit, Michigan in June of 1943 to New Jersey natives Eunice and Riley Martin. As a teenager at Northwestern High School, singing wasn't her initial priority. However, she and her brother Ted, did sing at parties with several neighborhood guys. She was introduced to Diana, Mary, and Florence in 1960 at the Graystone Ballroom, her favorite spot. The burgeoning group, then called The Primettes, needed a replacement for their 4th member, Betty McGlown. Before going to Motown, the revised quartet auditioned at Claudette Robinson's house with The Miracles. Berry Gordy turned them down, whereupon their then-manager, Richard Morrison, took them to the Lupine label where they recorded "Tears of Sorrow" and "Pretty Baby." Initially Barbara's mother disliked the idea of her underage signing to Motown, but her father convinced her, whereupon they signed her contract for her. Barbara recorded many tracks in the early years, several of which ended up on The Supremes' debut album, 1962's "Meet The Supremes." She did not appear on that album cover though, as it was released months after her departure. After marrying at age 18 to Willie Richardson in December of 1961, she was in and out of the Supremes until the birth of her daughter in July of 1962. Thus, The Supremes officially became a trio. She went back to school, had four children, and earned a degree as a medical assistant. Though she left show business behind, she still kept in touch with Florence Ballard through the years. She even saw her a few weeks before her death in 1976. Meanwhile, Mary Wilson interviewed her for the expanded re-issue of "Meet The Supremes." Barbara passed away March 4, 2020 at 76. See less

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by Anonymousreply 400March 11, 2023 3:48 PM


Even Betty McGlown is dead...

[quote]In 1959, McGlown started dating future Temptations member Paul Williams, who was then singing with the Primes. Around the same time, the Primes' booking agent and manager Milton Jenkins was scouting the Detroit neighborhoods looking for girls to become part of the Primes' sister act. After he discovered Florence Ballard, Ballard set about recruiting other girls she knew, quickly asking Mary Wilson. Primes member Paul Williams asked Diana Ross to join. Due to her connection with Williams, McGlown became the last to join the Primettes.

Along with their guitarist, Marv Tarplin, the girls performed for Berry Gordy who, although impressed, told them they were too young for the business and encouraged them to finish school. On Lu Pine Records, McGlown sang backing vocals for Mary Wilson on "Pretty Baby" and backing vocals for Diana Ross on "Tears of Sorrow". These became the only known recordings of McGlown, although her voice does not stand out by itself in either song.

While all four members sang lead on stage, it is only the other three members who ever had leads on studio recordings. McGlown eventually became Mrs. Betty Travis and left the Primettes in 1960 to concentrate on her new marriage. She was replaced by Barbara Martin the same year.

Betty McGlown-Travis died of diabetes in January 2008 at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, at the age of 66.

by Anonymousreply 401March 11, 2023 3:52 PM

[quote]no matter how great she may look.

HAHAHAHA....she looks like a glamorous bag lady. Her gowns look like trash bags.

by Anonymousreply 402March 11, 2023 3:56 PM

[quote]HAHAHAHA....she looks like a glamorous bag lady. Her gowns look like trash bags.

And yet, tickets to her concerts are still selling out...

In the link is Berry Gordy's granddaughter, Mahogany LOX. Yes, she is named after the film.

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by Anonymousreply 403March 11, 2023 4:00 PM

Fun Fact: she is called Mahogany LOX because she reeks of brined salmon, just like her famous gam-gam.

by Anonymousreply 404March 11, 2023 4:04 PM

Betty McGlown

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by Anonymousreply 405March 11, 2023 4:04 PM

[quote]Eddie Holland of the songwriting team that wrote the biggest hits by the Supremes, wanted Mary Wilson to sing lead on "Where Did our Love Go?" their breakthrough hit

Which proves that people should stay in their lane.

by Anonymousreply 406March 11, 2023 4:22 PM

Berry Gordy wrote some of Jackie Wilson's biggest hits, including TO BE LOVED, REET PETITE, THAT IS WHY, and LONELY TEARDROPS!

by Anonymousreply 407March 11, 2023 5:52 PM

Two GREAT ladies...

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by Anonymousreply 408March 11, 2023 6:06 PM

Berry has 8 children. Are any one of them gay? The odds are not on his side. What about other Motown artists? Any rumors about gay offspring?

by Anonymousreply 409March 11, 2023 6:12 PM

R409, there were rumors about Rockwell

by Anonymousreply 410March 11, 2023 6:17 PM


Help him, Jesus...

Berry Gordy’s son, singer Rockwell arrested for beating woman with chair (this is from 20190

American singer Rockwell was arrested for allegedly beating a female employee with a chair at a Hollywood hotel. Rockwell, 54, is pictured in a screen grab from the video treatment for his only U.S. hit song, “Somebody’s Watching Me”, featuring an uncredited Michael Jackson.

The troubled son of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy was taken into custody and charged with a felony following the incident at the Magic Castle Hotel in Los Angeles on November 29, according to The Blast.

His alleged victim is now suing him over injuries that she claims included a broken arm that required surgery.

Sources tell The Blast the woman approached Rockwell, real name Kennedy Gordy, about paying back a debt he owed her, and he responded by attacking her with a chair.

The 54-year-old musician was jailed for two days before he posted bond of $30,000 on December 1, 2018.

The victim filed a personal injury lawsuit against Rockwell in Los Angeles on Monday, claiming damages of more than $25,000.

Rockwell was an eccentric singer who convinced his childhood friend, the late Michael Jackson, to lend his vocals to his only hit song, “Somebody’s Watching Me”, in 1984.

Jackson declined payment for his vocal contribution to the song, and he was not credited on the track.

by Anonymousreply 411March 11, 2023 6:25 PM

A friend of mine went to a party in LA around '85 or '86. Rockwell was there, and my friend came back and told us Rockwell for sure was gay.

He said at one point he was doing an imitation of an effeminate gay man, as if trying to degrade gay people, and my friend said that the "imitation" was just a little too on the nose.

He later became a hardcore Jesus freak, as I recall. Make of that what you will.

by Anonymousreply 412March 11, 2023 6:28 PM

[quote]He said at one point he was doing an imitation of an effeminate gay man, as if trying to degrade gay people, and my friend said that the "imitation" was just a little too on the nose.

Eddie Murphy does gay imitations the same way. It doesn't mean that he is... wait a minute... never mind...

by Anonymousreply 413March 11, 2023 6:31 PM

The Primettes. You can even hear here that Diana and Flo stood out.

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by Anonymousreply 414March 11, 2023 9:13 PM

The "pretty one"s contribution...

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by Anonymousreply 415March 11, 2023 9:15 PM

The Motown Revue was traveling the South and performed at a venue where a very aggressive and masculine woman s infatuated with Martha Reeves followed the acts out to their departing bus, pressed her face against Martha in her window seat, and began trying to rock the bus from side-to-side to get the attention of and get at Martha—who was mortified, at least by all the constant bus-rocking.

by Anonymousreply 416March 12, 2023 5:00 AM

Has Smokey had a face lift?

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by Anonymousreply 417March 12, 2023 7:33 AM

You made not mention that the mob ran Jackie Wilson, r396. And Jackie Wilson's music was the definition of compromise. He had the requisite whitebread backing singers on many of his hits. He also very much went Vegas by the latter part of the 1960s. His showmanship and voice have had a greater contribution to his legacy that the bulk of his recordings.

by Anonymousreply 418March 12, 2023 7:39 AM

*no mention

by Anonymousreply 419March 12, 2023 7:39 AM

Smokey probably has had multiple surgeries. At least he got the belt sander variety rather than the look of eternal surprise, which wouldn't have worked in him (it doesn't work for most people).

by Anonymousreply 420March 12, 2023 2:04 PM

R414 That sounds so amateurish.

It's easy to see why the Supremes had such a slow start sales-wise.

by Anonymousreply 421March 12, 2023 4:41 PM

r333: That song sounded awfully familiar .....

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by Anonymousreply 422March 13, 2023 1:18 AM

Here's my curiosity. I watched "Respect" with Jennifer Hudson last night. It was "meh" to awful. Anyway, according to many in Detroit they all knew each other while growing up there. Smokey Robinson said that he met Aretha when she was 5 years old, and he was 8 years old. Aretha herself said that she and Smokey were close. Mary Wilson has said that she and Florence Ballard would visit Pastor CL Franklin's church often. Okay... so how come there wasn't more talk/gossip about Aretha Franklin's hot little ass who couldn't keep her panties on? Aretha wasn't raped and while her pregnancy at 12 years old was accidental, her second pregnancy (by the same boy/man, I believe), at 14 or 15 sure wasn't! Aretha loved dick! She learned a lot from her father! But none of these Motown stars got caught up in this hotbed of sexual activity?


[quote]As noted by his biographer, Nick Salvatore, Franklin fathered a daughter, Carol Ellan Kelley (née Jennings) (1940–2019), by Mildred Jennings, a 12-year-old member of his congregation.

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by Anonymousreply 423March 13, 2023 1:13 PM

Fifty years in the music industry hasn't mellowed Bettye LaVette. If anything, it's embittered the 66-year-old singer and driven her to air Motown's dirty laundry.

In her new memoir, 'A Woman Like Me,' she claims she had an affair with Aretha Franklin's husband, helped a 16-year-old Stevie Wonder lose his virginity, slept with Otis Redding and watched as Diana Ross was stripped down to her slip and panties by the wife of a man who pursued the legendary singer.

After wallowing in obscurity for decades, even working as a prostitute for a time, she staged an incredible comeback and was invited to perform for President Barack Obama's inauguration.

LaVette's no-holds-barred book reveals the sordid drug and alcohol-fueled world of Motown record studios in 1960s Detroit, Michigan.

Sex of all kinds -- especially extramarital affairs -- was commonplace in those days. It was treated as currency, even.

LaVette says she slept with her very first record producer when she was a 16-year-old rising star.

Among LaVette's conquests were Ted White, the philandering first husband or Aretha Franklin, and Otis Redding, who offered to leave his pregnant girlfriend to marry her, she writes, according to the Sunday Times.

She also organized a special party in her basement so Stevie Wonder, promising blind, 16-year-old musician, could lose his virginity.

She says she actively courted Marvin Gaye, but when the 'I Heard it Through the Grapevine' singer finally showed up at her room, she was already with someone else.

Gaye has been dead 28 years, murdered by his father, but LaVette says she's still 'kicking herself' for missing her chance with him.

LaVette reveals a culture where men had 'home wives and road wives' and jumped in and out of bed with all manner of women.

She also pulls back the curtain on a violent culture -- men often 'slapped around' their wives and she says even Franklin and Tina Turner fell victim to domestic abuse for their husbands.

However, the bulk of her bitterness is aimed at Diana Ross, whom she calls 'a stuck-up b**** with a small voice and big ambition.'

LaVette recalled one incident in which the jealous wife of a song-writer who had a crush on the diva attacked her at a nightclub and tried to strip off her dress.

America's Supreme sweetheart was left standing in her slip, panties and bra,' LaVette writes, gleefully.

Despite wide success with the smouldering 1962 'My Man - He's a Loving Man,' LaVette failed to win the success as a young artist that her contemporaries enjoyed.

While Diana Ross and the Supremes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Gladys Knight and the Pips and Dionne Warwick soared to national fame and multimillion-dollar fortunes, LaVette languished in near-obscurity.

Finally, a chance find by a Motown aficionado in France led to one of her records being released in Europe, where it became a hit.

That fame led to new recording deals. In 2008, she brought down the house with a version of 'Love, Reign o'er Me' by the Who at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

The success led the Obama team to invite her to sing a duet of 'Change is Gonna Come' with Jon Bon Jovi at the president's 2009 inauguration celebration.

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by Anonymousreply 424March 13, 2023 1:34 PM

Anyone who trashes Diane in their memoirs is my fucking hero.

by Anonymousreply 425March 13, 2023 2:52 PM

R424 - I thought that name sounded familiar. I had no idea who Bettye Lavette was until I saw her perform at President Obama's inauguration. She sang a beautiful duet of Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Gonna Come' with Jon Bon Jovi:

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by Anonymousreply 426March 14, 2023 3:08 PM

How did Berry Gordy tolerate Joe Jackson?

by Anonymousreply 427March 17, 2023 4:49 PM

Does Lavette's book spill anything about the gay artists at Motown?

by Anonymousreply 428March 18, 2023 6:56 PM

LOL! Ya see?

Once you stop talking about Ross, you bitches have nothing! You just have your unmitigated hatred for a hard-working Black woman who had dreams, set goals, and was able to achieve them.

by Anonymousreply 429March 18, 2023 7:04 PM

Two alphas, R427 - I'm sure there was friction. Joe never renewed the Motown contract and left the label in 1975 and went to Epic. Gordy went around with a group of large men as body guards for years at that time. Word on the street was that the Mafia was trying to muscle in on the Motown magic, but Gordy refused to give in. I'm certain that there are all sorts of behind the scenes drama situations that never became common public knowledge. The Supremes drama was the perfect smoke screen to hide other issues. Diana Ross should be celebrated richly along with Gordy for having created through LSTB something the film industry had never seen before - not at that level! NOT! How much Hollywood racism did they, more importantly HE haved to deal with to get that film made? Frank Yablans, Head of Paramount pulled the plug on it. "Take your n*gger movie and put up a black screen with the words "THE END" on it!" The film ran over budget, forcing Gordy to withdraw FIVE MILLION of his own personal 1972 dollars to finish the film just to purchase the right to do so! Paramount retained the all important and lucrative distribution rights.

Flo would have never swallowed her pride to make nice with the viper who seemingly held her film career in his hands at the time, and I'm NOT referring to Berry Gordy. Ross doing what she had to do as pictured with Frank Yablans then.

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by Anonymousreply 430March 18, 2023 7:33 PM

Diane swallowed a lot more than her pride.

by Anonymousreply 431March 18, 2023 7:35 PM

[quote]Diane swallowed a lot more than her pride. —Mary W.

So tell us, Mary. How did it work with Tom Jones? Did he give you a number (1-31) according to what day of the month you could sleep with him? It must burn that, not only did he have a wife, but women were throwing themselves at him hourly and he was not shy about accommodating those women. Tell us, Mary, did you have to lay in the bed after one of his groupies was finished and left? Did he make YOU change the sheets?

by Anonymousreply 432March 18, 2023 7:42 PM

[quote]Tell us, Mary, did you have to lay in the bed after one of his groupies was finished and left? Did he make YOU change the sheets?—Diana, the famous one

Gurrrl! Mmph... yep, she's from Detroit! That rough part too!!!

by Anonymousreply 433March 18, 2023 7:52 PM

R124...I recently watched the interview Stephanie did on DJ Vlad's YouTube channel. When asked about standing up for Michael Jackson after Sam Smith said he wasn't really a fan of Michael's (which is totally his fucking prerogative) she said that she has to stand up for Michael when they come for him, whomever they are. Of all the allegations, chatter & downright public degradation of Michael Jackson over the years she chose to take to Twitter to take a flippant remark Sam Smith made about his musical taste to task. To me this was equivalent to the "tough guy" wanting to jump into the bar fight after the bouncers show up. Poor girl was very bitter throughout this entire interview, most likely still holds a grudge for Diana Ross getting roll of Dorothy on film. That, and Adele taking all the R&B fans away from blacks R&B singers, another beef she started a few years ago. There's a very thin between being outspoken & simply not knowing when to keep your mouth shut. Some people are incapable of aging with dignity.

by Anonymousreply 434March 18, 2023 7:57 PM

Well, Stephanie Mills licks the ass of Louis Farrakhan, so obviously the woman is not working with a full deck.

by Anonymousreply 435March 18, 2023 8:02 PM

Posters keep asking for Motown gay gossip.

There isn’t much if any. Motown’s history is pretty well researched and reported on. Until Berry and Diana die we aren’t likely to hear anything we don’t already know.

Interestingly, you would find more gay stuff going on in pro football or baseball than Motown, or the concurrent LA or San Francisco rock music scenes.

by Anonymousreply 436March 19, 2023 2:03 AM

^Right. What would be happening is that they would be telling on themselves, so to speak. There won't be too much more to tell once Berry and Ross die either. It will be the same people who are jealous of their fame and money, and who also feel that they were left behind. Or, those who are still around telling their great grandchildren about that slut Ross and how she slept her way to the top. Let's not overlook the facts that the great grandchildren couldn't care less about such stories, nor will they know what a Diana Ross is.

by Anonymousreply 437March 19, 2023 9:06 AM

Birmingham, Alabama: Bronze Statue of Eddie Kendricks

That was nice of them...

BTW: Anyone know anything about the Eddie Kendricks Singers? From my limited knowledge they did A LOT of concert backup singing, but Eddie Kendricks never sang with them (to my knowledge) and so... who were they?

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by Anonymousreply 438March 19, 2023 9:15 AM

[quote][R124]...I recently watched the interview Stephanie did on DJ Vlad's YouTube channel.

She's like a poll. She knew Michael then and at that time. What might have been very true then and at that time might not have been true later on. It's not like that they were very close friends and remained that way. They dated and then drifted apart.

by Anonymousreply 439March 19, 2023 9:42 AM

R438 - no relation or association.

by Anonymousreply 440March 19, 2023 11:23 AM

Thanks, R440!

by Anonymousreply 441March 19, 2023 12:47 PM

Diana Ross would have never, ever been able and permitted to proceed forth in her momentous career building aspirations had she not been able to generate revenue. It's show BUSINESS! The public sees the glamorous side of it, but those in the industry see the money side first. Her ability to generate revenue is a large part of why she became a super-star icon.

by Anonymousreply 442March 19, 2023 3:50 PM

She's still a cunt. Kudos to her for generating revenue for folk, but there are too many anecdotes about her odious treatment of others.

by Anonymousreply 443March 19, 2023 4:02 PM

Betty Lavette was not a Motown insider.

She was briefly signed to Motown in the late 70's/early 80's, without much success (though she did release a great little throwback record called "Right in the Middle (Of Falling in Love".)

She most likely crossed paths with various Motown artists, as well as other 60's R&B stars, while on the road, and her stories in her book about them come from those experiences.

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by Anonymousreply 444March 19, 2023 4:25 PM

[quote]She's still a cunt. Kudos to her for generating revenue for folk, but there are too many anecdotes about her odious treatment of others.

Which (quite frankly) we don't know with 100% confidence if they are accurate, embellished, or just outright lies. But let's assume they are accurate., then so be it. She never lost her focus on her objectives and goals that she wanted to achieve. She made it.

[quote]Betty Lavette was not a Motown insider. She was briefly signed to Motown in the late 70's/early 80's, without much success (though she did release a great little throwback record called "Right in the Middle (Of Falling in Love".) She most likely crossed paths with various Motown artists, as well as other 60's R&B stars, while on the road, and her stories in her book about them come from those experiences.

She comes across to me as being bitter. Oh, well... she isn't the first nor will she be the last. My question is; Does she have a passion and love for her craft? Or was she more into the money and the "things" that she thought her talent would bring to her?

by Anonymousreply 445March 20, 2023 10:13 AM

Yes, but all the Miss Ross Grand Diva Cunt shit is part of the whole package. Gripe and detract if you like, but we love her for it.

by Anonymousreply 446March 20, 2023 11:42 AM

[quote]when someone got in and tried to block her way.

Tell me about it.

by Anonymousreply 447March 21, 2023 2:23 AM

The Ross haters disliked her ambition and favouritism by Berry Gordy.

They also hated her because she achieved her dreams while they were lazy and unmotivated.

by Anonymousreply 448March 21, 2023 2:58 AM

Glad to know that Flo Ballard’s rapist died the way he should have…

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by Anonymousreply 449March 21, 2023 3:35 PM

Poor Florence.

by Anonymousreply 450March 21, 2023 5:05 PM

If you haven't seen this YouTube video, you might want to watch it. It's a nice story of the Gordy family by someone who grew up with the family.

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by Anonymousreply 451March 22, 2023 9:35 PM

Another good video if you have not seen it. I love Martha's memories of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder

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by Anonymousreply 452March 22, 2023 9:38 PM


Bless their hearts. Background girls work HARD!

RIP, Mary. If nothing else, you LOVED what you did

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by Anonymousreply 453March 25, 2023 8:25 PM

Flo Ballard funeral footage, including D and M in front of the coffin at 32:00

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by Anonymousreply 454March 26, 2023 6:57 PM

I wonder if a factor in the success of the Supremes was the fact that Diana Ross' distinctive, slightly tinny voice came across well on transistor radios.

by Anonymousreply 455March 29, 2023 2:49 AM

Page 152 of "Call Her Miss Ross." Joe Shaffner, who I guess was a roadie or someone responsible for getting The Supremes from point a to point b remembers that he was with Diana trying to board a plane from LA to Vegas. Diana has her dog in a hat box trying to smuggle it onto the plane at check in. The ticket agent advises "I'm sorry Miss Ross, but you cannot board the plane with a dog in that box." Diana responds "There's nothing but a hat in this box!" to which the agent retorts "Then your hat just barked!" Diana lays into her asking "Are you calling me a liar?" as she goes on about having just endured dental work and having to be in Vegas to perform for thousands of people. Shaffner says "Before I knew it, Diane had taken the box and went upside the ticket agents head with it, beating her in the head with the damn dog still inside the box!" They had to pay the lady ticket agent off. Gordy came down hard on Diana for her bad public behavior.

Bitch was CRAY! 😂

by Anonymousreply 456April 5, 2023 2:00 AM

Wow, what a bitch.

by Anonymousreply 457April 5, 2023 10:45 AM

Joe Schaffner was the road manager for the Supremes, not a roadie. He was married to Katherine Anderson of the Marvelettes.

I sometimes wonder if the reason why Diana received extra "charm school" training from Mrs. Powell wasn't because she was being prepared to be the "Queen" of Motown and their top star, but because, in spite of her parents' best efforts, she was wild and uncouth so needed the attention?

by Anonymousreply 458April 5, 2023 11:46 AM

With all the history we know about the Diva's behavior, we may deduce two things: a) she was spoiled rotten and demanded her own way in all things and b) she did NOT deal with stressful situations in a mature way

by Anonymousreply 459April 5, 2023 11:58 AM

Oh! So, we're back to Diana Ross again?

Motown gossip? LOL!!! Like I posted up thread, without Ross you hateful and bitter bitches have nothing. Now go and order some Easter flowers to have placed on the graves of Florence and Mary.

by Anonymousreply 460April 5, 2023 12:47 PM

I wonder why Stephanie Mills didn’t succeed at Motown.

by Anonymousreply 461April 5, 2023 4:15 PM

"I wonder if a factor in the success of the Supremes was the fact that Diana Ross' distinctive, slightly tinny voice came across well on transistor radios."

Probably. It was said Barry wouldn't release a record unless it sounded great on a car radio, which is those days was 99.9% AM.

by Anonymousreply 462April 5, 2023 10:37 PM

R461, having the songs on her first album written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David may have had something to do with it. They didn’t write soul music. And as mentioned, Stephanie was…not easy on the eyes in the early days of her career. Berry was sure to have issues with that.

by Anonymousreply 463April 6, 2023 12:28 AM

There have been even more famous Broadway stars who have not been successful beyond the stage try as they may.

by Anonymousreply 464April 6, 2023 3:08 PM

Any tea on Teena Marie and Rick James? Did they, or didn't they? I know he and Linda Blair shared some time, but what about him and TM?

by Anonymousreply 465April 9, 2023 1:46 AM

Were any of the Temps rumored to be gay/bi?

by Anonymousreply 466May 6, 2023 2:13 AM

[quote]Any tea on Teena Marie and Rick James? Did they, or didn't they?

Surely they did. He *was* Rick James, after all.

by Anonymousreply 467June 25, 2023 8:16 PM

Great thread. Have been on a Temptations kick lately and watching clips of their TV appearances--aside from their talent, Kendricks was utterly adorable and Ruffin had that cool nerd thing going on. Both incredibly sexy!

by Anonymousreply 468August 26, 2023 12:53 PM

Aretha Franklin, great singer, but not a pretty girl.

by Anonymousreply 469August 26, 2023 2:56 PM

^ But what does that have to do with Motown?

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by Anonymousreply 470August 26, 2023 3:45 PM

Agreed, R470. But does anyone know why Aretha Franklin never worked for Motown? Was it money... which is just further proof that Berry Gordy didn't pay those kids anything... because they all knew each other. I believe that she and Smokey were very good friends. However, I believe that Aretha was "very good friends" with any male in the neighborhood.

by Anonymousreply 471August 26, 2023 6:15 PM

AH! I found this;

[quote]In fact, Motown founder Berry Gordy allegedly tried to woo the Detroit-raised Franklin to his upstart label early in her career but the Rev. Franklin rejected the overtures, believing Gordy's fledgling family-operated independent was a woefully insufficient home for his daughter's enormous talents. Aug 16, 2018/Slate

[quote]Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin was never a part of the Motown roster of artists. At the age of 18, she started out on a secular-music career recording as an artist for Columbia Records. But her Classic Soul hits were recorded for Atlantic, to which she was signed when she was 24 years old, in 1966.

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by Anonymousreply 472August 26, 2023 6:20 PM

Aretha dodged a bullet when her father nixed Motown. She and Gordy would have locked horns.

by Anonymousreply 473August 26, 2023 7:19 PM

I loved Marvin Gaye but after reading a couple biographies he emerged as a real kink. Like Chuck Berry and Sammy Davis Jr. Drugs…

by Anonymousreply 474August 29, 2023 4:03 AM

Marvin was confused about himself and his own sexuality. You imagine being raised by a strict, tyrannical, evil, religious nut pastor father that nearly beat the shit out of you nightly while he was wearing his mini skirt and come fuck me pumps...

by Anonymousreply 475August 30, 2023 11:20 PM

Disappointed in Gaye, Jackie Wilson and a few others. Allegedly they sexually assaulted more than a few women over the years. And the stories about how Marvin Gaye mistreated his wife Janis are horrifying to say the least…

by Anonymousreply 476September 7, 2023 2:02 PM

Gaye forced his wife Janis to have sex with white record executives. Disappointing.

by Anonymousreply 477October 19, 2023 6:29 PM

Okay... I'll take the hit (or be ready to take it).... I'm not excusing anything that these men did to women but they were a product of their time and so we're the women too. Men were expected to beat their girlfriends and/or wives (refer to the "Color Purple") and women were expected to take it and accept it (think of Tami Terrell)

What is shocking to me is that there are young men and women who still think like this to this very day.

by Anonymousreply 478October 24, 2023 12:22 AM

Speaking of Marvin Gaye, I just watched a series somewhere that focused on the estates and what happened to the money. Marvin was one of the features.

So, what's the story/gossip about Marvin's sisters? This is my first time hearing about any sisters. I vaguely recall a brother. Anyway, according to the documentary they are PISSED that they are not getting any money now that the Gaye estate is flush with cash. I don't know how old that series was but a point was made that the sisters live pretty much and are in the same condition as Flo Ballard's kids.

by Anonymousreply 479October 24, 2023 1:01 AM

No gossip but I just want to state my appreciation for Stevie Wonder's Fingertips Part 2. He was only 13 and amazing.

by Anonymousreply 480October 24, 2023 1:16 AM

Was there ever a Fingertips Part 1?

by Anonymousreply 481October 24, 2023 1:18 AM

Yes, R481.

by Anonymousreply 482October 24, 2023 2:17 AM


My brother and sister were in the audience during that recording. They were 15 and 14 and the Motown Review was playing at the famous Regal Theater in our hometown of Chicago (Chicago's equivalent to the Apollo Theater). Apparently, Little Stevie Wonder had no hits at the time, but seeing a kid on stage so gifted caused the enthusiasm. He was riffing with the Revue's band and Fingertips 1&2 was born. (The reason the pianist is heard shouting 'What key? What key?')

BTW, a ticket to see the Motown revue as $2.00. Imagine seeing Smokey, the Temptations, the Four Tops, The Supremes, the Marvelettes, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves...

by Anonymousreply 483October 24, 2023 12:52 PM

Great post, R483.

I was never fortunate enough to see a Motown Revue. How many songs did each group perform? How long did the concert last?

by Anonymousreply 484October 24, 2023 1:08 PM

Who were considered to be failures at Motown? Acts that were unsuccessful critically or commercially?

by Anonymousreply 485October 25, 2023 12:01 PM

[quote]Acts that were unsuccessful critically or commercially?

Stephanie Mills

Sam Harris

Lola Folana

Doris Day

and many, many, more

by Anonymousreply 486October 25, 2023 12:19 PM

Doris Day? 😆

by Anonymousreply 487October 25, 2023 1:19 PM

To R484

R483 again. I believe my sister said that each act only performed two songs. This was 1963, so many of the 'superstars' didn't have a huge amount of hits at that time. She said some also acted as background singers for other acts (The Marvelettes would back Marvin Gaye for example) It was more about seeing Motown's Caravan of Stars as a whole.

by Anonymousreply 488October 25, 2023 1:21 PM

Diana's success proves that Gordy backed the right Supreme.

by Anonymousreply 489October 25, 2023 7:00 PM

Diana had ambition.

by Anonymousreply 490October 26, 2023 12:24 AM

Stephanie Mill’s’ album covers are what kept her Motown albums from selling. Why’d she wait so long to get her makeover?

by Anonymousreply 491October 26, 2023 12:29 AM

I was going to post that it was such a missed opportunity that Hollywood didn't do the Marvin Gaye biopic that would have starred Jesse L. Martin. IMHO, that was perfect casting but upon researching it apparently that production did happen. Now, whatever happened to that I couldn't tell you. I guess it failed....

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by Anonymousreply 492October 26, 2023 12:12 PM

[quote]Doris Day? 😆

I could be wrong with that one but I do recall that Berry Gordy was chasing her really hard to record something that he had written for her.

by Anonymousreply 493October 26, 2023 12:17 PM

At one point, thanks to Re, one was hearing her as "Moo-Town," in competition

by Anonymousreply 494October 26, 2023 12:25 PM

Tommy Good should have been Motown's white heart throb star.

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by Anonymousreply 495October 26, 2023 1:12 PM
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