The Supremes at the Roostertail, Detroit 1966, Archives of Michigan
As the most successful female singing group of all time, the Supremes are well known – not only for their music, but also their rise to stardom. Starting out in “the Projects” of Detroit, the group rose to become the most popular female group of the 1960’s. The recent film Dreamgirls, based loosely on their story, shows that Americans’ fascination with this successful African American singing trio has not waned.
The Supremes started as a quartet called “The Primettes” in 1959. After hearing the girls sing, the manager of the locally popular male group, “The Primes” (the future Temptations) decided to start a sister group. They were signed to Motown records in 1961. Soon after, the fourth member left the group, leaving the trio of Florence Ballard, Diana Ross, and Mary Wilson. In their negotiations with Berry Gordy, manager of Motown Records, they changed their name to “The Supremes.” Gordy decided to make Diana Ross the sole lead singer, a role the three had previously shared.
Read the rest of the article and see a larger photo of the Supremes at the Roostertail at the Archives of Michigan, explore The Supremes at Wikipedia, (and Billy’s Supremes web site), check out the Roostertail’s history page and then turn up your speakers and click over to the Motown Historical Museum for more on the Supremes and other Motown greats.
And then – if you’re still looking for an “and then” – YouTube has The Supremes At Hollywood Palace “Stop In The Name Of Love”, Baby Love on Top of the Pops and a whole lot more videos.