In 1959 a group of high school women from Detroit formed a singing group known as The Primettes. They had a bit of success. Smokey Robinson was impressed, and he asked his friend, Berry Gordy, of the newly formed Motown Records, to give them a listen.
Gordy liked the girls, but he felt they were too young. He told them to graduate from high school and come back to see him.
However, the teenagers were determined. They kept “pestering” Gordy by hanging around the studio after school. Finally, he gave in, but he did not like the name The Primettes. So, after a back and forth, the name of The Supremes was chosen.
It took a while before one of their singles reached number 1. It was Where Did Our Love Go.
Gordy and company wanted to present The Supremes as a class act. They were dressed in evening gowns and their femininity was captivating for both teenage boys and girls.
Sex appeal? Definitely!
In the early 60s Motown made inroads into the white culture. Parents yelled at their children for playing that kind of music. Sunday sermons called down the wrath of God on young people, white young people, who would listen to Motown.
Growing up, I was fortunate because my grandparents had no problem with the music. American Bandstand featured Motown artists. The young viewers saw people singing great songs and playing great music.
Color did not matter to the younger generation like it did to the older ones. A person is not born with prejudice. It is learned. Prejudice is rooted in fear and ignorance of someone who is different than you because of culture, appearance, status and/or behaviour.
Listed below are some of my favorites. And yes, like a number of young teenage boys back in the day, I had a crush on Diana Ross who was beautiful and elegant and what a voice!
Hope you enjoy the selections.
G. D. Williams © 2011
You Can’t Hurry Love
Someday We’ll Be Together
Stop In The Name Of Love
I Hear A Symphony
Where Did Our Love Go