October 3, 1964: Supremes will not do package shows

This was the first article that James Hamilton wrote for Record Mirror. There is no record of him writing for the paper again until January 1969, when he took over the America Awakes singles review column.

Supremes will not do package shows
by James Hamilton

At last Britain is to see some of the Tamla-Motown stars in action. For early next week the Supremes arrive here for a series of TV, radio and club dates. The all-girl trio is currently number 3 in the charts with their latest disc “Where Did Our Love Go.”

The girls are to be brought over by Rik Gunnell Enterprises, and will not be seen in any package shows or tours. Rik Gunnell is the owner of London’s famous “Flamingo” Club where the Supremes will be appearing during a party for them, held by the Tamla-Motown Appreciation Society, led by Dave Godin.

The girls, who accentuate their good looks by being beautifully dressed off and on stage, were upset recently because their clothes had been lost in transit between Newark, New Jersey, and the Fox in Brooklyn. At the “Murray the ‘K’ show” last week, featuring the Supremes, Dusty and Millie among many others, the girls had to wear stage clothes which they said were “hastily thrown together.” In fact they were beautifully made, being long white gowns with short trains hanging down their backs. When I saw Diana earlier she was wearing a bright red billowing dress with a paisley design. She was particularly taken with my own handkerchief which was almost identical. So if anyone wants to send a present to Diana Ross of the Supremes, send her some of Woolworth’s paisley printed cotton handkerchiefs, at c/o Motown Record Corp., 2648 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit 8, Michigan, U.S.A.!

Dates so far finalised for the girls are “Top Of The Pops,” on October 7: EMI reception on October 8: “Ready, Steady, Go,” on October 9: Flamingo Club on October 10: Recording “Thank Your Lucky Stars” on October 11: Recording “Friday Spectacular” on October 12. And there are more broadcasts on “Saturday Club,” “Saturday Swings,” and “Scene At 6.30” to be fitted in.

The Supremes, Florence, Mary and Diana were singing together as long ago as 1957 when they were called the Primettes. This was a sister group to the Temptations (of “The Way You Do The Things You Do” fame), who were then appearing as the Primes. The girls never actually sang with the boys but they appeared on the same bill together.

For three years they were the Primettes, and cut one disc for the Lu-Pine label, now an affiliate of Atlantic records.

But the fact that the group were all still at school prevented them from appearing outside their home town of Detroit, and it was there, some four years ago that Berry Gordy Jnr. formed the Tamla-Motown disc company. The very first female vocal group that he signed up were the Supremes, but even then their disc releases were few and far between owing to their High School commitments.

After a while though the girls finally hit the big time with such discs as “When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes,” “Where Did Our Love Go” and now their newie “Baby Love.” Their song is from their new album called “Where Did Our Love Go” on Motown 621, and it has one fast, and one slower side.

According to Diana, the best track on the album is “Come See About Me,” but the girls themselves don’t listen much to their own records. They are great fans of soul and gospel music, especially Solomon Burke. They also backed Marvin Gaye on “Can I Get A Witness” and “You’re A Wonderful One.”

2 thoughts on “October 3, 1964: Supremes will not do package shows”

  1. This is amazing! James was there right at the start of the career of one of the most successful groups and female superstars of all time. Interestingly he refers to DIANA Ross and not DIANE. At the point he wrote this piece the Supremes were the hottest act in the world and considered uber cool. Another fascinating piece of pop/soul/Motown history.

    Like

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