Wilson Wednesday – Mary Wilson

Yep, its that time of the week again, and today we turn our attention to Mary Wilson.

So it is somewhere around the late 80’s, probably 1989. I am still a youngster that notices and enjoys music, but hasn’t really developed a love of music. I am going through a phase of enjoying the music of the 1950’s/1960’s rock and roll – I think most people have a phase here, as you probably have to appreciate this before you can move forward. I hear word of a big concert tour coming down under – “The Legends of Rock and Roll Down Under” –  how’s this for a line up: Lesley Gore, Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers, Mary Wilson, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and hosted by Australian rock and roll pioneer Col Joye.

Anyway, to my young ignorant self, all of those names sounded familiar, except for Mary Wilson. Who was she and what was she doing amongst that line up of people? Of course these days, we can quickly and discreetly hop on our phones and google to find out that she was one of the founding members of the Supremes, but back then it wasn’t so easy.

I became delighted to learn that one of the shows was going to be televised on TV – in fact you can still find the full concert on youtube nowadays – I will post the link in the comments, and it wasn’t until then (taped onto a VCR as it would have been past my bedtime) that I got to watch the show and discover that Mary Wilson was in fact from the Supremes.

As she belted out Love Child, Reflections, Can’t Hurry Love and others,  I really began to realise how prolific the Supremes actually were. And Wilson in fact outlasted both Diana Ross and Florence Ballard as the last remaining member. Given its Wilson’s week here, I won’t mention that perhaps Ross went on to achieve bigger and greater things in that time…..

I found this on youtube – it’s a medley of Supremes songs with Wilson on lead. What you will find is that probably it doesn’t have the big name songs you would ordinarily associate with the Supremes, but that is probably not a surprise.

 

But over to you all – what are your favourite Supremes songs/memories.

8 thoughts on “Wilson Wednesday – Mary Wilson

  1. Tricky question. I grew up listening to The Supremes and trying to pick a favourite isn’t easy, but I do really like Nathan Jones, a track from the post-Diana Ross era, with Mary Wilson joined by Cindy Birdsong and Jean Terrell.

    This also allows me to mention that I used to vaguely know a guy called Byron, a friend of a friend, who worked for a music promoter and, while road managing a mid-70s UK tour by the Supremes, allegedly had a bit of a carry-on with Ms Birdsong.

  2. One of the great Wilsons !! I was coming of age when Diana Ross left the Supremes – around the same time that the Beatles split up – and I think their first single was Nathan Jones, quickly followed by Automatically Sunshine which is irresistibly fantastic. I had the very great pleasure of meeting Mary Wilson one night when my friend Stevie Kalinich, poet and lyricist for The Beach Boys and others, invited Mary out to dinner in Los Angeles with myself and Eamonn Walker with whom I was staying. Stevie had written a song for her back in the day – 1980s. I’ll clearly have to blog post this because it’s triggered a happy memory. As soon as we’d said hello and she had sat down I launched in “Sorry Mary, I’m gonna spend some time talking to you about The Supremes whom I love a lot !” She was gracious and enjoyed the evening.

    Here is “You Danced My Heart Around The Stars” which Stevie co-wrote

    • Well you have topped Carole’s story with a first hand account of meeting Mary! Great stuff, thanks for sharing!

  3. Once long ago I took a friend to LA airport. When he was gone I walked back out and at the kerb was parked a classic 1930’s bright yellow Rolls Royce, I noticed that just under the driver’s side door handle were inscribed in very elegant letters, the initials D.R. As I stood there admiring it and wishing I’d brought my camera out walked Diana Ross.
    “You like my car” she asked, I said something like “I think it’s fabulous, what year is it? She told me and we chatted for another minute and then she said “goodnight”, got in and drove off.
    My brush with the Supremes!

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