The Supremes


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The Supremes became the first black female performers of the rock era to embrace a more feminine image. Eschewing plain appearances and basic dance routines, The Supremes appeared onstage in detailed make-up and high-fashion gowns and wigs, and performed graceful choreography. Motown chief Berry Gordy wanted the Supremes, like all of his performers, to be equally appealing to black and white audiences, and he sought to erase the image of black performers as being unrefined or lacking class.

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Side One

Happy (Is a Bumpy Road)

Side Two

Nathan Jones

Sparkling Dreamgirls


Since their influence is so great, there are several fictional works that have been published, based in part on the career of The Supremes.

The 1976 film Sparkle features the story of a Supremes-like singing trio called “Sister & the Sisters” from Harlem, New York. The soundtrack album by Aretha Franklin was a commercial success.

A remake of Sparkle was in development in the early 2000s with R&B singer Aaliyah as the lead, but the project was shelved when Aaliyah died in 2001. A remake of Sparkle eventually was released to film theaters in August 2012. The remake starred Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston, in her final film role before her death.

On December 21, 1981, the Tony Award-winning musical Dreamgirls opened at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway and ran for 1,522 performances. The musical, loosely based on the history of The Supremes, follows the story of The Dreams, an all-female singing trio from Chicago who become music superstars. Several of the characters in the play are analogues of real-life Supremes/Motown counterparts, with the story focusing upon the Florence Ballard doppelgänger Effie White. While influenced by the Supremes’ and Motown’s music, the songs in the play are a broader mix of R&B/soul and Broadway music. Mary Wilson loved the musical, but Diana Ross was reportedly angered by it and refused to see it.

A film adaptation of Dreamgirls was released by DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures in December 2006. The film contains more overt references to Motown and the Supremes than does the play that inspired it: for example, in the film, many of the Dreams’ album covers are identical in design to Supremes album covers, and the Dreams themselves hail from Detroit – not Chicago, as do their Broadway counterparts.

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Side One

Everybody’s Got the Right to Love

Side Two

But I Love You More

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Side One

My World is Empty Without You

Side Two

Everything is Good About You

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Side One

Floy Joy

Side Two

This is the Story

When You’re Not Here, I Still Live For The Sun So Bye, Baby, Bye


Wanna play the name game?

The Sunrays were an American band from Pacific Palisades, California. They  were previously known as:

The Renegades

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Larry Tremaine & The Renegades

The Rangers

The Dirt Riders

Sunrays

Side One

When You’re Not Here

Side Two

Still

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Side One

I Live for the Sun

Side Two

Bye Baby Bye