Stop In the Name of Love
The Supremes was an American female singing group that came out with lots of memorable hits. They were at the top of the acts with Motown Records during the 1960s. The Supremes had a likeable and bouncy sound and had 12 number one songs on the Billboard Hot 100. The Supremes originally began as the Primettes in Detroit, Michigan back in 1951. In the mid-1960s when they were on top the Supremes actually rivaled the Beatles for popularity around the globe. It was their great success which paved the way for future R&B and soul musicians to find success.
The founding members of the Supremes were Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, and Betty McGlown all of whom came from the same public housing project Brewster-Douglass in Detroit, Michigan. When the group signed on with Motown Records McGlown was replaced by Barbara Martin and after she left the group in 1962 Wilson, Ballard and Ross continued on as a trio. It was in the mid-1960s that they became popular with Diana Ross as their lead singer. In 1967 they were renamed Diana Ross and the Supremes. In 1970 Ross left to pursue a solo career and was at this time replaced by Jean Terrell and they were once again known as The Supremes. After 18 successful years the group officially disbanded in 1977.
The Supremes began gathering popularity and by 1965 they had become international stars. They toured the world and had fans everywhere they went. They also recorded songs for motion picture soundtracks and appeared in the movie “Beach Ball” in 1965.
The Supremes first single came out in 1963 “When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes”.
In 1964 they came out with “Where Did Our Love Go” and this was followed by four consecutive U.S. number one hits – “Baby Love”, “Come See About Me”, “Stop! In the Name of Love” and “Back in My Arms Again”.
By the end of 1966 they had a string of number one hits among which were “I Hear a Symphony”, “You Can’t Hurry Love”, and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”. It was this same year that the Supremes came out with their album The Supremes a’ Go-Go which rose right up to the top and became a number one album on the U.S. Billboard 200 knocking off the Beatles album Revolver from the top spot. The album included the singles “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart”.
They began performing in supper clubs like the Copacabana in New York. They went on to appear regularly on TV in shows such as The Della Reese Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, Hullabaloo, and The Hollywood Palace.
The Supremes started having personal problems but managed to come out with more hits in 1967 “Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone” and “The Happening”. Their final number one hit in the 60s was “Someday We’ll Be Together”. The final performance by the group as Diana Ross and the Supremes was in January of 1970 when they performed at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. In the 70s the Supremes without Diana Ross scored such hits as “Up the Ladder to the Roof”, “Stoned Love”, and “Nathan Jones”. Their last Top 20 hit single was released in 1972 “Floy Joy”. Before they disbanded the group gave a farewell concert in June of 1977 at the Drury Lane Theater in London, England. The story of a group like the Supremes was featured in a 1976 movie titled “Sparkle” and had a group called Sister and the Sisters performing as a trio.
The Supremes songs “Stop! In the Name of Love” and “You Can’t Hurry Love” can be found among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The trio of Ross, Wilson, and Ballard were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and they received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. In 1998 they were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and in 2004 were placed at number 97 on the Rolling Stone list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
© 2016 Gypsy Rose Lee