Category: the Supremes

On this day in music history: June 12, 1965 – …

On this day in music history: June 12, 1965 – “Back In My Arms Again” by The Supremes hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the R&B singles chart for 1 week on May 29, 1965. Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, it is the fifth pop and second R&B chart topper for the vocal trio from Detroit, MI. After being dubbed “the no-hit Supremes” by people at Motown, The Supremes finally grab the brass ring in August of 1964 when they land their first chart topping single with “Where Did Our Love Go?”. Three more number one singles (“Baby Love”, “Come See About Me”, and “Stop! In The Name Of Love”) follow in rapid succession. All are written by the songwriting and production team of Holland/Dozier/Holland, who continue their hot streak with the group. HDH come up with the idea for “Back In My Arms Again in November of 1964, also coming up with the idea of lead singer Diana Ross name checking her group mates Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard in the lyrics. Featuring The Funk Brothers providing the musical backing, the track is recorded at Motown’s Studio A in Detroit on December 1, 1964, with The Supremes overdubbing their vocals on February 24, 1965. Released on April 15, 1965, just five days after their previous single "Stop! In The Name Of Love” drops from the number one spot, “Back In My Arms Again” becomes another smash. The original mono single and stereo LP mixes of the song feature vocal performances that differ slightly from each other. Entering the Hot 100 at #68 on May 1, 1965, it streaks to the top of the chart six weeks later. It becomes the group’s fifth consecutive number one single, an unprecedented feat for an American group. This achievement puts The Supremes in rare company, as only The Beatles and the Bee Gees have had more consecutive chart toppers in the US, with six number ones each.

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On this day in music history: May 13, 1967 – “…

On this day in music history: May 13, 1967 – “The Happening” by The Supremes hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also peaking at #12 on the R&B singles on May 20, 1967. Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland and Frank De Vol, it is the tenth chart topping pop single for the Motown superstar trio. Less than two years after scoring their first number one single with “Where Did Our Love Go?”, The Supremes are in the middle of an unprecedented string of hits, that include nine chart topping singles on the Hot 100, and three on the R&B singles chart. In late 1966, Holland Dozier Holland are asked to write the title song to the film “The Happening starring Anthony Quinn. HDH collaborate on the song with film score composer Frank De Vol (“The Brady Bunch”, “My Three Sons”). Unlike the majority of The Supremes’ hits, it is recorded in Los Angeles, CA rather than in Detroit. The basic track is cut on the Columbia Pictures sound stage on February 24, 1967 with members of the Funk Brothers augmented by an orchestra conducted by De Vol. The Supremes record their vocals the following day on February 25, 1967. Released on March 20, 1967, just as their previous chart topper "Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone” falls from the top spot on the charts, “The Happening” is another instant hit. Entering the Hot 100 at #57 on April 8, 1967, it leaps to the top of the chart five weeks later. “The Happening” is the last single to be released before the group changes their name to Diana Ross & The Supremes, and also the last Supremes chart topper to feature Florence Ballard as a member. Unhappy with Diana Ross being pushed further into the spotlight, while herself and Mary Wilson are regulated to the background. Ballard becomes depressed, frequently missing performances and drinking heavily. Eventually, Flo is fired from The Supremes in July of 1967 and replaced by former Patti LaBelle & The Blue Belles vocalist Cindy Birdsong.

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twixnmix: The Supremes outside EMI headqu…

twixnmix:

The Supremes outside EMI

headquarters at 20 Manchester Square in London, October 1964.

twixnmix: The Supremes outside EMI headqu…

twixnmix:

The Supremes outside EMI

headquarters at 20 Manchester Square in London, October 1964.

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On this day in music history: March 27, 1965 -…

On this day in music history: March 27, 1965 – “Stop! In The Name Of Love” by The Supremes hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, it is the fourth consecutive chart topping single for the Motown vocal trio featuring Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson. “Stop! In The Name Of Love” is inspired by an argument that Lamont Dozier has with his girlfriend, when he inadvertently blurts out the phrase in the middle of the squabble. The two laugh at what is said and stop arguing. Later, Dozier tells his writing partners about the incident and they write the song about a woman pleading with her man to remain faithful, and not to stray from their relationship. Recorded on January 5, 1965 at Motown’s Studio A in Detroit with The Funk Brothers providing the musical backing, The Supremes add their vocals on January 11, 1965. Shortly after the song is released on February 8, 1965, The Supremes along with several of Motown’s major acts travel to England for a major tour of the country as well as a make an appearance on the popular music series “Ready Steady Go!”. It is on that show that The Supremes debut the signature choreography for “Stop!” with one hand on their hip and the other hand outstretched in a “stop” gesture. Paul Williams and Melvin Franklin of The Temptations come up with the choreography and teach it to the girls prior to the programs taping. Meanwhile, back at home, the single becomes another instant smash for The Supremes. Entering the Hot 100 at #80 on February 20, 1965, it streaks to the top of the chart five weeks later. “Stop! In The Name Of Love” alsos receive a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Rock & Roll Group Performance in 1966, but loses to The Statler Brothers’ “Flowers On The Wall”. Regarded as a career defining hit for The Supremes, the single is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2001. “Stop! In The Name Of Love” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: March 11, 1967 -…

On this day in music history: March 11, 1967 – “Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone” by The Supremes hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the R&B singles chart for 2 weeks on the same date. Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, it is the ninth pop and fourth R&B chart topper for the superstar Motown vocal trio. Songwriter and co-producer Eddie Holland comes up with the basic idea for the song, writing the lyrics about a relationship in the throes of breaking up. Impressed by Diana Ross’ emotive speaking voice, HDH structure the song with passages where she delivers brief lines of dialogue before breaking into the songs’ chorus. The basic track is one of the few Motown singles of the period not to be cut at the label’s main studio (dubbed “Studio A”) in Detroit. The producers have members of the Funk Brothers fly out to Hollywood, CA where they are working with film composer Frank DeVol (The Brady Bunch, My Three Sons, Family Affair), on music for the film “The Happening” (starring Anthony Quinn). Recorded on the scoring stage at Columbia Studios on August 12, 1966, the Motown rhythm section is augmented with a full orchestra (arranged by Gene Page) featuring bassist James Jamerson playing upright bass. Jamerson later overdubs an electric bass part on the track in Detroit on September 22, 1966, with The Supremes adding their vocals on November 13, 1966. Issued as the follow up to the groups previous chart topper “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” on January 11, 1967, it is the second single from “The Supremes Sing "Holland – Dozier – Holland”. Entering the Hot 100 at #47 on January 28, 1967, it climbs to the top of the chart six weeks later. It is second time that The Supremes score consecutive number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, with “You Can’t Hurry Love”, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, and the follow up to “Love Is Here”, “The Happening” all topping the pop chart. The Supremes had achieved this chart feat once before when they had five consecutive chart toppers from August of 1964 to June of 1965 with “Where Did Our Love Go?”, “Baby Love”, “Come See About Me”, Stop! In The Name Of Love", and “Back In My Arms Again”. “Love Is Here” is later covered by Michael Jackson on his debut solo album “Got To Be There” in 1972, and by Phil Collins on his covers album “Going Back” in 2010.

1960′s Ebony Magazine Covers

1960′s Ebony Magazine Covers