Mary Wilson of the Supremes Performs ...

Mary Wilson of the Supremes Performs at Edgewater

There are 34 comments on the Laughlin Entertainer story from Feb 6, 2007, titled Mary Wilson of the Supremes Performs at Edgewater. In it, Laughlin Entertainer reports that:

I live by the philosophy that dreams don't die; people just stop dreaming." Mary Wilson Mary Wilson would know a little something about dreams and making them come true.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Laughlin Entertainer.

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Floreat, Australia

#1 Feb 7, 2007
ho hum
Mark Vancouver Canada


#2 Feb 10, 2007
Yum Yum!!!

Floreat, Australia

#3 Feb 11, 2007

mary's story was okay 20 years ago.

now its tired, boring and uneventful.
Her story was an excuse for revenge over jealousy.
i don't buy it any more....bashing an ex band member and then saying they are sisters and love each other....crap.

Now, watch Inside The Actors Studio in a week's time and watch a real story of excitemnet and nostalgia and love.
Terell Lasane

United States

#4 Feb 11, 2007
Amen, Neil!

Mary's song has been a one note song for twenty years and people seem to finally realize the hypocrisy in her discussions. She contradicts herself so much and so often that her credibility is shot to hell.

Thank Goodness the interview attached to this posting is positive. This is the best interview that I have heard from her in my life. She actually focuses on positive things and doesn't find a reason to bash Diana.

Alas, it's too much, too little, too late.

She will have to stand alone on her talent and not her sensationalism, and I fear the results won't be good.


Ric Ricland

“"Same as it ever was..."”

Since: Jan 07

Nashville, TN

#5 Feb 11, 2007
Although it's regrettable that Mary Wilson took 40 years to tell her story, her story shouldn't be dismissed. To do so, would leave us with the make-believe version of Motown promoted by Berry Gordy and Diana Ross.

Ross and Gordy where the only ones to survive Motown with money and their souls attached. Ok, throw in Smokey Robinson, but he pulled it off for two reasons: He was married to Gordy's sister and he was a phenomenal song-writer.

Most of the girls to go through Motown ended up little better than Florence Ballard did. Almost all of the men wound up broke and on drugs.

And Diana Ross success is not so much a testimony to her drive and ambition as much as it is to Gordy's making her the annoited one. Hadn't Gordy done this, Ross would most certainly be a tragic footnote like all the rest.

And although it is true that Ross has become a greatly loved public figure, virtually everyone of her peers detested her. No question about it, hadn't Florence been in the dressing room with Diana, Diana would have got her butt kicked on a daily basis.

The point here is that we must learn to be introspective of what we read in the papers and see on television. Gordy showed the entertainers how to make hit records, but he didn't show them how to deal with life.

All of these kids were as talented as Diana Ross and could have gone on to greater things, but Gordy did not understand this. The other girls weren't as "pretty" as Diana. He thought them too crude and ghetto to crossover. He thought Florence too big-bone and flat nosed. He thought Mary Wilson too dumb (and in this he was correct).

Imagine had he known that in just a few years "crude" and "ghetto" would be all the rage, that ghetto queens like Mary Blige and Lit' Kim would be the new divas.

The other irony is when Ross left Motown, Motown cease to be. Perhaps it was around then that it occurred to Gordy that he shouldn't have put all of his eggs in one basket; but by then, of course, it was too late.



#6 Feb 11, 2007
I for one cant wait to see mary perform, I will be there. Thanks Mary.

Great Mills, MD

#7 Feb 11, 2007
Neil-- I am glad to know that Diana had the strength sustain her "friendlessness" at Motown. I guess that is why the most successful post-60s Motown artists speak highly of her through the present day. Stevie Wonder performed at her second wedding and produced the title track to her double platinum 1991 UK smash album. Smokey Robinson has only praised her talent and work ethic. Marvin Gaye, did the same despite his admitted resentment of her success at Motown. Diana gave $20,000 to Mary Wells when she was diagnosed with throat cancer and could not pay her medical bills. Diana's cash contribution was greater than all the contributing "friends" and few of the donations came from Motown artists.
When J. Randy Tarraborelli wrote Call Her Miss Ross, didn't reveal that he worked for years for Martha Reeves and had long been a close friend/confidante of Mary Wilson. J. Randy didn't want the public to know that virtually all of the stories that he used about Motown came from these barricudas. I would question the validity of their accounts about Diana's character. It was well known that both were consumed with justifiable jealousy and irrational hatred toward Diana. It is also well known that many of Diana’s detractors were hard drug users and Diana didn't associate with those who used drugs as she watched the devastating effect the drug scene had on her brothers.
Unrelatedly, Martha Reeves- a sworn enemy of Diana-- performed at a Superbowl a few years back, and she embarrassed herself! It was described by anyone who saw it as the worst halftime show ever. It was clear why she hadn't succeeded beyond the 60s: she couldn't sing!
I don't know about you, Neil. I would consider it a favor if I was detested by losers who spread negativity, revised the past, and blamed external forces for their ill fated careers. Diana, you go girl. I would rather be respected than liked and it is clear that your success came at the expense of friendlessness. I am sure everyone loved Mary. I guess that is why she is working ten months a year at every embarrassing venue in the US to make a living. Diana performs maybe 25 concerts a year and earns 3 million for those high profile shows. Too bad she doesn't have any friends!
And we are all happy Mary finally told her story! It is such an inspirational story that empowers and inspires people. Berry Gordy told her she couldn’t sing and it kept her from singing for 20 years. Wow! What a remarkable character she is. Diana’s singing has been criticized since the 1960s and...well, you know...
Who has discussed Mary’s last concert appearance, her last album, her last television appearance, or her last charity venture? Oh yes, she doesn't have a recording contract and is only on TV when sensationalist media hounds wants her to cast aspersions about Diana Ross. She never disappoints! You go, Mary. You make yourself look like a classy person every time you have one of those embarrassing rants.
Mary Wilson's name recognition is so low that unless you associate her name directly as a “former Supreme”, most people say "Who?" SFX did the market research when they were trying to figure out how much Mary should get paid in the RTL tour. People recognized Cindy Birdsong's name more than Mary Wilson's, and Cindy wasn't an original Supreme! SFX was so annoyed at Mary’s insistence that she should get a paycheck comparable to Diana that Diana offered to pay her 3 million out of her pocket to make the tour work. Mary, of course, refused and did her part in making sure that the tour failed. When have you made 5 million? You go, Mary. You must be so proud!
I am glad that Mary is performing again. I hope that maybe someone will listen, now that it is not about Diana Ross. I hope she can earn 5 million dollars with this new venture. Good luck!
Terell Lasane

Great Mills, MD

#8 Feb 11, 2007

Another corrected fact--in case you were taking seriously the fabricated facts recently posted on this site--Smokey Robinson was never married to Berry Gordy's sister. He became Vice President in 1961, and he was married to Claudette Rogers, who was also one of the Miracles. Their first child was named after Berry. The second child, a daughter was named Tamla (his indepdendent label).

It is unfortunate when the desire to appear credible and convincing prompts one to fabricate facts.

Just to clarify some other misinformation.

Ric Ricland

“"Same as it ever was..."”

Since: Jan 07

Nashville, TN

#9 Feb 11, 2007
If you're quite through with your Mary Wilson thrashing, Terell, I'd like to get a word in edgewise.

You call yourself a scientist but you conclude that because more people recognize the name "Cindy Birdsong" than they do "Mary Wison," Birdsong is more popular.


Birdsong is a memorable name. Mary Wilson is a common as it gets.

And then you go on to say Martha Reeves can't sing. which has got to go down as the most ridiculous claim made since the snake told Eve eating that apple was Okay.

Ever hear of the Motown hit "Dancing in the Streets"?

Yeah, that's Martha Reeves a woman nobody could touch in her prime.

And let's stop fooling around here, okay? Although you don't come out and say it, your take on Florence Ballard was that she was a fat lazy drug-addled Welfare mama.

And this you get from Miss Ross, don't you?

And anyone who's read Miss Ross or heard her during interviews knows how she calls Florence a bum in a round about way.

She'll say something like, "Florence had such potential..." and then leave it hanging like that, never telling why Florence didn't get to realize this potential, and in never telling why, coming across as too gracious a lady to tell the sordid truth about of Florence -- that deep down inside Florence was a bum.

But Florence wasn't a bum.

She demanded Gordy respect her and when he didn't she fought him every step of the way. Worse still, Gordy would have let off on her had Diana been decent enough to ask this of him, but she didn't. She looked the other way while Gordy crushed Florence to dust.

No, these kids weren't bums, Terell. They were kids were great potential and dreams just like Ross -- all of them!

Their only curse in life is that Gordy didn't find them as pretty as he did Ross.

Larry NYC

New York, NY

#10 Feb 11, 2007
Terell always says it best!!!!
Mary is a loser without DIANA.....The Supremes are the only group in history where people believe the background singers are as or more important than the lead singer. Mary should be ashamed to sing "Someday We'll Be Together" and other Supremes songs she nver recorded. She should thank Diana everyday of her life for Diana made her a "star".
I loved Flo but here her sing "Funny Girl" or "Buttered Popcorn" and tell me how great her voice was....well it wasn't.
All you guys keep bashing DIANA....the more you do the more important you make her.
Diana made The Supremes and in my opinion is the greatest entertainer of our lifetime !!!!!!

Ric Ricland

“"Same as it ever was..."”

Since: Jan 07

Nashville, TN

#11 Feb 11, 2007

Diana is actually a symbol of how throughly Motown failed. Had Gordy been into big-boned light-skin women, you'd be going on about what a diva Flo Ballard is.

And speaking of Flo, the idea here is the rap Ross has been putting out there about her for the past 40 years is self-serving and false. We all have a tipping point; Ross and Gordy pushed Flo beyond hers...way beyond hers.

Flo was the perfect group member until Gordy began his BS. Then she fought him, and fought him and fought him.

Imagine, being told that when in public only Diana was allowed to speak.

How would you have dealt with that, Terell?


Ric Ricland

“"Same as it ever was..."”

Since: Jan 07

Nashville, TN

#12 Feb 11, 2007
By the way, Terell, your unbridled hatred of Mary Wilson must be addressed here too.

In your twisted way of seeing things, the issue is simply Diana chose not to be Mary's friend and Mary should have accepted that and got on with her life.

Mary did accept it for over 40 years. That's how long she waited to write her book. Maybe you feel 80 years is more appropriate.

And they most certainly were friends in the beginning no matter your convoluted definition of what a friend is. The girls lived together for years. In many ways they were closer than sisters. They bonded. They were there for each other and in the beginning, their success depended on each other.

Furthermore, as additional proof of the depth of their friendship, Mary was the one who went along with Gordy's and Ross' program. She didn't fight them. She accepted it when they made Ross the star and relegated her and Flo to flunky backup status. For 40 years, she never said anything bad about this.

And yet for 40 years Ross ignored her, avoided her like the plague, kept herself and her family as far away from Mary as she could.

And so now, 40 years later, you wonder in disbelief at how Mary could write a book telling folks the truth about Ross. You gasp with incredulity at such a thing. You call Mary Wilson every low and rotten name you can think of because of it.

You find it astonishing that Mary considers Ross her friend when Ross clearly doesn't consider Mary her friend ... never has.

You don't even understand why Mary would want to be Ross' friend. It perfectly baffles you.

Yes, the world would be a wonderful place if everyone could just turn off their feelings as easy as you do, Terell. "You don't want to be my friend? Okay, cool. Good bye. Have a nice life."

In addition, it's not just friendship we're talking about. Ross could have done a million things for Mary over the years, but did nothing. It's called helping your sister. It's calling being a caring human being.

Ross made any number of movies where she could have given Mary a bit part. And I'm not simply talking the pay Mary would have got -- that she desperately needed -- I'm talking about the possibility Mary might have gotten more acting work; which, of course, is the real reason Ross didn't let Mary act in any of her movies -- she didn't want to chance Mary becoming a star.

Yes, that's it. That's how trifling this woman you worship is, Terell. Diana has shown time again that she is not just willing to use people to get ahead, but also put obstacles in the way of her her old friends becoming successful so as not to risk her friends becoming more successful than she.

That's how trifling Diana Ross is. Really.

Get it through your thick head, Terell, that underneath all the wigs and glamor, despite all the white husbands and chalets in Europe, no matter her $100 million bank account, Diana Ross is and always has been an ignorant, petty, semi-illiterate projects egomaniac, she has always done everything in her power to insure that no one from Motown became successful.

In fact, as I understand it, even after Ross had become the highest paid performer in history, she still had her lawyers prevent Mary Wilson from earning a living doing anything related to the Supremes. Mary couldn't even let MC's introduce her as an ex-Supreme thanks to Ross' legal injunctions against her.

Why, Terell? Why?

Ross could have made life a thousand times easier for Mary, but elected not to do so.

In other words, Terell, we don't just judge Ross by what she did in life, you also judge her by what SHE DIDN'T DO and when we do that, Diana Ross goes down in the books as one of the most cold-hearted monstrously selfish and petty women on the planet.

Diana Ross is a living, breathing monster, dude, and you need to understand this and get on with your life.

Terell Lasane

United States

#13 Feb 12, 2007
Readers of these postings:
Mr. Ricland—

I have plenty of work to do, and I am sure you do as well. Further, our dysfunctional dialogue has perhaps alienated those who actually come to this site to engage in thoughtful discussions and positive exchange.

I will not be persuaded by your arguments, your fabricated facts, or your character attacks against me and others. You will not be persuaded by my presentation of verifiable data and my understanding of human nature as a trained social psychologist with an expertise on identity, intimate relationships (including friendship) and achievement motivation.

I don’t see Diana Ross as a saint, a goddess, or mere human perfection. I see her as a living, breathing, fallible person. I see her as an ordinary person who has achieved extraordinary things and has given inspiration to countless others. The fact that she has achieved these things with a barrage of insults, accusations, and attacks from people like you and Ms. Wilson makes her legendary achievements most remarkable indeed.

Diana has a practical approach to achieving things and is task-oriented rather than emotionally focused. Throughout history, whenever women were ambitious and more focused on achievement than social relationships, they have become pariahs, labeled as “bitches” and shunned by those in favor of warm, fuzzy creatures who are nurturant and emotionally oriented. It is not surprising to me that you resent Diana’s feminist inclinations, her masculine business style and have reduced her success to a scheming, manipulative woman, because I believe you incapable of seeing any woman capable of being a sound, agentic human. The fact that you have made multiple mention of her interracial marriages implies a Neanderthal view that Diana belongs to the Black family and has betrayed her tribe. I don’t espouse such views.

You will not deprive me of the inspiration that I derive from her story, and I will not be moved by your desperate lies and constructed stories of what happened 45 years ago. You made up most of the facts you cite, and the transparency of your fabrication is so easily verified. You weren’t there, and even those who were will never agree. The world is highly subjective and each person’s accounts of those incidents are as varied as the fingerprints we hold.

I will always see Diana Ross as a symbol of excellence and the strength of spirit. Your aggressive arguments only help me to appreciate what she has achieved in this hostile world of people like you, Mary Wilson, and other detractors even more. I encourage you to try to see the world as a place where we control our own destinies and can make dreams come true. I believe you incapable of seeing the world in that manner, but we can all dream, can’t we? At least some of us can.

Ric Ricland

“"Same as it ever was..."”

Since: Jan 07

Nashville, TN

#14 Feb 12, 2007
You admire, Ms. Ross because she's "glam." Which is to say, that in your superficial world "glam" is elevated to great.

And don't try to fool us on the point, Terell, you have no heroes other than "glam" media creations like Ms. Ross, because to have any heroes of real substance would cause you to evaluate your own life, something you'd rather not do.

But let me do it for you ... or at least for the readers here.

In a previous post after I stated that the only black men I knew who admire Ms. Ross were gay men, you came out of the closet and admitted you were gay. You should be respected for that. You showed a lot more courage than Neil.

But as we all know, Ms. Ross has long been the patron saint of black gay men. In gay bars across the land transvestites who mimic Ms. Ross win contests year after the year. Ms. Ross is your ideal.

Now pay attention, Terell, because here's where it gets deep ...

Tell us, Terell, why isn't Mary McLeod Bethune, your ideal, or Gwendolyn Brooks, or Harriet Tubman?
Terell Lasane

Great Mills, MD

#15 Feb 12, 2007
You wouldn't know deep if someone threw you on the bottom of the ocean floor. Don't embarrass yourself further. Your hatefulness humiliates you. If I felt compelled to provide support for the depth of my character, I would not waste time doing it with a charlaton like you. You are a fraud! You make up things and become more aggressive/hostile with your personal attacks when you are shown up for the illogical, ignorant, buffoon that you are. Give it up! You have lost the arguments and any semblance of human decency that the readers of this site could imagine that you possessed. You have yet to present a solid argument. You keep coming up with ad hominem attacks (look it up; I know you don't know what it means) whenever someone provides reasoned logic to your stupid statements.

You can't win. Your assessment of who I am and my motivations for being a Diana Ross fan and your confident assertion that I have no other heroes shows your desperation. You keep publicly disgracing yourself and you don't have the discernment or dignity to realize how you are making a spectacle of yourself with your poorly reasoned arguments, your shamlessly created facts, and your bitter venomous sexism, racism, homophobia and bully antics.

You don't scare me and you don't impress me. Your increasingly bitter attacks against me, others on this site, and Diana Ross shows that you have no passion, you have no optimism, and you have no compassion. And a man without compassion, IS NOT MAN!

Go away.

And for the benefit of the intelligent visitors to this site, I am a well rounded person. Although I do not feel any need to defend my tastes to anyone--least of all that thoughtless, smug RR--I teach at a Public Honors College, and I have mentors in many domains: Claude Steele, James M. Jones, bell hooks, Cornell West, John Hope Franklin, Sonia Sanchez, Lucille Clifton, Martin Luther King Jr., Aretha Franklin, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Keith Boykin, Ralph Bunche, Lonnie Bunch are just a few of the great thinkers that I admire and from whom I draw inspiration. I don't see the world in dichotomous terms. I can be inspired--and am inspired--by the students I teach each day. They are logical thinkers, compassionate human beings, and have interesting (factual) stories to tell.

Ric Ricland

“"Same as it ever was..."”

Since: Jan 07

Nashville, TN

#16 Feb 12, 2007
My, my, my, aren't we all in a dither. Honestly, we got this fellow's shorts so bunched up he actually resorted to summoning up James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry to help him, not to mention Ralph Bunch.

Anyway, Terell, if you're quite through with your histrionics, please answer the question that caused your silly outburst: Why isn't your ideal black woman Harriet Tubman instead of an empty headed, hero without portfolio media creation like Diana Ross?

And no drama this time, okay?


Ric Ricland

“"Same as it ever was..."”

Since: Jan 07

Nashville, TN

#18 Feb 13, 2007
Part Two (con't from above)

Of course had gays not idolized Ms. Ross BEFORE she left Motown, Terell's rationale for idolizing her (because of her accomplishments) might have merit. But as I pointed out, a full 18 years before Ms. Ross branched out on her own she was the most impersonated diva of black drag queens anywhere.
Again, it was all about looks.
Aretha Franklyn? No? Billie Holiday? No. Tina Turner? No. Gladys Knight? No. All without question far better singers than Ms Ross but all lacking the one thing Ross had they didn't -- the look. Even the divine Josephine Baker was abandoned after the androgynous Ms. Ross came along.
And there you have the entirety of Terell's idolization of Ms. Ross in a nutshell. And it should be pointed out, he doesn't even realize these things himself, that when he writes he idolizes Ms. Ross because she's an incredibly gifted human being, he honestly believes this is the reason why he idolizes her.
But it ain't.
Again, no matter his hair-pulling and back flips, the core reason why Terell idolizes Ms. Ross is because of the way she looks.
It runs no deeper than that. His idolization of her is that superficial -- glitter and glam, big wigs lots of paint, the way she rolls her man-sized eyes, the way she flaps her too long eye-lashes, her school-yard sexuality, her exaggerated sensuality, her blood-hatred of all other women, her grinding ignorance -- ignorance so profound that even after almost 50 years in show business not one quote can be attributed to her -- her look that affects a sophistication she never had nor will ever get. And, above all else, and at all costs, her suffocating superficiality, superficiality so lavish --"Never say Sherry Netherlands, Mary; It's "Sherry Nederlands -- that we can almost imagine her children hearing things from her like,"You're beautiful, don't ever change"..."You look marvelous"..."I feel a lot of love here tonight, children."

Ric Ricland

“"Same as it ever was..."”

Since: Jan 07

Nashville, TN

#17 Feb 13, 2007
Summation: Part One
Somewhere around 1962 a skeletal-looking drag queen with too large eyes, put on a cheap wig, a ton of make-up, got on stage and lip-synced "Baby Love" or some other Supremes' hit.
He brought the house down.
The gay men in the club went nuts. Suddenly, they had something they hadn't had before -- a black diva they could imitate without any padding at all.
Before this night it had been Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Marlyn Monroe, all women with bodies like women, but now here was something far better -- a female with absolutely no breasts, hips, or anything else remotely associated with a healthy female physique: a black "Twiggy", the image of androgyny.
I point this history out because the accomplishments that came later in her life had nothing to do with why Diana Ross became the patron saint of gay men. Her departure from Motown was still 18 years in the future.
1962 is only a few years shy of two generations ago. For almost two generations gays have idolized Ms. Ross. They have passed down their adoration of her to their children and grandchildren.
Paying homage to Ms. Ross, in fact, has become a rite of passage for all black gay men. After they come out of the closet, the first thing they are handed is one of Ms. Ross's record albums, generally the one where she poses as a boy as seen here:
In other words, Terell's adoration of the divine Ms. Ross has nothing to do with character, courage, true grit or any of the lofty ideals he says. As with all gay men, Ms. Ross is an article of faith for Terell, an affirmation of his social identity.
Looks. That's all that matters with the black gay men -- the way Diana Ross looks.
It goes no deeper than this. Had Florence Ballard accomplished all the things Ms Ross has she'd have never become the patron saint of gays, and that's because Florence's breasts and hips were too big.
Likewise, Mary Wilson who in her youth was far prettier than Ms. Ross, never became the patron saint of gays because she too was built the way a woman is supposed to be built.

See Part Two Below

ric Landers
Susan Taylor

Nashville, TN

#19 Feb 13, 2007
This posting system doesn't work right.

Larry NYC

New York, NY

#20 Feb 13, 2007
I could not go to the taping. I was out of town. Would love to chat with you without this sicko who should not even be allowed to post on this site. He is a very angry and negative person.
He should get it through is scull that if Mary and Flo were meant to shine like DIANA they would have.
Excuses, excuses .
Nobody is responsible for anyone's success or lack of it but that person. I am sure he is the type of person who blames others for his lack of success !!!

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