Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Supreme Sunday

Reflections. Diana Ross & The Supremes. A new record. A new member. A new name. Motown’s biggest attraction had just evolved into the next phase of its history. Globally, the world watched to see how this would play out.

Three weeks before the release of Reflections, original group member Florence Ballard had been permanently discharged from The Supremes during a run at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. This change followed a year of degenerating conduct by Florence, during which time she had become heavily addicted to alcohol, had taken her longstanding with rivalry with Ross to the edge, and had missed two shows causing her to be temporarily replaced by first Marlene Barrow and then Bluebelles member Cindy Birdsong. It was Birdsong who was chosen as the next Supreme when Florence went onstage inebriated in Vegas in June of 1967 and was flown home to Detroit following the show. With Birdsong’s entrance, the group was ready for its biggest transition.

Another chart topper from Holland-Dozier-Holland, Reflections capitalized on the psychedelic fad of the day. Having been recorded a few months prior to its release, the single features Ballard in the background with Wilson. Birdsong appeared on the album cover but it was Ballard who sang on every cut from the LP. No matter, the newly christened Diana Ross & The Supremes were on to bigger and better things.


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