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The Supremes: A Saga of Motown Dreams, Success, and Betrayal

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The Supremes: A Saga of Motown Dreams, Success, and Betrayal Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Drawing on intimate recollections from friends, family, and Motown contemporaries, Mark Ribowsky charts the Supremes meteoric rise and bitter disintegration. He sheds light on Diana Rosss relationship with Berry Gordy and her cutthroat rise to top billing in the group, as well as Florence Ballards corresponding decline. He also takes us inside the studio, examining how timeless classics were conceived and recorded on the Motown “assembly line,” and considers the place of Motown in an era of cultural upheaval, when not being “black enough” became a fierce denunciation within the black music industry.

Deftly combining personal testimony, history, and expert analysis, Ribowsky not only tells the full, heartbreaking story of the Supremes, but shows why Gordys revolutionary concept of “blacks singing white” was essential to the modern evolution of music.

Review:

"Biographer of Phil Spector (He's a Rebel), among others, Ribowsky takes a dishy, insider look at Berry Gordy's making of the Supremes, with some nasty swipes at Diana Ross while elevating Flo Ballard as the trio's martyr. In his detailed look at how Berry engineered his Motown empire, thanks to his smart sisters and a lot of luck and fortuitous pairing of talent, Ribowsky nicely intersperses some hindsight reflections by the main players, such as the brothers Brian and Eddie Holland of the legendary songwriting team with Lamont Dozier, with comparative accounts by Mary Wilson, Ross and others in order to sift the truth from the legend. While the author constantly snipes at Ross for her 'popping eyes' and naked ambition, it was largely her single-minded drive that garnered attention to the trio's early incarnation as the Primettes, and her high girl-woman singing voice that established the Supremes' distinctive sound. Moreover, Ross's influence on Gordy (and his faith in her future solo stardom) motivated him to keep pushing the group into the limelight, in spite of other girl groups that had a bigger top hit following, such as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. In this engaging, vivacious account, Ribowsky energetically and thoroughly underscores the Supremes' significance as one of the first crossover successes. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

In a sprawling parable of ambition, sex, and betrayal, Mark Ribowsky delivers the definitive story of the most successful female vocal group of all time.

About the Author

Mark Ribowsky, a frequent contributor to Playboy, is the author of Don't Look Back: Satchel Paige in the Shadows of Baseball. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780306815867
Author:
Ribowsky, Mark
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Subject:
General Music
Subject:
General
Subject:
Composers & Musicians - General
Subject:
Composers & Musicians - Pop
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Ethnic Cultures - General
Subject:
Women singers
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Supremes (musical group)
Subject:
Women singers -- United States.
Subject:
Biography-Composers and Musicians
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16 pages b/w photos
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
9.00 x 6.00 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rock » Biographies
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Soul and Motown
Biography » Composers and Musicians
Biography » General
Biography » Women

The Supremes: A Saga of Motown Dreams, Success, and Betrayal Used Trade Paper
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Product details 480 pages Da Capo Press - English 9780306815867 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Biographer of Phil Spector (He's a Rebel), among others, Ribowsky takes a dishy, insider look at Berry Gordy's making of the Supremes, with some nasty swipes at Diana Ross while elevating Flo Ballard as the trio's martyr. In his detailed look at how Berry engineered his Motown empire, thanks to his smart sisters and a lot of luck and fortuitous pairing of talent, Ribowsky nicely intersperses some hindsight reflections by the main players, such as the brothers Brian and Eddie Holland of the legendary songwriting team with Lamont Dozier, with comparative accounts by Mary Wilson, Ross and others in order to sift the truth from the legend. While the author constantly snipes at Ross for her 'popping eyes' and naked ambition, it was largely her single-minded drive that garnered attention to the trio's early incarnation as the Primettes, and her high girl-woman singing voice that established the Supremes' distinctive sound. Moreover, Ross's influence on Gordy (and his faith in her future solo stardom) motivated him to keep pushing the group into the limelight, in spite of other girl groups that had a bigger top hit following, such as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. In this engaging, vivacious account, Ribowsky energetically and thoroughly underscores the Supremes' significance as one of the first crossover successes. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
In a sprawling parable of ambition, sex, and betrayal, Mark Ribowsky delivers the definitive story of the most successful female vocal group of all time.
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