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

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Da Capo Press, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 440 pages
Drawing on first-hand recollections by friends, associates, and other Motown contemporaries, the author tells the heartbreaking story of the Supremes' meteoric rise and bitter disintegration, and also shows why Gordy's revolutionary concept of 'blacks singing white' was essential to the modern evolution of music. This is the first comprehensive biography of the most successful girl group in pop history, as told by the author of the acclaimed biography of Phil Spector, "He's a Rebel".A sprawling parable of ambition, scheming, money, sex, and betrayal, "Nothin' But Heartaches", is the definitive story of the most successful female band of all time. Drawing on first-hand, intimate recollections by friends, associates, and other Motown contemporaries - many never before interviewed - Ribowsky uncovers the truth behind the Supremes, overturning false notions about the band which were perpetuated by the recent film "Dreamgirls". Ribowsky's in-depth account includes new details on Diana Ross' cutthroat rise to top-billing of the group - focusing on her relationship with Motown president, Berry Gordy - and the tragic story of Florence Ballard's decline into depression, alcoholism, and drug abuse, culminating in her sudden death at the age of thirty-two. He also takes an inside-the-studio look at how timeless classics like "Baby Love", "Where Did Our Love Go?", and "Stop! In the Name of Love", were conceived and recorded on the Motown 'assembly line' of smash hits, and examines why the Motown 'brand' was more important to Gordy than its loyalty to true rhythm & blues. In a narrative that deftly combines personal testimony, history, and expert analysis, Ribowsky not only tells the full, heartbreaking story of the Supremes' meteoric rise and bitter disintegration, but shows why Gordy's revolutionary concept of 'blacks singing white' was essential to the modern evolution of music.
 

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THE SUPREMES: A Saga of Motown Dreams, Success, and Betrayal

User Review  - Kirkus

Acrid biography of the biggest female vocal group of all time.Ribowsky (Josh Gibson: The Power and the Darkness, 2004, etc.) dredges up all the muck he can find on Motown Records' hit-making trio, who ... Read full review

Something old? Something new?

User Review  - Brandx01 - Borders

If you have never read anything about Motown and/or The Supremes...this book will fascinate you. If you have read anything about Motown and/or The Supremes...this book will not surprise you. Read full review

Contents

Prologue 1
1
one Three Girls from the Projects 7
7
two Moths to the Flame 23
23
three Notown to Motown 33
33
four Berry 46
46
five Priming the Pump 63
63
six Supreme Beings 74
74
seven Smokey Places 91
91
fourteen Baby Just Pour 205
205
fifteen A Symphony in Black and Mostly White 227
227
sixteen An Itching in the Heart 240
240
seventeen Put the Money on Diana 254
254
eighteen Shes Outta Here 267
267
nineteen A Distorted Reality 295
295
twenty Forever Came Today 314
314
twentyone This Must Be the Diana Ross Show 332
332

eight The Others 105
105
nine Splitsville in Hitsville 128
128
ten A Lousy Song 143
143
eleven One 156
156
twelve The Two Motowns 175
175
thirteen Ecstasy to the Tenth Power 189
189
twentytwo The Last Mile 347
347
epilogue Where Did Our Love Go? 376
376
Bibliography 409
409
Discography 413
413
Index 427
427
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Mark Ribowsky is the acclaimed author of eight books, including He's a Rebel, a biography of Phil Spector. He lives in New York City.

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