Saturday, August 11, 2007

Another Blast From The Past

In my view, the best female vocal group of all-time started out under the name, The Primettes. After signing on to Motown and changing their name, they ended up with a total of twelve #1 hits, in a span of five years.

They were good. No, let me rephrase that: They were damned good. And because they were so damned good, they were damned successful. And why not? They had a such a unique, classy, and elegant style; how could anyone not like them?

They appealed to young and old alike. My father (from the Glenn Miller and Sinatra era) had an old reel to reel tape player, long before 8-tracks and cassettes were out. He had many tapes with many different artists, and he played the hell out of them. He had Glenn, Ol' Blue Eyes, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Tommy Dorsey, and on and on and on. Let's suffice it to say, he had a lot of music, from many different genres. And needless to say, I heard much of it, growing up.

One of those reels could hold up to six hours of music, easily. One of them he had, included a concert performance by this weekend's featured artist, The Supremes. Today when I hear one of their tunes, a smile will almost always come to my face (even if it's just for a short, momentary instant). The memories they bring are endless. Yet, as pleasing they were to the ear, it's hard to know which songs to pick. So I will just have to do the best I can.

First up is a great one, here's My World Is Empty Without You:

Next up we have is a sensual little tune that demonstrated just how versatile this group really was. It only made it to #9, but it was still a pretty good song. Here is Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart:

Another top-notch performance was one that still can circulate around my head for hours. Here is I Hear A Symphony:

But as in all things, there was a time for an end. The group carried on after the departure of Diana Ross, but was clearly not the same. Diana, by herself, was okay. But to me, it seemed a lot of the magic was gone. The girls' voices were so well matched, when they sang together.

Despite my lack of interest in her solo career, she still put together a string of hits. Her style evolved through the 70s, but as far as my tastes were concerned, the sound I heard when she was with the Supremes was gone. Not until the 80s did she intrigue me much. And when she finally did, it was with this one song that I remember hearing on the dance floor, after a few Rusty Nails, when we went out to the clubs. Here is Diana Ross's Swept Away:


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