Supremes’ legend to sing at Arcada Friday
Rachel Baruch Yackley
Posted Daily Herald Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Mary Wilson keeps the voice of the Supremes alive, and has a lot of fun doing it.
“Some things are just the way they are, and you can’t change them,” Wilson said. “I had a great time performing with the Supremes, but when we broke up, I had to go on, on my own, and I’m doing extremely well.
“I get to make my own choices and pick my own gowns. It has its wonderful side to it. I’m 61 years old, and you get to where you want to do what you want.”
Wilson, who has performed solo since the group broke up in 1977, will appear in concert at 8 p.m. Friday at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
The group is known for its 33 Top 40 hits, including “Come See About Me,” “Stop! In the Name Of Love,” “Baby Love.” and so many more. The group, which appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show 17 times, is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Wilson said she offers a family-oriented musical show. Audiences typically include ages ranging from grandparents to grandkids. Wilson said she likes it when everyone in the audience “gets up and dances. Be a part of the show. It’s a celebration.”
“I do Supremes’ songs; perhaps half my show is Supremes.”
Wilson’s backup band includes members who have been with her throughout her solo career.
The opening act will be a Four Tops tribute band called The Reflections, which is from the Chicago area.
Wilson was born in Greenville, Miss., but grew up in the Brewster Projects in Detroit. She began her singing career in choir and glee clubs when in second grade. She met Diana Ross, Florence Ballard, and Betty McGlown at a school talent show.
The four friends formed the Primettes in 1959, which was the sister group to the Primes, a male group which later became the Temptations. Barbara Martin replaced McGlown early on. By 1960, the Primettes released their first record, “Tears of Joy”/“Pretty Baby,” on LuPine, a local Detroit label. In 1961, the Primettes signed with Motown, and changed their name to the Supremes.
So many across the generations are familiar with Supremes songs that Wilson said, “People meet me and say they feel like they know me. I was just speaking with Donna Summer the other night about how people (who listen to your music) feel like they know you; like they’re your cousins.”
Since going solo, Wilson has released these albums: “Mary Wilson” (1979); “Red Hot” (1979); and “Walk the Line” (1992).
She has also written two books: her autobiography, “Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme” (1986), and the sequel, “Supreme Faith: Someday We’ll Be Together.”
Wilson has also acted, and starred in several musicals and plays.
Doors open at 7 p.m. at the Arcada, 105 E. Main St. Ticket prices are $25, $35, and $45. Tickets can be purchased at the Arcada box office the evening of the performance, or the night before. Advance tickets are available by calling (312) 733-7469, or by going to www.o-shows.com, or www.arcadatheatre.com.