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FILE -In this Jan. 21, 1968 file photo, The Supremes with Diana Ross, front, Cindy Birdsong and Mary Wilson dance with their arms in the air as they perform at the annual "Bal pare" party in Munich, West Germany. Ross, Wilson and the Florence Ballard made up the first successful configuration of the group. Cindy Birdsong replaced Ballard in 1967. Wilson, now 70, reminisced in an interview with Associated Press on June 12, 2014, about a major milestone: the 50th anniversary of the Supremes first No. 1, million-selling song, “Where Did Our Love Go” - released June 17, 1964. (AP Photo/Frings, file)
Mary Wilson says Supremes reunion possible
First Published Jun 20 2014 10:29 am • Last Updated Jun 20 2014 10:29 am

Los Angeles • Someday they’ll be together — well, maybe.

Mary Wilson, the longest-reigning member of the original Supremes, is open to a reunion tour with the legendary pop trio’s best-known member, Diana Ross.

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Ross, Wilson and Florence Ballard made up the first successful configuration of the group. Cindy Birdsong replaced Ballard in 1967. With 12 No. 1 singles from 1964-70, The Supremes (later, Diana Ross & The Supremes) became the biggest female vocal group in chart history.

"People always ask if we will ever reunite," Wilson said in an interview in a Hollywood recording studio. "But that’s very difficult, because Florence passed away (in 1976). And, unfortunately, Cindy is having a few illness problems. And I think Diane is into her own stardom. She is a diva, a superstar. Sometimes it’s hard to go back."

But reflections were no problem for the 70-year-old Wilson, who reminisced on a major milestone — the 50th anniversary of the Supremes first No. 1, million-selling song, "Where Did Our Love Go," released June 17, 1964.

The Associated Press: What did you think when you first heard the song?

Wilson: I don’t think we liked it at all. ... So, I remember Eddie (Holland, the song’s co-writer) saying, "Trust me. This is going to be a smash."

AP: You were touring during that period. When did you realize The Supremes finally had a smash?

Wilson: I remember that instead of going home on the bus, we flew. That was our first plane ride. We flew home. We had really hit big.

AP: It would be the first of five consecutive No. 1s — still the most in a row for a female vocal group.


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Wilson: After we did that, the music became more sophisticated. It wasn’t a bubblegum as "Where Did Our Love Go" or "Baby Love."

AP: You ended up becoming the longest-reigning original Supreme, staying with the group until it was officially disbanded by Motown in 1977.

Wilson: I recall when we first got together, when I met Diane, Flo, Betty (McGlown) — the fourth member, when we were The Primettes — I absolutely felt complete. I absolutely never had another thought of doing anything else in my life.

AP: Still, it wasn’t always easy being a Supreme.

Wilson: It’s not easy for girls to stay together. We’re different than guys. Guys can be on a team, fighting, and then they go out and have a beer together. Girls cannot do that. We hold on to it for a long time.

AP: When last did you see Diana?

Wilson: At the Broadway musical ("Motown: The Musical," which premiered April 2013), which was beautiful. ... Everyone was there and we all embraced: Berry (Gordy, Motown’s founder), me, Diane.

AP: Has the musical has revived interest in The Supremes?

Wilson: Just like when the movie and the Broadway play "Dreamgirls" was out. I tell everyone, "It’s not about The Supremes," because I know, because I didn’t get paid. (Laughs.) But, still, it did bring a different demographic to that era.

AP: Girls groups have been in and out since the record business began. Right now, there aren’t so many.

Wilson: (The music business) is a male world. It’s women who listen to and love male singers. That’s why males are more constant in the arena. Whereas women, we kind of come and go.

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