“Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Back in My Arms Again,” “I Hear a Symphony,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “You Keep Me Hanging On,” “Reflections.”
When I was a boy, I’d sit on the living room floor, and play matchbox cars along the lines of the tattered old (even then, it was threadbare—I still have it) Persian rug. Or I’d play knights, complete with a cardboard castle.
Just behind me, an old record player stood—playing Beethoven, Mozart, other Classical I didn’t and still don’t know as well as I’d like—with the occasional Pirates of Penzance…I’ll ask my mom what else.
I do know she played one album regularly—and I came to identify that band’s sound, soulful, sweet, soaring, brave, tender…with my sweet, brave, hardworking, poor, lovely single mom, and those childhood days playing on that old rug.
You’ll be missed, Mary. You and your Supremes fought the Beatles themselves to a popularity draw. You desegregated audiences around the US at a time of civil unrest—just by playing, by celebrating, by diving deep into a human experience we all share—love, longing, joy, pain.
Today, also, another dear elderly woman passed away, of Covid. She was the mother of a gentleman who babysat me way back in those old days. This is a time of loss, of pain, of care, of fighting the good fight—and, listening to the Supremes again, this evening, I’m reminded how they fought and changed history with class, elegance, glamor—no matter the vital difficulties off-stage.
Here’s one of her lead vocal performances with The Supremes on the song Baby Don’t Go: