Farewell album: Diana Ross says goodbye to the Supremes

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Their fans had known this was coming for some time, but the night of January 14, 1970 was emotional for fans of the supreme.

At the end of 1969, Motown Records announced that Diana ross would soon leave the trio of superstars to embark on a solo career. The group ends the year it has been so many times in the 1960s: at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, featuring Ross’s latest single as Supreme, “Someday We’ll Be Together”. Unbeknownst to the audience, and with great irony, her bandmates Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong do not actually appear on the song.

At the start of the new year, not only was Ross preparing his first solo track, the band, along with new member Jean Terrell, had started recording their debut album without her. This set, Absolutely, was released in April 1970, when the revamped trio were already on the charts with their single “Up The Ladder To The Roof”. Diana will soon join them there with her debut solo single, “Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” by Ashford & Simpson.

But in the midst of such busy forward planning, there was still time for a tumultuous public goodbye. On January 14, at the New Frontier Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas, Ross, Wilson and Birdsong (herself Florence Ballard’s successor, from 1967) give their last concert together.

Robinson smoke and Marvin Gaye were among Motown’s colleagues in the audience to see the performance, which was released on the album Goodbye, surprisingly, only a No. 46 hit on the US charts. It has been reissued as Captured live on stage! in 1992. The show included a mix of early Supremes classics as well as full versions of later hits such as “Reflections”, “Love Child” and of course, a final “Someday We’ll Be Together”.

to listen Captured live on stage! at present.

“I want to thank the Frontier Hotel and of course all of our fans and everyone who has been with us for the past ten years,” said Diana, before introducing Terrell to the public. Precisely six days later, Ross was in the studio recording “Reach Out And Touch,” and for Supremes fans, the 1960s were officially over.

Diana Ross’ final performance with the Supremes on the Goodbye album, reissued as Captured live on stage!, can be purchased here.

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