search for something...

search for something you might like...

Up The Ladder To The Roof The Supremes' Mary Wilson was one the greatest pop singers of all time

Up The Ladder To The Roof

The Supremes' Mary Wilson was one the greatest pop singers of all time

by Lee Paul,
first published: February, 2021

approximate reading time: minutes

Such brilliance. Mary Wilson sparkled

Mary Wilson, founder member of the Supremes, has died aged 76. 

Along with her childhood friends, Florence Ballard and Diana Ross,  The Supremes became the first, biggest and best of the pop cult of girl groups, the biggest vocal group of all time.

I don’t think there’s a person whose heart is not lifted when the opening bars of a Supremes song comes on the radio. 'Stop!' 'Come See About Me', 'Back In My Arms Again' and later things became more epic than pure pop, take a listen to 'Love Child'. 

The hits for Tamla Motown were mostly written for the group by the best pop songwriters in the world, Holland-Dozier-Holland. 'Stoned Love', The Supremes’ anti-war number one single, recorded late into their career with Jean Terrell on lead vocals, is maybe my favourite pop song of all time. In all The Supremes had an incredible 12 number-one singles and for a time in the 60s were the most popular vocal group on the face of the earth.

Millions of more people will know The Supremes story from the Dreamgirls movie, which was based on Mary Wilson’s New York Times best selling history of the group.

In 2009, our Reviews Editor, Jason Lewis worked with Mary Wilson at the launch of The Story of The Supremes costume exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, “She was remarkable, such brilliance. Mary Wilson sparkled,”  he says.

A social activist, a fighter, and a great entertainer, the music Mary Wilson made were some of the most joyous the western world has known. 

Where Did Our Love Go

You Can’t Hurry Love
(the song Phil Collins attempted to ruin for the world)
- blink and you’ll miss Diana Ross catching her earring around 2mins in. Svelte...

Love Child

Michael Row the Boat Ashore on Tarzan

Stoned Love

Mary Wilson interview
in 2020 touching on amongst other things Black Lives Matter and the history of racial injustice in the US. - Great interview.

Essential Info
Mary Wilson website

Lee Paul

I like to look at things while listening to things I am not looking at. But doesn't everyone.
about Lee Paul »»



All About and Contributors


Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]


If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]


Ooh Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha May 29th

outsideleft content is not for everyone