Sunday, August 23, 2009

2/3 of the Supremes

I was never a Supremes fan. I know their songs, and pleasant as they are, they’ve never excited me enough to purchase them. When they’re played on the radio I don’t turn the station off nor do I bounce up and down and sing along. On a few occasions I’ve probably hummed along butchering the lyrics.

I’ve always thought that Diana Ross shrieks unpleasantly. One time I let someone take me to her concert and I just couldn’t get caught up in the near hysteria of the audience. Maybe one or two songs made my heart skip a beat or two, but certainly not enough for me to cross the threshold into fandom. If I remember correctly (it was many years ago) it was the chorus of “Ain’t Now Mountain High Enough” that caused my heartbeats to burp that night.

So on Saturday it was to my own surprise that I ended up at a Mary Wilson concert (one of the original Supremes) at the annual Sunset Junction street fair in Los Angeles.

She sang many of the Supremes most treasured songs, and people in the audience danced and gyrated and sang along like it was forty years ago. Her voice is huskier than her recordings and she did put on a pleasant show. Ooh, there’s that word again - pleasant - but it best describes the Mary Wilson experience.

A highlight was the standard “Fields of Gold,” which I’ve always enjoyed though the woman in front of me kept repeating how much she hated that song, which dampened the moment for me. I was going to smack her on the side of the head to shut her up, but I held back afraid it would have caused a ruckus or a supreme riot.

Another good performance was on Stevie Wonder’s “Bad Weather,” which I learned was a post-Diana Supremes hit from the 70s; that and “River Deep, Mountain High.”

I can now say that I’ve seen two of the three original Supremes in concert, up close and personal. That’s something, isn’t it?

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