The Supremes — the biggest girl group of all time on Billboard’s Hot 100 — will be the focus of a new exhibit at The Grammy Museum. Opening June 25, Legends of Motown: Celebrating the Supremes will chronicle the trio’s legendary reign through rare artifacts from the private collection of founding member Ms. Mary Wilson.
In addition to photographs, the exhibit will feature concert posters, tour books and fan memorabilia. An array of performance gowns dating from the Supremes’ start in the early ’60s as the Primettes will also be on display, including the “Turquoise Freeze” dresses the ladies wore during their 1967 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
On June 24, one day prior to the exhibit’s launch, Wilson will take center stage for the museum’s interview/Q&A series, “A Conversation With.” Legends of Motown: Celebrating the Supremes will run through spring 2016.
In a release announcing the first-ever Motown exhibit, Grammy Museum executive director Bob Santelli said, “We’ve been eager to feature an exhibit celebrating Motown since we honored Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson at our inaugural benefit gala [Architects of Sound Awards] in 2013.”
“As you look at all of these wonderful treasures,” added Wilson in the release, “please be reminded that three little black girls dared to dream and made their dreams come true.”
Founded as the Primettes in Detroit by Wilson, Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, the Supremes became the most popular female group of the ’60s thanks to a string of No. 1 R&B and pop hits. Among those classics are “Where Did Our Love Go?,” “Baby Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Back in My Arms Again,” “You Can’t Hurry Love” and ‘Someday We’ll Be Together.” All told, the Supremes scored 12 No. 1 singles on the Hot 100 — the most of any American group in history. Following Ballard’s and Ross’ exits, later members of the Supremes included Cindy Birdsong, Jean Terrell, Scherrie Payne, Susaye Greene and Lynda Laurence.