BACKSTAGE: Supreme Supremes
From the desk of Hal B. Cook, Publisher; Billboard
The superb Supremes, Diana, Florence and Mary, brought joy to New York’s Copacabana Club, July 29, just last week. Opening night Thursday brought an overflow audience which included Sammy Davis, Jr., Don Murray, Jack Cassidy, Marty Allen, Ed Sullivan, Bill Randall and Hal Jackson, radio personalities; Jim Schartz, Washington record distributor; Neil Keating and Bill Bell, Columbia Record Club executives, and a host of fans from other record labels.
The lovely Supremes shook up the entire block with their performance.
Berry Gordy, Barney Ales, Phil Jones, Harry Ascola and the entire Motown-Tamla organization can be proud that it was one of their groups who brought excitement to what in the summer in New York could be a pretty dull room.
A top-notch act will usually bring along enough extra musicians to get their sound. In the case of the Supremes, only two stand-in extra musicians were needed. Their attentive conductor, Gil Ashey, brought the Supremes’ own bass man Joe Mack and drummer Bob Cuosar, who proceeded to whip the Copa band at a frantic pace giving superb backing to the girls.
Choreography by Charlie Aiken created a visual impact perfectly matched to the powerful Supremes musical arrangements.
A wind-up tribute to Sam Cooke and his music developed into a standing ovation from the audience for the girls. Their attempt to retreat with only one encore proved hopeless.
This group has had fabulous success on records. We have heard of their great “in person” ability. Now we have seen it firsthand. If you get the chance, catch the Supremes in person.
Hal B. Cook, PUBLISHER
(Information and news source: Billboard; August 7, 1965).