Mary Wilson (1944-2021) was a founding member of the Motown act, The Supremes. The group formed in 1959 as the Primettes (a sister act to the Primes, which later morphed into the Temptations). She remained with the group through many personnel changes, including the departures of fellow founders Betty McGlown, Florence Ballard and Diana Ross, but the group disbanded after Wilson left in 1977.
Wilson continued as a solo concert performer, was an activist for musical artists’ trademark protection, and wrote four autobiographies.
The Supremes released an immense discography of 29 studio albums, four live albums, 32 compilation albums, two soundtracks, and 66 singles. Wilson sang lead on 14 songs, including today’s selection, “Baby Don’t Go,” from the group’s debut record, Meet The Supremes (1962), and shared the lead on 12 other songs. During the time when management had changed the group name to Diana Ross & the Supremes (from 1967 to 1970) prior to Ross’s 1970 departure, Wilson appeared on only seven of the group’s 14 singles.
As a solo artist, Wilson released two solo studio albums, a live album, a compilation, and two live concert DVDs. She made many appearances on TV, including a 2008 spot on the TV newsmagazine 20/20. On that program she participated in a social experiment that involved exposing pedestrians to a woman singing “Stop! In the Name of Love,” with Wilson stepping in to give a critique of the singer’s style.
Wilson continued public appearances and, only days before her death, announced she planned to release new solo music.
Mary Wilson’s body of work is vast and impressive, but is only part of a life cut short this week.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here.
Full, unofficial lyrics are available courtesy of AZLyrics.com.