Mary Wilson: Celebrating A Special 50th Anniversary

Author: Jim Johnson

Mary Wilson spoke to Billboard to mark the 50th “Where Did Our Love Go” becoming The Supremes‘ first number-one hit.

She recalled the trio being underwhelmed when they were offered the song. Mary says, “We were a little pissed. It wasn’t like a Martha and the Vandellas song… Flo and I just had to sing, ‘Baby, baby.’ We were used to doing intricate harmonic patterns but on this song we didn’t do anything.”

The Supremes were booked onto a Dick Clark tour just as it began climbing the charts — but got a surprise when it ended. “Dick… wanted Brenda Holloway to be on the tour. She had ‘Every Little Bit Hurts.’ Motown told Dick he could have Brenda if he also took the Supremes” whom he admitted he’d never heard of. “But he couldn’t have Brenda without us. We were billed as ‘and others’. When the tour was over… we went to Motown and asked for our money and they said, ‘What money? We gave you away for nothing.'”

Looking back on the legacy of “Where Did Our Love Go,” Mary says, “We did touch the entire world. When I hear our songs in the mall or the elevator, I want to say, ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ I never had that feeling before. I only just started doing [‘Where Did Our Love Go’] live. It took me 50 years to fall in love with it. It’s new for me and fresh.”

Wilson is doing more than celebrating an anniversary. She says, “I’m recording a new song with Eddie and Brian Holland, ‘Life’s Been Good to Me.’ I’m doing what I want to do. I turned 70 this year and I want to keep on hitting number-one and that’s why I fell in love with it.”

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