Motortown Revue UK Tour, 1965

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published on 12 March 2017, by ; latest edit: 9 November 2019

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1965 Motortown Revue UK Tour

tamla-motown-uk-tour-detroit-departure-1a

(above) This photograph of members of the Motortown Revue UK Tour (aka the Tamla-Motown UK Tour) of March-April 1965 includes the Supremes, the Miracles, Martha and the Vandellas, and the Earl Van Dyke Sextet. Berry Gordy stands in the front row at left center, and his father at the far right.

It’s not clear to me whether the photo was take upon arrival at London Airport (later Heathrow) in London on 15 March 1965 or at the airport in the US just prior to departure. The latter possibility is suggested by comparing the darkness evident in the view through the windows behind them in this photo with the daylight apparent in the disembarking photos (see first gallery below). Notice the Tamla Motown and BOAC carry on bags, and the fact that most of the tour members appear to be dressed as they were when disembarking at London Airport that day, minus the overcoats. Martha Reeves is an exception in that she is wearing the fur coat and floppy hat seen in a couple of disembarking photos.

(above) Diana Ross and Martha Reeves at the Finsbury Park Astoria, 20 March 1965, from the article “Five London spots for Motown fans,” by Adam White, published on 7 March 2016 at TimeOut.com

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Excerpts from the post “Motown in our town: the 1965 Motortown Revue hits the UK,” by Rocknrollroutemaster, published on 8 April 2015:

It was 50 years ago today: The Motortown Revue landed at the Finsbury Park Astoria on Saturday 20 March 1965, on the first night of a package tour that took them around the UK. A 24 day trip visiting 21 theatres for two shows a night – plus a live TV special.

[T]he real reason for the tour was to launch the Tamla Motown label. Up to March 1965, there were no Tamla Motown releases in the UK because Tamla Motown didn’t exist. All those classic records from Mary Wells, Martha and the Vandellas and the Supremes came out on Stateside. The tour then was an important milestone in Motown’s international expansion and crucial in Motown breaking the UK, an ambitious label from Detroit, a booming city. And you would imagine there was a rabid audience for the music as this is 1964/5 and we were Mod-mad. Not to mention Motown’s huge influence on our own groups. The Stones did “Can I Get A Witness” and The Beatles sang three  Motown songs on With The Beatles – “Please Mr Postman,” “Money” and “You Really Got A Hold On Me.”

The first night of the tour was 20 March and two shows 6.40 and 9.10 at the Finsbury Park Astoria at 232 Seven Sisters Road N4, followed the next night with two at the Odeon Hammersmith [at] 6pm and 8pm. It then went off round England, Scotland and Wales to places like Bristol and Cardiff, Glasgow and Edinburgh, Newcastle, Wolverhampton, 21 towns in 24 days. They all travelled together in a 52 seat coach on A roads. After a long trip to Bristol on the A4 – the M4 didn’t open fully till 1971 – Berry and the three Supremes opted to rent a limo for themselves for the rest of the tour. Everyone else stayed on the bus and bonded, including the Blue Flames. The Earl van Dyke Six went on first, followed by Martha & the Vandellas, a comedy spot by Northern comedian Tony Marsh before Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames, hit from a 3 year residency at the Flamingo Club’s Allnighter at 33 Wardour Street W1 closed the first half. After an interval, Earl van Dyke kicked things off again followed by Smokey & the Miracles, Little Stevie before the headliners The Supremes closed the show. On many nights the entire revue came back on and finished with a version of ‘Mickey’s Monkey’.

[T]he Motortown tour was a mixed critical success –  and a complete commercial disaster. Outside London, theatres were half full. The whole Mod thing was very London-centric so why any promoter thought they could attract 4,000 punters to then Stockton On Tees ABC or the Gaumont Theatre, Ipswich is beyond me.

While the account by Rocknrollroutemaster and other reports suggest that attendance shrank and the enthusiastic welcome received by the Revue upon arrival in London vanished abruptly after it left the capitol following the first two dates, in the BBC Four Legends TV series episode The Motown Invasion (see below), a documentary largely about the tour, music executive and Radio Luxembourg DJ Tony Hall indicates that a half empty house greeted the Revue at the very first concert, at the Finsbury Park Astoria in London on 20 March. Recalling the night, he says:

The most depressing thing of all about the opening concert was the fact that the theater was half empty. I thought it was so sad. And those of us who were there had to cheer and clap about ten times louder than usual, just to try to make up for it.

The second pair of shows, at the Hammersmith Odeon on 21 March, might not have done much better in terms of audience size. In her accounts of the tour, Mary Wilson suggests that audience sizes were small throughout the duration of the tour, and names the Hammersmith Odeon specifically. In the documentary, Mary Wilson says (bold added):

No one came. We were so excited — we’d come to the Hammersmith, or wherever we were, and the audience was like half-filled. No one was out there. So that’s why we called it the ghost tour.

From Dreamgirl and Supreme Faith: My Life as a Supreme, by Mary Wilson (2000), pp. 160-161:

Though the Supremes had made a real splash in England just six months before, the [1965 UK] Revue as a whole didn’t fare quite so well…There were avid Motown fans all over England and the Continent, but it was clear that reporters in the smaller towns really didn’t understand what the music was all about. And, for the first time in as long as many of us could remember, we were playing to half-filled houses.

The final word, by Wilson, on the small audiences encountered during tour, from the documentary:

We just thought it was going to be a sell out, you know, and this and that, and each time, we would go to a different town and a different theater and it was the same. It really never got better. But night after night, looking out into the audience and seeing a half-empty house, England was a big disappointment (laughs).

(above) Front page advertisement in the 5 March 1965 issue of the New Musical Express for the 1965 Motortown (Tamla-Motown) UK Tour

Adam White, a former Billboard editor-in-chief, co-authored the book Motown: The Sound of Young America (2016) with former Motown sales chief Barney Ales. In an article titled “Dancing in the streets of Britain,” by White, published in The Independent (Independent.co.uk), on 31 March 2005, the author says that the performers and musicians sang and played their hearts out during the 1965 Motown Revue UK Tour, “while striving valiantly not to be dispirited by a low audience turnout, the inclement weather and the difference in food (and toilet paper) that came with the territory.” The first tour date outside of London, at Colston Hall in Bristol, happened to be in White’s home city. He attended the first of the two shows at a cost of £4.

White also appears in The Motown Invasion. In the documentary, he praises the thrilling and consummate artistry of the acts in the Revue, and recalls that the opportunity to see the Motortown Revue in the provinces in early 1965 was such an improbable and extraordinary event that it was for him a “religious experience.” However, with respect to the attendance at the first Colston Hall show, in gauging the proportion of occupied seats, White says:

I just remember looking behind me in back and seeing row and row of empty seats, so…I would have said, if Colston Hall’s capacity was 2,000, there were three or four hundred people, at most, in that hall.

BBC Four Legends TV series episode The Motown Invasion — airdate: 20 February 2009

(video replaced 9 November 2019)

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(below) Motortown Revue arrival at London Airport (later Heathrow Airport), 15 March 1965

The Supremes

Motortown Revue, London, group photo on steps beside Marble Arch (1a)

(above and below) Photos featuring members of the three recording artist vocal groups involved in the 1965 Motortown Revue UK Tour, plus the Temptations, assembled at the London landmark Marble Arch, and on steps beside the landmark, taken on 15 March 1965, shortly after the Revue’s arrival in London that day. In the above photo, the artists stand in the following order (left to right):

top rowThe Miracles: Smokey Robinson, Bobby Rogers, Ronnie White, Pete Moore
middle rowThe Temptations: David Ruffin (shades), Melvin Franklin, Otis Williams, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams
bottom rowThe Supremes: Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross; Martha and The Vandellas: Betty Kelly, Rosalind Ashford, Martha Reeves

Variations of the above order in other photos in the gallery below:

  • on the steps
    • middle row: In some photos, the positions of Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams are reversed.
    • top row: In some photos, Pete Moore has moved down a couple of steps and stands beside Eddie Kendricks at the far right of the second row. In one photo, Smokey Robinson is almost completely obscured by Otis Williams.
    • In the photos featuring only the members of The Supremes and Martha and The Vandellas, the order of the women is the same as in the photos featuring the members of all four groups.
  • in front of the gate (l. to r.)
    • Rosalind Ashford, Betty Kelly, Martha Reeves, Claudette Rogers Robinson, Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin (partially obscured behind Kendricks), Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore, Otis Williams, Bobby Rogers, Melvin Franklin, Ronnie White, Paul Williams, Florence Ballard, Diana Ross, Mary Wilson
      • This photo of the four groups together taken in front of the gate is the only one in the present gallery in which Claudette Rogers Robinson is included.
    • In the photo of The Supremes only, the order is (l. to r.) Florence Ballard, Diana Ross, Mary Wilson.

Marble Arch in London, Spring 2013, with raised area at right

(above) In this 2013 photo of Marble Arch, you can see the raised rest area to the right, with its benches and sets of four steps, where the group had posed 48 years earlier for the series of photos above.

(below) Motortown Revue members on the sidewalks of London, and possibly elsewhere in the UK, during the 1965 UK tour (l. to r.):

  • 1.-2. The Supremes with members of the Temptations Melvin Franklin and Eddie Kendricks, in London, probably on 15 March 1965
  • 3. The Supremes
  • 4. The Supremes on pier
  • 5. The Supremes with bobby
  • 6. Martha and the Vandellas

(below) Images from the set of the Ready Steady Go! television special The Sound of Motown, taped at Rediffusion Studios on 18 March 1965, and aired on 28 April 1965

(below) Members of the 1965 Motortown Revue UK Tour, plus the Temptations, appear at EMI House to celebrate the 19 March 1965 launching of the UK Tamla Motown label. It is my understanding that the date of the launching and, therefore, of the photos is 19 March 1965, the day before the opening show of the tour. However, the two b&w photos from Alamy.com included below are dated 24 March 1964 there. The Revue performed two shows at Cardiff on 24 March 1965, and two shows each in Bristol and Birmingham on the 23rd and 25th, respectively. It’s unlikely that they made a quick side trip to London on the 24th. The last image, the one from Getty Images, is dated 19 March 1965. I’ll try to find other supportive documentation regarding the date of these photos.

Embed from Getty Images

 

The Motown Encyclopedia (2014) by Graham Betts, contains the following itinerary on page 408*:

20 March – Astoria, Finsbury Park (6.40 & 9.10)
21 March – Odeon, Hammersmith (6.00 & 8.00)
22 March – Day off
23 March – Colston Hall, Bristol (6.30 & 8.45)
24 March – Capital, Cardiff (6.00 & 8.30)
25 March – Odeon, Birmingham (6.45 & 9.00)
26 March – ABC, Kingston (6.45 & 9.00)
27 March – Winter Gardens, Bournemouth (6.00 & 8.30)
28 March – Odeon, Leicester (5.40 & 8.00)
29 March – Day off
30 March – Odeon, Manchester (6.15 & 8.45)
31 March – Odeon, Leeds (6.20 & 8.40)
1 April – Odeon, Glasgow (6.40 & 9.00)
2 April – ABC, Stockton (6.15 & 8.30)
3 April – City Hall, Newcastle (6.30 & 8.45)
4 April – Empire, Liverpool (5.40 & 8.00)
5 April – Day off
6 April – ABC, Luton (6.30 & 8.45)
7 April – ABC, Chester (6.15 & 8.30)
8 April – City Hall, Sheffield (6.20 & 8.50)
9 April – ABC, Wigan (6.20 & 8.35)
10 April – Gaumont, Wolverhampton (6.30 & 8.40)
11 April – Gaumont, Ipswich (5.30 & 8.00)
12 April – Guildhall, Portsmouth (6.30 & 8.30)

(below) posters, or signs, advertising the following shows:

  • 23 March – Colston Hall, Bristol (6.30 & 8.45)
  • 27 March – Winter Gardens, Bournemouth (6.00 & 8.30)
  • 31 March – Odeon, Leeds (6.20 & 8.40)
  • 12 April – Guildhall, Portsmouth (6.30 & 8.30)

Timeline

In addition to the above itinerary of the UK tour, I’ve assembled the following timeline, with some dates still being tentative:

  • 12-14 March 1965(?) — According to @blue_whippet, citing the book Motown: The History by Sharon Davis, in the soulfuldetroit.com forum thread Tamla Motown European Revue March/April 1965 – A Question, Stevie Wonder arrived three days earlier the rest of the Motortown Revue UK Tour party. In a comment on this page dated Jun 20, 2017 @ 11:40:03, @blue_whippet confirms my question regarding the title of the cited book, and then adds that both Stevie Wonder and the Temptations arrived in London on 12 April 1965, three days before the others, citing another source. He says:

    Yes I can confirm the book cited is correct – Motown: The History by Sharon Davis. In fact that early arrival date is corroborated in the excellent book Hitsville! The Birth Of Tamla Motown, by Keith Rylatt. On page 114, it states ‘both the Tempations and Stevie Wonder arrived on 12 March for pre-tour promotional visits’.

    This explains why neither Wonder nor the Temptations are found among those members of the tour seen in photographs disembarking at London Airport on 15 March, or in the group photo with the “Tamla-Motown UK Tour” banner evidently taken at London Airport that day. The Temptations are not part of the UK tour, though they are present with members of the touring party for the following events during the period 15-19 March, prior to the start of the road tour:

    • photo session at Marble Arch, 15 March
    • taping of the Ready Steady Go! television special The Sound of Motown, 18 March
    • launch of Tamla Motown label at EMI House, probably 19 March (see above)
  • 15 March — The Motortown Revue arrives in London, according to the following Getty Images photos, all dated 15 March 1965, of members disembarking at London Airport from a BOAC aircraft:
  • 15 March — Group photos of the Supremes, Miracles, Temptations and Martha and the Vendellas are taken at Marble Arch, London, and on steps beside the landmark (see above).
  • 15-17 March — Does the Revue perform shows in Rotterdam, South Holland and Hamburg, Germany on these days, prior to the taping of the Ready Steady Go! TV special on 18 March?* Do the Supremes visit Amsterdam at this time as suggested by some sources and photographic evidence? See the soulfuldetroit.com forum thread Tamla Motown European Revue March/April 1965 – A Question for a discussion of these and related questions. See also the following, from the article titled Motortown Revue In Paris: Complete concert on 3LP or 2CD, by Justyn Barnes, published on 18 January 2016 at superdeluxeedition.com:
    • The European Tour during March-April 1965 was the first time Berry Gordy Jr.’s roadshow had ventured outside of the United States. After dates in Hamburg and Rotterdam, the Revue hit the UK, playing every night bar three from 20 March until 12 April at venues all around England, plus Cardiff and Glasgow, finishing at Portsmouth Guild Hall.
  • The 1965 timeline at the website Diana Ross and the Supremes Encyclopedic…Fan Site indicates that a promotional tour of Rotterdam, South Holland and Hamburg, Germany, featuring concerts at each city, took place around the period 15-17 March 1965, and that an appearance by the Supremes on the TV show “Musik Aus Studio B” was recorded while the group was in Hamburg during this brief tour.
  • In the soulfuldetroit.com “A Question” thread cited above, @bobkayli speculates on the timing of European visits by the Revue, before, during, or after the UK tour:
    • Could be that the whole Revue except for the Temps went to Rotterdam/Hamburg to begin with and the Temps coming to London first and were joined by the rest in London later. I need to dig out my old music magazines from the era to see if they add anything (for example concert dates for the Temps). The Temps were certainly only present for the first part of the UK Tour as Otis Williams mentions in his book The Temptations. The UK tour dates didn’t leave a lot of time to travel to Rotterdam and Hamburg. The Rotterdam date could not have followed on from Paris. Berry Gordy mentions in his book that the entourage split after Paris when he and Diana stayed on in Paris to cement their relationship so to speak.
  • 18 March — The Ready Steady Go! television special The Sound of Motown is taped at Rediffusion Studios on 18 March 1965, according to various sites.
  • 19 March
    • launch of the Tamla Motown UK label, according to the following:
    • Members of the 1965 Motortown Revue UK Tour, plus the Temptations, appear at EMI House to celebrate launching of the UK Tamla Motown label. I’ve tentatively dated the photos presumably taken at the launching, and displayed above, 19 March 1965, though the two b&w Alamy.com photos included indicate that the date was 24 March 1964. I suspect that Alamy.com has incorrectly dated the photos. The Revue performed two shows at Cardiff on 24 March 1965, and two shows each in Bristol and Birmingham on the 23rd and 25th, respectively. It’s unlikely that they made a quick side trip to London on the 24th.
      • 23 March – Colston Hall, Bristol (6.30 & 8.45)
        24 March – Capital, Cardiff (6.00 & 8.30)
        25 March – Odeon, Birmingham (6.45 & 9.00)
  • 20 March – 12 April — duration of the UK coach tour (see itinerary above)
  • 5 April — A performance by the Supremes on the German TV show Musik aus Studio B (Google translation: English) of the song “Thank You Darling” is broadcast on 5 April 1965. Thanks for this information are due to @blue_whippet, who provided a pair of relevant and helpful links in a comment dated June 18, 2017. “Thank You Darling” (Busch, Scharfenberger) was recorded by the Supremes in German and released in April 1965 on the single (Germany) CBS 1839, b/w “Jonny und Joe,” the B-side being a German-lyric version of “Come See About Me” with words by Kurt Feltz. I’ve yet to determine whether the appearance by the Supremes on the show was a live or taped performance — and, if taped, on which date the taping took place — so it’s still not clear whether the Supremes visited Germany before or during the 1965 Motor Revue UK Tour for that televised performance. One of the links provided by @blue_whippet leads to an article in the April 17, 1965 issue of Billboard magazine, where on pp. 14 and 18 we read the following:

    The Supremes are making their first tour of Germany. The U.S. group is appearing under auspices of CBS Schallplatten and Aberbach Musikverlage. They have appeared on North German Television’s “Music From Studio B,” Germany’s most prestigious music show….

    No dates regarding the Supremes tour of Germany are provided, but the phrase “are making their first tour of Germany” suggests that the tour was ongoing either at the time the article was written or on 17 April 1965 when the issue was published. Did the Supremes begin a tour of Germany within a few days of the end of the Motortown Revue UK Tour?

  • 13 April — The Motortown Revue appears at the Paris Olympia. According to the itinerary provided above, and to most sources, this is the last show of the tour.
  • 13-15 April(?)– additional events in Paris involving the Motortown Revue members, according to @bobkayli in the soulfuldetroit.com thread cited above, who says:
    • On 13th/14th/15th April besides the concert there were a number of promotional events around Paris besides the Motortown Revue show at Olympia including a press launch of the French Tamla Motown label, Supremes photo sessions on the Champs Elysees, Trocadero and Bois de Boulogne as well as a Vandellas photo shoot at the Louvre as well as the Supremes almost being arrested for blocking the traffic on the Champs Elysees.
  • Like the above account by @bobkayli, the article Motortown Revue In Paris: Complete concert on 3LP or 2CD, by Justyn Barnes, published on 18 January 2016 at superdeluxeedition.com, indicates that the Motortown Revue members remained in Paris for at least a couple of days after the Olympia show on 13 April, saying:
    • The gig at Paris’s Olympia Theatre on 13 April 1965 was the last leg of the tourThe next couple of days saw the launch of the French Tamla Motown label and various photo shoots around Paris including one where The Supremes quite literally stopped the traffic on the Champs Elysees (they nearly got arrested).
  • 14-17 April (?)
    • After departure of most members of the Tamla Motown Revue touring party, according to The Supremes: A Saga of Motown Dreams, Success, and Betrayal, by Mark Ribowsky (2009 edition), p. 204, Berry Gordy and Diana Ross stay behind in Paris for an additional couple of days, though it’s not precisely clear on which day the others depart and Gordy and Ross are left alone.
    • Ribowsky, p. 203, gives the wrong date, 15 April, for the show at the Paris Olympia, by all accounts the last show of the tour. The Olympia show is dated 13 April everywhere else.
  • 28 April 1965 — The Ready Steady Go! television special The Sound of Motown is broadcast, after the Motortown Revue touring party has returned to the U.S. Ribowsky incorrectly claims that it was broadcast during the third week of the tour.

Motortown Revue marquee at Olympia, Paris, 13 April 1965

(below) The Supremes risk life and limb dancing in stop and go traffic on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris as they lip sync to “Where Did Our Love Go.” Diana Ross is very nearly struck in the right leg by a vehicle at 1:16. Toward the end of the clip a policeman instructs them to get off the street, finally pushing Mary Wilson by the shoulder, forcing her over the curb and into a pedestrian area, before grabbing her arm as if to arrest her.

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more Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images.
Embed from Getty Images.
Embed from Getty Images.Embed from Getty Images

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* There are only three days off in the UK tour itinerary from the Motown Encyclopedia, and the last date of the tour is one day after the Guildhall, Portsmouth shows, at the Olympia in Paris on 13 April. However, some sites refer to this tour as the Motortown or Tamla Motown European Tour of 1965, and various sources suggest that the revue also did shows in Rotterdam (Holland) and Hamburg (Germany). The 1965 timeline at the website Diana Ross and the Supremes Encyclopedic…Fan Site indicates that a promotional tour of Rotterdam, Holland and Hamburg, Germany, featuring concerts, took place during the dates 15-17 March 1965, and that an appearance by the Supremes on the TV show “Musik Aus Studio B” was recorded while the group was in Hamburg during this brief tour.

On undated and questionably dated photographs reportedly taken in Rotterdam, Hamburg, and Amsterdam, March-April 1965:

  • Alamy.com has two different edits of what appear to be the same photograph, supposedly taken in Rotterdam in April 1965, that shows the Supremes, the Miracles, Martha and the Vandellas, and Stevie Wonder performing on stage in an ensemble number, probably the show’s finale.
  • Alamy.com has several photographs which, they claim, show the Supremes in Hamburg in 1965. Links to four photos at Alamy.com of the Supremes, apparently taken at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg c. March 1965, were provided here on 8 November 2019 and working fine, but less than 24 hours later each of the links was getting redirected, and I’ve been unable to locate the images elsewhere on the site. It looks like the images were quickly removed from the site within hours of my linking to them here. In the four photos that I refer to, Diana Ross appears to be wearing the same dress that she wore at Marble Arch on 15 March 1965 (but a different fur; see images from the Marble Arch photo session above), though the other two members of the Supremes are dressed differently than they did at Marble Arch.
  • One photograph, said to be taken in Amsterdam, that I’ve found appears to have Diana Ross wearing a blouse similar to the one that she wore in the “Where Did Our Love Go” taping in Paris, where they danced between traffic on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, and nearly got arrested. The date of the taping on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is usually given as 13 April, the same date as the show at the Olympia, but I haven’t verified that date. Ribowsky, p. 203, says that the taping of “Where Did Our Love Go” on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées occurred on the afternoon of 15 April, but incorrectly says that the Olympia show also occurred on that date.

Some as yet unanswered questions:

  1. Other than Paris, what European cities did members of the 1965 Motortown ‘UK-European’ perform in, or visit for other reasons, and when — whether before, after, or between UK appearances? If the tour, or some of its members, appeared in Rotterdam, Hamburg, and Holland, as various notices and reports suggest, supported to some degree by photographic evidence, then when did these visits occur? Did the visits occur before the UK tour, during the UK tour (on days off), or following the UK tour and the 13 April Paris show at the Olympia?
  2. A performance by the Supremes on the German TV show Musik aus Studio B (Google translation: English) of the song “Thank You Darling” is broadcast on 5 April 1965. Was it performed fully live or to playback during the broadcast on 5 April, which was one of the three off days from the UK tour, taped on that date, or taped on an earlier date (see the Timeline above)?
  3. On which date or dates did the touring party depart to return to the US?
  4. Did the Supremes begin a tour of Germany shortly after the end of the 1965 Motortown Revue UK Tour (see the Timeline above)?

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Selected resources:

books:

documentary:

articles and web pages:

24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. blue_whippet
    Jun 18, 2017 @ 09:37:42

    I have since found some additional interesting detail on this topic. See links:

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=lSgEAAAAMBAJ&q=supremes#v=snippet&q=supremes&f=false

    and

    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musik_aus_Studio_B

    The Supremes appeared on the Hamburg TV show ‘Music from Studio B’ on Monday 5th April 1965. That was one of the days off from the UK tour. They sang ‘Thank You Darling’ and this must be the performance referred to by Flo in the May ’65 recorded interview where she referred to the backing tape breaking in a Hamburg performance.

    I also must now question whether a Rotterdam performance actually happened as the photo on Alamy claiming to be of the Rotterdam show is the same photo in the scan of Dutch newspaper article on the Paris show referred to on the Soul-Source website

    https://www.soul-source.co.uk/forums/topic/352267-tamla-motown-1965-tour/

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • doc
      Jun 19, 2017 @ 13:09:05

      @blue_whippet,

      Hey there! Your posts in the soulfuldetroit.com forum thread have been very helpful, and much thanks for this new information with the links provided. I’ll revise the relevant content of this page accordingly, as soon as possible, citing your comment and crediting you for the assistance.

      Regards,
      doc

      Like

      Reply

    • doc
      Jun 19, 2017 @ 14:06:32

      @blue_whippet,

      Can you confirm for me that the book you’ve cited in the “Tamla Motown European Revue March/April 1965 – a Question” thread at soulfuldetriot.com regarding Stevie Wonder arriving three days before the others is Motown: The History by Sharon Davis, published in 1988? I noticed today that I had previously erred in giving the source as the Mary Wilson book Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme. This error has been corrected.

      Like

      Reply

    • doc
      Feb 23, 2018 @ 09:12:59

      @blue_whippet,

      Hi. Sorry for the very long delay in getting to the update I’d promised. Today I’ve added some information to my working timeline above regarding the appearance by the Supremes on German TV during the 1965 Motortown Revue UK Tour, crediting you for two links that support their appearance on the Musik aus Studio B show and the inclusion of their performance of a song in the 5 April 1965 episode of that series. Note that in the Wikipedia article on the show, 5 April 1965 is given as the broadcast date rather than the taping date of the Supremes’ appearance. Although it’s possible that the performance was taped and broadcast on the same date, I haven’t confirmed whether or not that was the case. Here’s what I’ve added today:

      5 April — A performance by the Supremes on the German TV show Musik aus Studio B (Google translation: English) of the song “Thank You Darling” is broadcast on 5 April 1965. Thanks for this information are due to @blue_whippet, who provided a pair of relevant and helpful links in a comment dated June 18, 2017. “Thank You Darling” (Busch, Scharfenberger) was recorded by the Supremes in German and released in April 1965 on the single (Germany) CBS 1839, b/w “Jonny und Joe,” the B-side being a German-lyric version of “Come See About Me” with words by Kurt Feltz. I’ve yet to determine whether the appearance by the Supremes on the show was a live or taped performance — and, if taped, on which date the taping took place — so it’s still not clear whether the Supremes visited Germany before or during the 1965 Motor Revue UK Tour for that televised performance.

      One of the links provided by @blue_whippet leads to an article in the April 17, 1965 issue of Billboard magazine, where on pp. 14 and 18 we read the following:

      The Supremes are making their first tour of Germany. The U.S. group is appearing under auspices of CBS Schallplatten and Aberbach Musikverlage. They have appeared on North German Television’s “Music From Studio B,” Germany’s most prestigious music show….

      No dates regarding the Supremes tour of Germany are provided, but the phrase “are making their first tour of Germany” suggests that the tour was ongoing either at the time the article was written or on 17 April 1965 when the issue was published. Did the Supremes begin a tour of Germany within a few days of the end of the Motortown Revue UK Tour?

      I may make additional edits to the page in accordance with this modification. Thanks again!

      Regards,
      doc

      Like

      Reply

      • Anonymous
        Feb 25, 2018 @ 13:28:19

        Hi,
        Thank you and it’s good to see the itinerary updated with the latest information. Re: broadcasting date of Musik aus Studio B. Yes 5th April was the broadcast date but in the German Wikipedia translated page, it is stated that ‘the program was live or as a recording’. So there remains the possibility that the 5th April date was aired live. From the Supremes recorded interview where Florence was asked about any unusual events that she can remember, she stated that the backing tape broke in a performance in Hamburg. This suggests they were singing live over a pre-recording backing track. Indeed, the Wikipedia page says that the appearing artists sang playback, almost exclusively German. Exceptions were (among others) The Supremes. With that in mind and the possibility that the show was aired live, it would make sense that the backing track fault could not be immediately repaired and they continued a capella in order to finish the segment. If the show was pre-recorded, they could have fixed the problem and re-taped the segment. Speculative I know. What could help with this search would be to track down newspaper reports from the following day of the event. In the same Supremes interview, the interviewer did state that the event was reported in the press the following day and they were praised for their showmanship and professionalism. That could have been in the German press and eventually the US press. I have found nothing reported in Billboard Magazine on this event. As additional information, Musik aus Studio B is detailed on the IMDb website.
        A related issue where I have been able to find some information relates to the hotel where the Supremes stayed while in Hamburg. The photos on the hotel balcony with the balustrading is the Hotel Atlantic Kempinsky. If you Google an Image of the hotel, the balcony can be picked out together with other features of the hotel’s surroundings. Further, in a Wikipedia entry on the hotel, a list of notable guests includes the Supremes, but dated March 1965. If this date is correct, the 5th April date would no longer be valid. It depends on the accuracy of information posted.
        Re: suggested ongoing tour of Germany – I haven’t found any solid evidence to indicate that this tour went ahead, but I’ll keep looking.

        Liked by 1 person

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        • doc
          Feb 25, 2018 @ 17:50:09

          Anonymous,

          I had read the English translation of the part in the Wikipedia page on Musik aus Studio B, which says [punctuation normalized]:

          The program was live or as a recording and began with the theme song Melody Fair by Robert Farnon. The appearing artists sang playback, almost exclusively German. Exceptions were Sonny and Cher, The Lords, The Supreme[s], The Bee Gees , Golden Gate Quartet and Nancy Sinatra.

          and I agree that it leaves open the possibility that the Supremes performed live on the show.

          [comment edited, 5 November 2019, to remove tedious explanation and speculation by myself ~doc]

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        • doc
          Nov 05, 2019 @ 09:40:22

          The 1965 timeline at the website Diana Ross and the Supremes Encyclopedic…Fan Site indicates that the appearance by the Supremes on the TV show “Musik Aus Studio B” was recorded while the group was in Hamburg amidst a promotional tour of Rotterdam, South Holland and Hamburg, Germany, featuring concerts at each city, that, according to the cited 1965 timeline, took place around the period 15-17 March 1965.

          However in the “TV-Graphy” page at the ‘Encyclopedic’ Supremes site, here: TV show “Musik Aus Studio B”, we find the following notes that indicate that there remains uncertainty regarding whether the planned Musik Aus Studio B taping took place, and if so on what date, with the possibility that the Supremes performed live on the 5 April 1965 show not being ruled out.

          In an interview recorded in May 1966, Florence Ballard refers to a show in Hamburg, Germany, during which the backing tape they sung over broke. She most probably refers this show.
          Not all performances on this show were live, some were pre-recorded. If this is the show during which the backing track broke, in case of a pre-recorded performance (recorded around March 15 to 18) it would probably have been re-taped. If not, that would most likely mean that it was recorded under live conditions on April 5 and that the Supremes made a fast trip to Germany during the day off of the UK tour (the interview is on the Expanded Edition of “More Hits By The Supremes” and the LP/CD set “25th Anniversary”).
          All the “Musik Aus Studio B” shows of that period were erased.

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  2. blue_whippet
    Jun 20, 2017 @ 11:40:03

    Glad to be able to help and thank you for crediting my assistance. Yes I can confirm the book cited is correct – Motown: The History by Sharon Davis. In fact that early arrival date is corroborated in the excellent book Hitsville! The Birth Of Tamla Motown, by Keith Rylatt. On page 114, it states ‘both the Tempations and Stevie Wonder arrived on 12 March for pre-tour promotional visits’.

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    • doc
      Jun 20, 2017 @ 15:53:26

      Excellent! I’ll incorporate this info also into the page ASAP, and add those two books to the resources at the bottom of the page. Thanks again. :D

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    • doc
      Feb 24, 2018 @ 02:37:15

      @blue_whippet,

      Hello again! Today I’ve updated my information regarding the arrival in the UK of both the Temptations and Stevie Wonder on 12 March 1965, three days before the others, citing this comment by you as well as the “Tamla Motown European Revue March/April 1965 – a Question” thread. For clarification, did Wonder and the Temptations arrive in London on 12 March 1965, or is the arrival point unspecified in your sources?

      Regards,
      do

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  3. doc
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 15:16:24

    @blue_whippet,

    I’m enjoying a summer break at this time, so it might be a few weeks before I get to these updates.

    Regards,
    doc(-̮̮̃-̃)

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  4. Mike Whitton
    Mar 22, 2018 @ 11:17:36

    BOAC only flew international routes, BEA flew the European routes so it is safe to assume that the Motortown Revue flew direct from the States to Heathrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. doc
    Jan 25, 2019 @ 23:45:58

    See also the comprehensive 1965 timeline at the website Diana Ross and the Supremes Encyclopedic…Fan Site.

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  6. blue_whippet
    Nov 07, 2019 @ 01:33:20

    Hi, it’s good to see that this topic is still being discussed with new information still appearing. To the best of my knowledge there has never been any confirmatory evidence of a tour of Holland and Germany between 15-17 March 1965. If such evidence exists, it would be good to see it. In the meantime, another date has surfaced for the Supremes visit to Hamburg – see link here:
    https://www.gettyimages.ca/detail/news-photo/musikgruppe-soul-usa-ganzk%C3%B6rperaufnahme-der-s%C3%A4ngerinnen-news-photo/883412186

    It is stated the photo was created on 29th March 1965 in Hamburg. Interestingly this a week prior to the 5th April date we have speculated on and another of the free days on the UK tour. The March timeline would also agree with the Wikipedia entry for the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg where notable guests include the Supremes (March 1965).

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    • doc
      Nov 08, 2019 @ 21:52:08

      Hi,

      Welcome back! The reports of a tour of Rotterdam and Hamburg during or around the period 15-17 March 1965 that I’ve cited each lack documentation, and I haven’t found conclusive evidence elsewhere of such a tour during that time frame, so I would agree with you, and it’s possible that I may be helping to spread incorrect information on this point.

      Regarding the photo you linked to, I found three at Alamy.com with them posing in the same dresses and evidently at the same location. I provided links to a couple of those on 8 November 2019, but the links were getting redirected by 9 November and I’m not even finding them at Alamy.com now. Looks like they were either moved or removed from the site. The location of this photo session that produced these images looks like it could be a TV studio soundstage, so you might be onto something. However, I’ve discovered incorrect dates and other information on numerous photos at Getty Images in the past several years, so I don’t find the site particularly reliable in that regard.

      Regards,
      doc

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      • doc
        Nov 08, 2019 @ 23:01:39

        Note that the 1965 timeline in the Supremes fan site gives the dates of the “Concerts and promo tour in Holland (Rotterdam) and Germany (Hamburg)” as “~15-17 March.” I hadn’t noticed the tilde before, and have modified my citations of that source in this page accordingly. I’ve interpreted the tilde to mean “approximately” or “around.”

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      • doc
        Nov 09, 2019 @ 19:41:41

        @blue_whippet,

        I notice that the new Alamy.com links that I’ve just provided (8 November), both in the comment above and the footnote, which were working fine last night, are getting redirected now. It looks like the images might have been moved or removed, resulting in the redirects. That was quick.

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        • Anonymous
          Nov 10, 2019 @ 07:26:34

          Yes I had noticed that the Alamy.com links were directing to a generic content page. However I think I know the photos you were trying to highlight. I agree that dates on these Getty/Alamy sites can be incorrect and if they don’t know the exact date, they tend to state 1st January. However 29th March 1965 date does seem to me to be an odd error, if that is the case.
          In the time since the original discussion of this topic, I have looked into the online copies of Cashbox from the time period. If you haven’t done the same I would suggest you search for “Supremes” in the copies dated 20th Feb, 10th April, and 1st May 1965. While the articles do not provide any more clarification on exact dates, they do add interesting detail such as failing to get the Supremes over to Holland from England for a repeat TV appearance due, in part to booking alterations and lack of facilities. There is also mention of the Supremes remaining for an additional 1-2 week tour of Europe after the Olympia show.

          One last point, in the Diana Ross & Supremes section of Souful Detroit Forum a thread was started on 24-01-2019 titled ‘My Favorite Things…..’ In that thread there is mention of a scrapbook originally owned by Florence Ballard. In the scrapbook there is a post card sent by Flo from Germany (they think it was Germany) to her mother for Mother’s Day. As I am unaware of any other trips to Germany by Flo, this could be the visit to Hamburg. Curiously, Mother’s day in England in 1965 was on Sunday 28th March. Could it be that Flo bought the card in England but took it to Hamburg on 29th March and sent it from there? I fully accept that I could be letting my imagination run away with me as this is pure speculation and conjecture.

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  7. blue_whippet
    Nov 10, 2019 @ 08:18:10

    Yes I had noticed that the links you provided to the photos were redirected to a generic site. Not a problem as I think I am aware of the photos you were referring to. I agree these sites can state incorrect dates and generally I have found if they don’t know the exact date, they will use 1st January. However, 29th March should be kept open as a possible visit date to Hamburg.
    The on line scans of Cashbox during this time period also generate some interesting related information. Although Cashbox does not add any specific confirmation of dates, several items focus on the European launch of the label, UK tour, Olympia Paris show and other reports on European activities. The copies dated 20th Feb, 10th April and 1st May 1965 are the most informative. For example there is reference to the Supremes remaining in Europe for 1-2 weeks tour after the Olympia show. Also there is an item about failing to get the Supremes over to Holland from England for a repeat TV appearance due to booking alterations and lack of facilities.
    Earlier this year, a thread appeared in the Diana Ross/Supremes section of Soulful Detroit Forum titled ‘My Favorite Things…..’ It mentions a scrapbook once owned by Flo which included a post card sent by Flo from Germany (they think it is Germany) to her mother for Mother’s Day. As I am unaware of any trips to Germany by Flo other than the Hamburg visit, it is curious that Mother’s Day in the UK in 1965 was on Sunday 28th March – the day before the Hamburg photo dated 29th March. Coincidence?

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  8. blue_whippet
    Nov 10, 2019 @ 10:09:24

    Sorry – forgot to include 17th April 1965 copy of Cashbox. This edition also includes interesting detail.

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    • doc
      Nov 14, 2019 @ 01:30:02

      @blue_whippet,

      Many thanks for the new info, re: Cashbox scans, etc. Agreed that 29 March is a possibility. I don’t have time to pursue these leads right now, but I’ll try to get back to it soon. Which of the two versions of your recent comment (@Anonymous or @blue_whippet), would you like me to remove?

      Regards,
      doc

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  9. Andy
    Nov 12, 2019 @ 05:26:18

    My Uncle, Tommy Barclay and his mates were at the Glasgow Odeon show. He remembers in particular how empty the theatre was and the audience gathering at the front and filling maybe the first six or seven rows. He also remembers in particular Mary Wells coming on stage in a bright, sparkly red dress and being joined by Marvin Gaye. Many thanks, Andy.

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    • doc
      Nov 14, 2019 @ 01:41:26

      Andy,

      Thanks for sharing that information. Unless memory fails me, this is the first I’ve heard of Mary Wells involvement in the tour. I wonder if she was on a separate promotional visit within the time frame of the Tamla-Motown UK Tour, as the Temptations were, and their paths briefly intersected. I’ll look for more info on Mary Wells’ activity around that time.

      Regards,
      doc

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