I suppose it was inevitable that when the billing went from the Supremes to Diana Ross and… that she would eventually leave the group, and she did. In many ways, I preferred the songs of those first two solo albums of hers, which I bought, to the Supremes albums that came out just before she left the group. Still, I never bought any of her other solo albums. Didn’t see her in any of her movies, not even the Oscar-nominated Lady Sings the Blues, though I did see snippets of The Wiz on television.
At some level, I thought that what felt like Berry Gordy’s favoritism towards her made me cranky. It wasn’t until much later, when I was watching the soap opera Another World in the late 1990s, and discovered actress Rhonda Ross was the biological daughter of Ross and Gordy, did I discover they had had a romantic relationship.
Of course, I watched her on the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007, and she was most deserving. I did hear her on the radio a lot, and, finally, bought her greatest hits collection, from which I am picking my favorites from her solo career. LISTEN to all.
7. Upside Down, from Diana, 1980. Some dance beat drivel that I found annoyingly infectious. Went to #1.
6. My Mistake (Was To Love You), from Diana & Marvin, 1973. Marvin was always good in those duets. Went to #19.
5. Touch Me In The Morning (from Touch Me in the Morning, 1973). Another #1 song. I don’t always like Diane’s voice, but I love it here.
4. I’m Coming Out, from Diana. I NEVER heard this song, I believe, until I bought the CD. Anthemic, and I understand she often starts her shows with this song.
3. Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To), from Diana Ross, 1976. Theme from the movie. I just noticed she had albums called Diana!, Ross, Diana, Ross, and TWO called Diana Ross; this is from the second one.
2. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, from Diana Ross, 1970. The song was the motif for the Black History Month performance that my sister Leslie, a couple others and I organized and performed for a high school assembly. It’s amazing how Diana took that tune, a hit for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, and made it her own #1 song.
1. Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand), from Diana Ross, 1970. The first single, and it’s a waltz? Went only to #20.