Rescued from VHS: Diana Ross left the Supremes 44 years ago today

On this day in 1970, Diana Ross left the Supremes. Watching this five-part installment of the group hosting a show called “Hollywood Palace” from a little less than a year before makes one wonder what took her so long.

The show captures Motown’s biggest hitmakers at a crossroads of a changing culture, when they no longer felt relevant. That seems almost hard to believe. So many other Motown acts transitioned into groovy times with ease, and the Supremes’ 1967 jam “Reflections” seemed to indicate that they “got it” and could make the jump, but this is an ill-advised television variety show.

Diana looks as skinny as a marionette, and Mary Wilson delivers her lines just as woodenly. Cindy Birdsong, a non-original member, looks comfortable, but it’s hard to be comfortable with her, since Florence Ballard is the one who makes it onto the covers of all the greatest hits albums.

They look a little weird when they’re not dressed uniformly, and the styles of the day don’t seem to suit them.

The commercials are a hoot (people actually smoking in cigarette ads, and was Hai Karate Oriental Spice a real product?) but the comedians on the variety show aren’t funny at all. (Sorry, Soupy Sales, we know you’re a legend, but that whole French bit fell flat.)

That said, Diana Ross turns in a killer dance routine and sounds great. And those eyes! The show also includes an amazing performance by Stevie Wonder, arguably the Motown performer who best transitioned into the 1970s. Watching him stand stoically as Diana heaps praise upon him is pretty much what makes it all worth watching.

Amazingly, by the way, the Supremes continued on for another seven years without Diana Ross, as she burned up the charts with a solo career.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Rock legend Neil Young files for divorce after…

The legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young has filed for divorce from his wife of 36 years.

Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

Movies

Review: Pierce Brosnan gets a cut-rate Bond knockoff…

Pierce Brosnan tries to reclaim his glory days with the spy thriller "The November Man" but instead gets a sad DTV-style ripoff with lame action.

Music

Tiesto headlines Made in America

Electronic music legend Tiesto is ready to get in touch with his inner Rocky at the Jay Z-curated Budweiser Made in America festival this weekend…

Gossip

Ariana Grande addresses Big Sean dating rumors

Now that Ariana Grande and Big Sean were caught on camera holding hands, she has something to say.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Parenting

Lure your baby to sleep with Maroon 5…

These new renditions of "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" are Maroon 5 like you've never heard them before.

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…