Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Mary Wilson Still Rules Supreme with First Film, Costume Tour and More


Mary Wilson is the hardest working woman in show business after more than 50 years. Yes, Mary, 68, and looking like a million bucks, has managed to outlast her Motown curse. The original Supreme, she hung in there after the dismissal of Florence Ballard, the departure of Diana Ross, and countless fights to keep her name. Now Mary is still cooking hot. This summer, and even now, she’s touring with former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman and his big band across Europe. She’s recorded her a new single, available on iTunes, and has a jazz album out that contains her stunning versions of Sting’s “Fields of Gold” and Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”–a smash in her live show.

This week, Mary was featured in the New York Times for her traveling show of Supremes costumes. It’s gone to Philadelphia for an exhibit. http://runway.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/12/reliving-the-glamour-of-the-supremes/?ref=style

And, Mary is also filming her first movie, in her hometown of Detroit. It’s an indie called “Golden Shoes,” with a typically eclectic cast including Eric Roberts, Vivica A. Fox, and Montell Williams. “It’s only a small part, a couple of lines, really,” Mary told me before a sold out show she performed in Fairfield, Connecticut. “But it’s a beginning. This way I can see how it’s all done.”

Unflagging optimism has kept her going through tough times. She has a big family, but lost a son in a car accident years ago. He’s always on her mind. But she’s practical, and a survivor. It helps that her voice has gotten richer and deeper over the years. She just found out about the death of Frank Wilson, (no relation) the Motown songwriter who saw her through the post-Ross days with hit singles like “Nathan Jones” and “Up the Ladder to the Roof.” Frank Wilson gave the group a chance to shine without Ross.

In concert, she performs “Someday We’ll Be Together”–the song that Diana Ross recorded as the Supremes, but Wilson or Cindy Birdsong– it was Ross’s surprise farewell from the group. It’s a poignant reminder of what was and what could have been.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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