CAPE MAY – It is only fitting that a member of Motown’s most successful recording group wraps up Cape May’s wildly successful Summer Concert Series. On Wednesday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m., Mary Wilson of The Supremes performs at Cape May Convention Hall, 714 Beach Ave. in Cape May.
A performance in Mary Wilson’s school talent competition changed her life and led to the formation of one of the best-known female vocal groups in music history. While performing in the talent show, Wilson befriended Florence Ballard, who mentioned the opportunity to audition for the female counterpart to a male vocal group known as The Primes. Both young ladies made the cut, along with Diana Ross and Betty McGlown, to form The Primettes. Just a few years later, the trio of Wilson, Ballard and Ross would be known as The Supremes.
In 1963, The Supremes had their first Top 40 hit, “When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes,” and the following year “Where Did Our Love Go?” became their Number 1 smash. Remaining with The Supremes following the departures of Florence Ballard in 1967 and Diana Ross in 1970, Mary Wilson recorded a total of 12 Number 1 singles with the group, including “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “Back in My Arms Again.”
Wilson’s departure from The Supremes in 1977 led to the dissolution of the group, but it opened doors for her as a solo artist. In addition to recording three albums and five singles, she has participated in a variety of theatrical productions, organized museum displays of The Supremes’ costumes, lobbied for musicians’ rights and penned two best-selling autobiographies: “Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme” and “Supreme Faith: Someday We’ll Be Together.” She actively participates in a number of charities, including The Humpty Dumpty Institute, a non-government organization that raises money and awareness for landmine clearance projects around the world, and Figure Skating in Harlem, a unique education, ice skating and leadership program for young women. In 1988, Wilson, Ballard and Ross became the first all-female group to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Tickets are $42 for reserved seats and can be purchased in person at Cape May Convention Hall, 714 Beach Ave. or online at DiscoverCapeMayNJ.com. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/capemaycity and follow us on Twitter @capemaycity. For more information, call (609) 884-9563 or (609) 884-9565.