Mary Wilson: Come See About Me

Art of Life — Produced by Karen Smyles

In the 60’s, The Supremes were the most commercially successful singing group at Motown Records, and to date, are the most successful vocal group in America, with twelve number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. During the Civil Rights movement they became the “Cross-over group” that made it possible for future R&B musicians to find mainstream success. It all began with the dreams of three little girls who grew up in a project in Detroit, Michigan. Mary Wilson was one of the founding members along with Florence Ballard and Diana Ross.

The group changed a lot over the years, with several singers coming and going. However, Mary Wilson was there until the end when the group disbanded in 1977. As the last member, Wilson found herself the keeper of all of the fabulous costumes the group had worn over the years and when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame offered to curate an exhibit of the pieces, Wilson thought it was a great idea.

Now through the end of June, Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Collection will be on display at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Thirty stunning gowns, rare video footage and archival images, will take you back to an era when pop music was truly glamorous.

Friday Arts sat down for a one-on-one interview with Mary Wilson when she was in town to open the exhibit. Wilson shared stories of how the Supremes came together and what it was like being a member of this legendary female singing group. We also take you up-close for a look at the gowns created by some of the biggest names in the fashion industry.

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