The (Original) Supremes©2005JCMarion


Believe it or not, at one time there was a vocal group called The Supremes that had nothing to do with Diana Ross, Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, or even Cindy Birdsong and Jean Terell. This was a classic R & B group of male members from Ohio in the early nineteen fifties. The group was formed in 1954 in Columbus, Ohio, home of the Club Carolyn source of the famous series of live recordings by the Rusty Bryant combo (including future jazz and pop vocalist Nancy Wilson). The Supremes consisted of Forest Porter, Jay Robinson, Bobby Isbell, Ed Jackson, and Eddie Dumas. Once the vocalists had worked on some songs and formulated a stage presence, they entered a number of amateur talent shows and battle of the groups contests. The Columbus quintet seemed to acquit themselves very well and were beginning to get some name recognition.

They soon had an opportunity to turn professional entertainers by traveling to the South, and by early 1957 found themselves in Florida. They played the R & B circuit through the panhandle of the state in Panama City, Fort Walton Beach, Pensacola, and also in Mobile, Alabama. Through their work in that area of the country they were put in contact with Ace Records located in Jackson, Mississippi. That label was best known for their recordings by Huey "Piano" Smith and Jimmy Clanton. By the summer of 1957 Ace Records had released "Don't Leave Me Here To Cry" and "Just You And I" on # 534. The president of Ace Records Johnny Vincent pushed the record in the trade press and at the National Association of Music Merchants convention in Chicago. However, the record did not gain much in the way of sales or favorable airplay. A tour of one nighters for the group was in the planning stage but nothing ever became of those plans. The Supremes returned to Columbus and became another in a long list of one hit wonders, but with them there was no hit to speak of.

There was an Old Town record on # 1024 as by The Supremes ( "Tonight" and "My Babe" ) but this is probably The Solitaires who were also identified by that name on some pressings of Ruth McFadden's "Darling Listen To The Words Of This Song", or perhaps it was The Royaltones as some people believe. There were also couple of tunes recorded by The Supremes for Ace that were never released - "Honey Honey" was one. Two other records by The Supremes appeared in 1958 - "You Are Mine" / "Be My Love" on Bernice # 202, and "Snap, Crackle, And Pop" / "Nobody Can Love You" on Mark # 129 that are not this same group. In the late seventies the group recorded two tunes for the local Grog label with limited pressings of the tune "Glow" and "You And Me".

They remain known around true vocal group circles for the great version of "Just You And I" which you may find on a number of compilation CDs of the vocal group music of the time.

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