The Death of Florence Ballard of the Supremes

Florence Ballard of The Supremes
June 30,
1943 – February 22, 1976
“Flo, she don’t know… that the boy she loves is a Romeo…”

If anyone ever got the shaft, in my opinion it was poor Flo, the Supreme on theright.She should have been on top of the world, but at 32 she was dead from heartfailure. Some might say a broken heart.

Florence, Diana Ross and Mary Wilson grew up in the now demolished Brewster Projects ofDetroit. See them then andnow. To makea fascinating story short, after begging Motown Records founder Berry Gordy for work, theywere hired to sing. They recorded a string of hits for Motown which still stand as a museum on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit. 

Phone number TR1-3340 dontcha know.

They recordedmost of their hits including “Where Did Our Love Go,” and “Baby Love,”in Studio A.

We had a Death Hag meet up a few years back and toured the studio.  This is our fun group.


The tour guide asked for 3 volunteers.  Since I was kindathe group leader, I stepped up.  They showed us a couple of hand and feetmovements and had the lyrics to MY GIRL in front of us.  They then told usto sing and do these moved.  At the beginning, I was moritified.

Then the guide said, “You just sang one of Motown’s greatest records in the very studio it was recorded.  BAM.  

An awesome moment.

The Surpemes toured, often being the first blacks to perform incertain clubs.  One club they played was the Roostertail on the river in Detroit.  When they were doing the researchfor the film Dreamgirls, some location people went to the Roostertail to takephotographs.  The Rainbow Theater in the film is a tribute to theRoostertail, including the distinctive R in the logo.

When the big money started rolling in, all 3 girls bought houses on BuenaVista, in Detroit, this was Flo’s.

I love “Back in my Arms Again” because the lyrics reference both Mary and Flo on background vocals, and Flo doing that… ‘mmhmm ghuurlll” look.