Mary Wilson was 76 and passed suddenly, according to her publicist, Jay Schwarts.
I was in elementary when I first started recognizing music on the radio by The Supremes. By junior high school, I found myself loving many of their songs. To me, their music was fun, with a hypnotizing rhythm that made you want to sing along.
Mary began her career in Detroit, about a one hour drive south from where I grew up. In the 1960s, The Supremes became Motown's most successful group with 12 number one hits!
When I was in high school in the late 80s, I collected music. I had a considerable record and cassette tape collection. CDs had just come out, and they weren't taking off at first because the sound quality was still inferior to record albums. I got my hands on a Motown double-extended play cassette of their greatest hits and listened to it in my car everywhere I went.
It was one of my top 10 listens for years.
In 2018, Billboard celebrated the 60th anniversary of Motown with a list of the top 100 artists of all time, and The Supremes were number 16.
It's always sad to lose someone so talented and creative. Over the years, we have lost many of the artists I grew up loving, Freddy Mercury (except for the song where he says he doesn't like Star Wars), David Bowie, Prince, Michael Jackson. Artists who set the standard.
I wish we had more artists of their caliber today who had as much heart and creativity. We hit a slump in artistry when it comes to music because of technology, honesty, voice modulation, electronic beats, and generated music.
You used to have musical talent to play instruments, which meant you had the music gene inside to be artistic and creative. Now, all you need is a finger to press a button, meaning anyone who has a finger (or a friend with a finger) can make music regardless of talent.
Now anyone with enough equipment can "make" music.
Sometimes it turns out well, and the musicians have a talent for writing and singing, but in some cases, like my own punk band from the early '90s, we had 100% effort and 20% talent.
Maybe I'll even post a few of our songs on here for your complete and utter enjoyment of what 20% talent can do for a band.
I wrote some killer lyrics over the years. Most were poems from my teens and should be reverted to their original state so others could enjoy them.
I wrote this poem when I was around 15 years old.
Inside here, it's so cold and dark.
I wish that I could make a new start.
Remembering things that I cannot change
So alone I sit, and I dwell in this pain.
I wish that I could escape from this.
The life I had I dearly miss
Just one more chance and one more breath
Lord let me escape from this death
and I will.
Nothing but silence is all I hear
Nothing but black I cannot see clear
Nothing at all to occupy my time
Nothing but pain locked inside this mind
and my time
My gardens dark and my life had to end.
Just one sad message that I try to send
To the one I love so far away.
Just give me the breath and the life to say
So I can
Stone Garden eternal resting place
Existence gone without a trace.
All my life taken from this soul
Left to rot inside of this hole
I know, rudimentary poetry, but hey, I was fifteen.
Ten years later, I got with some friends and formed a punk band, LUG. We played a while, wrote some songs, created new ones from some of my old poetry, and had fun. It's a good thing we had fun.
If your ears can take it, here is one of our songs from my poem I shared with you.
Stone Garden by LUG
It makes me miss some of the greats even more.
So to Mary Wilson's family, my condolences. Though they will miss her far more than anyone who never knew her, the rest of us recognize the contribution she made to the world of music, and in that way, we, too, mourn her passing.