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The Primettes


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The Primettes was the original recording name for The Supremes, from 1958 to 1961.
Detroit’s female quartet created in 1959 by Florence Ballard, as sister group to The Primes. Ballard, Mary Wilson, Betty Travis and Diana Ross, wanted to record for Motown Records, but after an audition Berry Gordy sent the teenagers back to school. The girls persisted, singing in special events, talent contest, record hops and the occasional night club; sang background vocals for Al Garner, and released a single on Lu Pine Records: “Pretty Baby”, led by Wilson; and “Tears of Sorrow”, by Ross. Eventually Travis left, Barbara Martin replaced her, and in 1961 they were signed to Motown. Martin left after the first single was released, when the group became the trio The Supremes.


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