Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.
The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.
A3 Pencil Print-Price £45.00-Purchase
A4 Pencil Print-Price £30.00-Purchase
*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*
All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.
P&P is not included in the above prices.
Florence Ballard met Berry Gordy in 1958 when she was just 15, growing up in the tough Detroit Brewster-Douglass projects. The bubbly teenager with the big voice, honed during a childhood of gospel singing in her local church, was overflowing with talent. Street savvy, and set on creating a black girl group capable of conquering the predominantly white pop music world, Gordy became a Svengali to Florence and the two friends she invited to join her. Thereafter, Flo and her pals, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross, would become The Primettes, and then on Florence’s suggestion – The Supremes.
With Gordy’s Motown label fully launched, Flo was initially The Supremes’ lead singer, but when the ambitious Diana’s true intentions became apparent, a bitter rivalry would ensue. By July 1967, Ballard – who could outsing and upstage Ross at will – was out of the group. Less than nine years later, she would be dead, and Miss Ross would be established as Motown’s most successful female singing star.
Let us not rush to judge………………..
Amongst the pantheons of “Billboard chart greats,” The Supremes are right up there with Elvis, The Beatles and Mariah Carey, a genuine all-American, rags-to-riches tale, complete with villains, victims and heroes, as well as a messy unraveling that rivals anything seen before or since. At the core of the story is Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr, who built an empire from scratch, aided and abetted by the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, songwriting legends Holland-Dozier-Holland, and of course, the recording engine room that was the Funk Brothers. Whatever the criticism of Gordy’s autocratic management style, his achievements at Motown still represent a stunning accomplishment, especially considering the dearth of independent labels in the late ‘50s and early ’60s.
If it was Brian Jones’ destiny to form, nurture, and ultimately undermine The Rolling Stones, then Florence Ballard can equally be said to have been the main leading light behind The Supremes, as well as a similarly tragic figure. Nevertheless, whilst the simplistic tale of how Jagger and Richards wrested control of The Stones from Jones has largely passed into uncontested ‘rock folklore,’ the story of Diana Ross and her rise to solo stardom is seemingly less clear, largely dividing admirers of the group to this day. If Gordy and Ross always had a plan to break out “Miss Ross,” – as she liked to be addressed – it’s still perfectly understandable that this call to arms would take its toll Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard.