My mom was in her 20s in the 1960s, and Motown – be it Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell, Stevie Wonder or you name it – that was the music she’d have on the radio in the Detroit flower shop where she worked.

When she had me years later, those same songs were installed in my heart as lullabies.

Today’s episode honors founding Supreme Mary Wilson and tells some of her story. Her sudden passing at age 76 stunned Motown fans everywhere.

I’m going to focus on the news itself, how Mary Wilson made us feel and her impact.

To help do that, I’m sharing parts of a candid conversation with her recorded by retired label executive Joe Smith in 1987.

It is one recording among many that was donated as a collection by Smith to the Library of Congress, free to use and reuse with credit.

I also spoke with the knowledgeable music historian and DJ Dan Austin. He is a founder of the Motor City Soul Club and the turntables he and his friends spin help keep the music alive for all generations to dance to with their Soul Stomp events at the Marble Bar.

So have a listen in the player at the bottom of your screen, or on your favorite podcast app of choice:

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Dan Austin’s awesome B-Sides and Rarities playlist featuring the Supremes and Mary Wilson:

Or have a listen here:

Interview excerpts: Smith, J. & Wilson, M. (1987) Off the record interview with Mary Wilson, -01-30. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

Thanks to Joe Smith for making this conversation available to the American people free to use and reuse with proper attribution.

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