Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Stop! In the Name of Love (1965)

1) When this song was popular, the Supremes were known for their long gloves and full-length gowns. When was the last time you got dressed up? The last time I put any real thought into what I wore was when I met my friend and her husband for my birthday dinner late 2014. They took me to a restaurant I'd never been to, so I wanted to be appropriate. In Chicagoland parlance, my friends are very "North Shore" -- very nice and very good people, but very aware of appearances -- and I didn't want to embarrass them. (BTW, I wore a red blazer over a black blouse, and I was fine.)

2) With a record 12 #1 hits, the Supremes remain America's best-selling vocal group. This must have been hard for Betty McGlown, the fourth Supreme, who left the group before they recorded their first song. Can you think of an opportunity you missed? In 2004, I weighed two job offers. One was from a start up agency that had just hired a friend and former boss as her their chief creative, the other was from the venerable agency with the sterling reputation where I'd been freelancing. I took the latter because 1) I didn't want to risk the friendship by making my former boss my new boss and 2) I really liked my team at the grand old agency and 3) I wanted security. Well, I'm still at that agency more than 10 years later, which is an outstanding accomplishment in advertising. But the Recession hit the big shop harder than it did the smaller, more nimble start up, so I'm very, VERY sure I'd be making more money if I'd gone to work with my friend. In 10 years, I've gotten exactly two raises and one $500 bonus. Taking inflation into consideration, I'm making less money than I did in 2004. Gulp.

3) When "the girls" (Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Flo Ballard) first started hanging around Motown, founder Berry Gordy was reluctant to let them record. After all, they were still in high school. They refused to give up and eventually convinced him to let them add hand claps and finally back up vocals to recordings by other Motown artists. Tell us about a time when your persistence paid off. It's funny. I can think of many times I've been persistent, but in retrospect I was really just stubborn and I'm not sure it's ever "paid off." I think maybe instead of being persistent I should learn when it's wise to let go and move on.

4) 50 years after its release, "Stop! In the Name of Love" is one of the most popular karaoke songs. Do you know the lyrics?
Baby, baby, I'm aware of where you go each time you leave my door. I watch you go down the street, knowing your other love you meet. But this time before you run to her, leaving me alone and hurt, think it over. Haven't I been good to you? Haven't I been sweeeeeeeet to you? STOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE! Before you break my heart. Think it over. Think it over ... I could go on, I most certainly could. I am a 24K Diana Ross fan. Seen her in concert at least four times and am always, always impressed. 

 5) There's a children's playground named in Diana Ross' honor within New York's Central Park. It includes swings, slides, rope bridges and a fountain. When you played in the park, what did you run to first? The swings. Swings are one of the few things I've loved more and longer than Motown.

6) Diana stumbled in her high heels and broke her ankle as she left the stage after a November 2012 concert. What do you have on your feet right now? I'm barefoot.

7) Ever the trooper, she honored her commitment to perform at a White House-sponsored Christmas concert just weeks later, even though her leg was still in a cast. Tell us about a time when you "played hurt." I went to work the other morning even though my tummy was bothering me. Throughout the commute, I wondered and worried that perhaps I hadn't made the right decision, if you know what I mean. I know this sounds silly, but February seemed too early in the year for a sick day.

8) Young Diana Ross was a good student and a tough competitor who made her school's swim team. Are you a good swimmer? Yes. My form may not be great but my endurance is awe inspiring!

9) Diana's older sister, Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee, was the first African American woman to be appointed dean of an American medical school. Decades ago, Barbara juggled post-graduate studies and raising small children. Are you good at multi-tasking? I used to think I was, but I've discovered I'm not. When I do two things at once, I don't do either of them well. 

By the way, one daughter is the lead singer of the best-selling girl group of all time, and the other is the first woman to be appointed dean of a medical school. Are the Ross girls trying to make me feel like an underachiever?