In her final message to fans shared on YouTube, Mary Wilson shared some very special news. "I finally decided how to work with Universal," the legendary Supreme confided to her fans, "and they are going to release new Mary Wilson recordings. Yes! At last! At last." That day is finally upon us. On December 3, Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records will premiere The Motown Anthology, a brand-new 2-CD, 38-song collection of the best of Mary Wilson.
Before her unexpected passing on February 8, 2021 at the age of 76, Mary was planning for a busy year, including a tour with B.J. Thomas (who died of cancer not long after, on May 29) once it was safe to resume performing. The Motown Anthology is the ultimate retrospective of this multi-hyphenate talent: singer, activist, author, fashion icon, actress, mother, grandmother, friend, trailblazer, legend, Supreme. This first-ever comprehensive overview of Wilson's Motown discography presents 38 songs, including a whopping 33 tracks only available physically on this collection. Those tracks include:
- The Primettes' "Pretty Baby," the first known recording to feature the voice of Mary Wilson (and one of only two tracks on this collection in mono);
- Two previously unreleased songs from Diana Ross and The Supremes' Farewell concert of January 13, 1970 at Las Vegas' Frontier Hotel, one night before Diana, Mary, and Cindy Birdsong performed their final concert together;
- Four previously unreleased Supremes tracks ("Send Him to Me," "If You Let Me Baby," "Son of a Preacher Man," and "Witchi Tai To") led by Mary and produced by Deke Richards;
- 16 more Supremes classics spanning the Diana, Mary, and Florence Ballard line-up through the final group of Mary, Scherrie Payne, and Susaye Greene, penned by an array of songwriters including Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Jimmy Webb, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and Thom Bell and Linda Creed, most of which are presented in stunning new mixes;
- The complete 1979 Mary Wilson album in its worldwide CD debut plus "Anytime at All," a previously-unreleased early version of "Red Hot";
- Four tracks produced by Gus Dudgeon (Elton John, David Bowie) including three never before available on CD;
- Eric Kupper's new 2021 remix of "Red Hot;" and
- Mary's new 2021 Motown single, "Why Can't We Get Along," in its CD debut.
The Motown Anthology has been produced by the team of Andrew Skurow, George Solomon, and TSD's Joe Marchese (The Supremes' The Ultimate Merry Christmas, Diana Ross and The Supremes Sing and Perform 'Funny Girl': The Ultimate Edition). It's been mixed and mastered by Kevin Reeves (Bobby Darin's Go Ahead & Back Up: The Lost Motown Masters, Blinky's Heart Full of Soul: The Motown Anthology). Its 44-page booklet, beautifully designed by John Sellards, is stuffed with rare and previously unpublished color photos plus new liner notes from Marchese, Skurow, and best-selling author Mark Bego (Mary Wilson's Supreme Glamour, Eat Like a Rock Star). It's housed in a six-panel digipak in the tradition of past Supremes expanded editions.
The booklet also features exclusive tributes to Mary from such luminaries as Dionne Warwick, Darlene Love, Otis Williams, Duke Fakir, Martha Reeves, Claudette Robinson, Brian and Edward Holland, Rita Coolidge, Merry Clayton, Brenda Russell, Blinky Williams, Jackie DeShannon, and RuPaul (just to name a few). Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton has penned a special appreciation, as well, for this ultimate celebration of Supreme legend Mary Wilson.
DeShannon wrote, "Mary Wilson was not a copy or imitation. Her voice was uniquely soulful and always full of love. She will be remembered as someone who gave her heart and soul to her music - and for her gloriously glamorous style. The gift she gave us when she stepped on the stage to perform was the dream we all shared as girl singers." Coolidge offered, "Mary Wilson came into this life with a gift that simply made the world a better place. She was Music, she was Love, she was Light. She continues to live on in the eyes of her children and grandchildren, in the hearts and stories of her friends, and her brilliant voice will forever resonate and light the way for her family, her friends and her beloved fans."
Today, October 11, marks a special date in the life of Mary Wilson. On this day in 2018, The Music Modernization Act became United States law. Mary had been at the forefront of the campaign to pass this important bill giving artists a fairer share of royalties in a changing, increasingly digital landscape. This was just one of the many significant causes championed by Mary throughout her lifetime.
Mary Wilson's voice - in all its versatility, power, and passion - can be heard on The Motown Anthology. It's due on December 3 from Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records. You'll find the track listing and active pre-order links below.
- Pretty Baby
- Baby Don't Go (Alternate Mix) (*)
- The Tears (Alternate Mix)
- Our Day Will Come (Alternate Mix) (*)
- Come And Get These Memories (Alternate Mix)
- Can't Take My Eyes Off You (Live at the Frontier - January 13, 1970) (**)
- Falling In Love With Love (Live at the Frontier - January 13, 1970) (**)
- Send Him To Me (**)
- If You Let Me Baby (**)
- Son Of A Preacher Man (**)
- Witchi Tai To (**)
- Touch (Alternate Mix) (*)
- Floy Joy (Alternate Mix) (*)
- Automatically Sunshine (Alternate Mix) (*)
- I Keep It Hid (Alternate Vocal and Mix) (***)
- Can We Love Again (Alternate Mix)
- Early Morning Love (Alternate Vocal and Mix) (***)
- You Turn Me Around (Alternate Mix) (*)
- You're What's Missing In My Life (Alternate Version)
- Don't Let My Teardrops Bother You (Alternate Vocal and Mix) (***)
- Til The Boat Sails Away (Alternate Vocal and Mix) (***)
- I Don't Want To Lose You (Alternate Vocal and Mix) (***)
- We Should Be Closer Together (Alternate Vocal and Mix) (***)
- You Are The Heart Of Me (Alternate Vocal and Mix) (***)
- Anytime At All (Early Version of "Red Hot") (**)
- Red Hot (#)
- I've Got What You Need (#)
- You Make Me Feel So Good (#)
- (I Love A) Warm Summer Night (#)
- Pick Up The Pieces (#)
- You're The Light That Guides My Way (#)
- Midnight Dancer (#)
- Save Me (#)
- Love Talk (#)
- Green River (#)
- You Dance My Heart Around The Stars
- Why Can't We All Get Along (LP Version) (**)
- Red Hot (Eric Kupper Remix) (#)
(*) previously unreleased mix
(**) previously unreleased track
(***) previously unreleased vocal and mix
(#) previously unreleased on CD