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A Supreme dream come true in Beaver Creek

Charlie Owen
cowen@vaildaily.com
Beaver Creek, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily
ALL |

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” As one of the original members of the influential female Motown group, The Supremes, Mary Wilson helped to shape an entire era of music.

During the ’60s, Motown Records continually pumped out hit after hit by black artists during a time in America when racial tensions were running high, proving that music can transcend even the most negative barriers in society. The Supremes ” originally comprised of Wilson, Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Betty McGlown ” had 12 No. 1 singles during that time and songs like “Baby Love,” “Where Did Our Love Go,” and “You Can’t Hurry Love” are still staples on oldies radio.

“I think it’s wonderful that our legacy has lasted so long and people are still interested in it. That meant that what we did was good, was right,” Wilson said during a phone interview from her home in Las Vegas, Nev.

The Supremes disbanded in 1977 after some lineup changes, and Wilson launched her solo career shortly after. So which half of her career is Wilson fondest of?

“I never try to compare them,” Wilson said. “It’s two different lifetimes. When I was with the Supremes, I was very young … and we had a tremendous run through my teenage years and young adult years and it was just amazing. When I went solo in 1977, I was a lot older and now I enjoy doing what I’m doing, making my own decisions and choosing the various roads I want to go into.”

Wilson will perform Thursday night at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek as part of the entertainment lineup for the Bon Appetit festival, which kicks off Wednesday and will continue through Saturday. Tony O’Rourke, executive director of Beaver Creek Resort Company, said the addition of a music act during an event which focuses mostly on food is representative of the destination lifestyle the mountain tries to promote.

“We’re having a food and wine event but using the Vilar Center to kick it off I think is symbolic of what Beaver Creek has to offer on a larger scale,” O’Rourke said. “And what better way than with an iconic (artist) like Mary Wilson. Who doesn’t like Motown?”

Backed by a full band she’s been performing with for 17 years, Wilson said the audience can expect a very upbeat show.

“(It’s) going to be more of the rock and roll show,” Wilson said. “Of course I’ll be doing loads of Supremes songs … I do a lot of other rock and roll songs. I do a lot of Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Sting.”

Besides having a very successful career with The Supremes and as a solo artist, Wilson has written two books, including a bestseller, hung out with Martin Luther King Jr., performed for the royal family in England, branched out into theater and done humanitarian work in countries like Mozambique and Botswana. She’s currently finishing up work on her new CD, which she said she’s very proud of.

Looking back on all her achievements though, Wilson said she’s thankful to have performed during a momentous time in history, and to still be able to continue entertaining fans.

“To have been a part of something that was so magnificent and so lasting it makes you know that when you were daring to dream, as we did, that our dreams did come true and people were watching and it has affected not only us, but everybody else,” Wilson said. “So it was great being a part of it, it was like a Cinderella story. I know what it feels like to say that my dreams have come true and that’s a wonderful statement to be able to say in this world today.”

What: Mary Wilson of The Supremes.

When: Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek.

Cost: $65.

More information: Call 970-845-8497 or visit http://www.bonappetitfocus.com.

High Life Writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.


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