Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tamla Motown

Whatever dewy-eyed soul boys and elderly mods might like to tell you today, when the Tamla Motown tour hit the UK in 1965 it was largely greeted with indifference. Despite boasting a line-up which included The Supremes (Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard); a 14-year-old "Little" Stevie Wonder; and Smokey Robinson, audiences were sparse. This was certainly the case in Wales. Cardiff was the 4th date on the package tour with the Capitol Theatre hosting two shows by these soul pioneers. For the first house the audience consisted of just 43 people. Imagine that. More folks were actually backstage than were in the crowd that night. For the second house there was a much bigger turn-out but it was hardly a ringing endorsement of the American soul invasion. Major cool points go to Barbara Morris of Pontypridd who was not only there in '65 but managed to get Diana Ross's autograph, too. Nice one, Babs.