OSM! online magazine is republishing the article of NWU-NY writer Peter Benjaminson, upon his permission, titled ‘The Lost Supreme’ and a Classic Hollywood Con which saw print in the Rolling Stone in July 2014.
The call that I’d been waiting for all my life came, naturally, while I was away from my Manhattan home in the summer of 2010.
“My name is Karen Spencer,” a sultry female voice cooed into the phone of my Providence, Rhode Island, motel room. “I’m a film producer and investor and I just loved your latest book. I’d love to make it into a movie.”
The book she was referring to was The Lost Supreme: The Life of Dreamgirl Florence Ballard. Ballard had been one of the original Supremes until she was forced out of the three-woman group by Motown founder Berry Gordy and Supreme diva Diana Ross.
After spending much of her post-Supreme life on welfare, Ballard died of coronary artery thrombosis at age 32 in 1976. I had interviewed her for eight hours over several weeks in 1975 and then spent 32 years looking for a publisher to print the biography I wrote based on those interviews. Chicago Review Press finally published the book in 2008.