BATTLE OF THE ADS: Billboard Magazine (11/7/64)

Check this out — the November 7, 1964 issue of Billboard (available online via Google Books) was an unusually snarky one, thanks to two record companies battling it out over the song “Come See About Me.”

Supremes Billboard AdNella Dodds Ad

A full-page ad from Motown proclaims an “unprecedented” move — rushing out “Come See About Me” by The Supremes while the group’s “Baby Love” was still sitting at #1. Why the hasty delivery? The Motown ad claims radio had already jumped on the song, forcing an official release.

Of course, what the Motown ad fails to mention is that another version of “Come See About Me” was about to hit the charts. “My single was out first,” boasts the ad promoting the Nella Dodds recording of “Come See About Me,” released on Wand.

So what’s the story?  The Supremes recorded “Come See About Me” first, and the song was placed on the smash LP Where Did Our Love Go.  The folks at Scepter Records apparently heard it, cut it on Dodds, and quickly released it.  Of course, once Motown did the same with their original recording of the song, the competition was short-lived.  Both singles debuted on the Hot 100 in the next issue of Billboard; the Dodds version eventually peaked at #74,  while The Supremes would soon enjoy their third consecutive #1 hit with the song.

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About Paul

Album-by-album, track-by-track, a look at the entire Diana Ross discography...
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7 Responses to BATTLE OF THE ADS: Billboard Magazine (11/7/64)

  1. Robert Gallagher says:

    Battle of the Ads–just great Paul, thank you. More of these industry ads please. “Little old me…the original…” Nice try, Nella. She also recorded HDH’s “Honey Boy” and “Whisper You Love Me Boy.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nella_Dodds

    • Paul says:

      LOL isn’t that great…”What do they want from little old me?” Apparently Nella auditioned for her label by singing along to the WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO album!

    • Paul says:

      And PS — many more of these ads coming 🙂 Been deep into research and have found a ton of them!

  2. Michael S says:

    I never knew that! I Love it. And history repeated itself again with Love Hangover! Awesome!

  3. Lee G says:

    Thanks for this amusing piece of Supremes history! “Smiles would have all turned to tears”…if CSAM had failed to delivery its destiny for Motown and Supremes!….and as if there weren”t already enough IN HOUSE competition at Motown!…also interesting how history repeated with “Love Hangover!!

  4. Luis Boki says:

    I knew by the holiday season 1964 when I received no less than 5 copies of “Baby Love” from various relatives and neighbors. I was already deep in love with “Come See About Me”. And then December 27th they performed it on their first appearance on Ed Sullivan. And then to top it off, “The T.A.M.I. Show” hit theaters on December 29th so not only was I high from Ed Sullivan, I could see the ladies in all their cinematic glory as often as I wanted. My cousins and I must have seen “The T.A.M. I. Show” in theaters about 10-15xs. In those days, a hit movie could stay in theaters a year before home entertainment.
    “Come See About Me” confirmed how hot they were, especially the break. “Stop! In the Love” made them superstars. And “I Hear a Symphony” underscored how creative they were and would place them so far ahead of the pact that by 1966, they were the #1 American group….a title they held through the end of the decade. And over a half century later, The Supremes are still the #1 Female Group of All Time. In comes En Vogue, The Dixie Chicks, The Spice Girls, Destiny’s Child with a good run but still not good enough to stop The Supremes from holding onto the #1 Female Group in the world.

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