“You Can’t Hurry Love” Billboard Ad (8/13/66)

Of the many Supremes ads I’ve recently found in back issues of Billboard magazine, this one has got to be my favorite.  This beautiful full-page, color advertisement ran in the August 13, 1966 issue of the magazine, promoting the recently-released single “You Can’t Hurry Love.”  The song was listed as a “National Breakout” in that same issue, and was making its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 at #66.

The fact that the song’s title appears to be racing across the page is appropriate; the following week, “You Can’t Hurry Love” had shot from #66 to #28 on the chart, and the week after that it leapt to #7.  From there it climbed up to #4 and, finally, “You Can’t Hurry Love” settled into the top spot in the issue dated September 10.  It was the seventh #1 hit for The Supremes, and would soon be followed by number eight, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”  The song also helped propel its parent album, The Supremes A’ Go-Go, to the top spot on the Billboard 200, making The Supremes the first female group to have a #1 album.

Although it’s been covered many times over the years — most famously by Phil Collins in 1982 — “You Can’t Hurry Love” remains a definitive Supremes recording, and a perfect example of the kind of crisp, tight composition for which songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland became famous.  Diana Ross excels at the song’s urgent lyrics and catchy melody, showing real growth as a vocalist from the group’s earlier singles; it’s impossible to imagine anyone else making the same sort of impact with the song.

You Can't Hurry Love billboard Ad Supremes

 

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About Paul

Album-by-album, track-by-track, a look at the entire Diana Ross discography...
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3 Responses to “You Can’t Hurry Love” Billboard Ad (8/13/66)

  1. Alexis Bryce says:

    Back in the day when I used to run to the record shop across the street from school, I rarely saw a 45 single in a picture sleeve. Most of the ones that I purchased came in a plain brown or white sleeve. Odd that Motown would choose such a solemn pose (from the I Hear A Symphony photo shoot?) to promote such an uptempo record.
    “But Mama said, you can’t hurry love. No, you just have to wait!” To this day, this is my favorite Supremes/Diana Ross song. I must have worn out four copies of the 45! This was way before I had enough money to purchase albums. But I could always come up with a dollar to buy a 45! I remember waking up that August morning and hearing the last half of the song on the radio. I rushed to the record store and they didn’t have it in yet. Radio stations always got advanced copies for airplay. I went back to that record store every day until, finally, they had it! It’s the only record that I fell in love with instantly. The others would take days or weeks before I got hooked. Within a few short weeks it was number one on Boss Radio KHJ in Los Angeles and also on the national charts; which warranted a performance on the Ed Sullivan Show (This clip is all over the internet and on dvds. Has anyone noticed Diana bopping her head so hard that an earring falls off and she magically catches it in her hand without missing a beat! You have to look closely, but she starts the song with two earrings. Then towards the end, one slips offs and she catches it in her hand and continues singing the song. Talk about slight of hand!) It came in at number six for the year in LA and I stayed up all night to hear the year-end countdown. I’ve since found many other radio charts on the internet. “You Can’t Hurry Love” was the number two record of the year on New York’s WABC (Just behind Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night”–and no one can top Frank Sinatra in New York!). I found another chart from DC or Philly where “You Can’t Hurry Love” was the number one record of the year. An astonishing accomplishment for an industry dominated (especially in the sixties) by white males!

  2. Marcus says:

    This is one of my favorite songs by Diana Ross/Supremes. I’ve listened to this recording hundreds of times, yet if it comes on the radio or over a store speaker…I have to stop and listen. (well, sing along and dance to it.) This song is when Motown and the Supremes were really starting to jazz things up and I loved it. I like the ad too. I love Diana’s constant changing looks. I wish she still took chances like that now. Thanks for the memory.

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