The stunning pics of Diana Ross taken in Cardiff in the ’60s
When Diana Ross takes to the stage at Cardiff Castle this evening, it won’t be the first time she’s listed the city, nor been pictured at the Welsh capital’s historical epicentre.
Her visit to the city back in 1965, then as part of the line-up of The Supremes is enshrined in history thanks to these stunning pictures.
Playing two shows at the city’s Capitol Theatre on Wednesday March 24, 1965 as part of the Tamla Motown touring show, she and fellow Supes, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson, took a walk around Cardiff city centre in between shows when these fantastic spics were taken.
Looking the epitome of poise and elegance, Ms Ross oozed star quality, aged 20, with the world at her feet and superstardom to quickly follow.
Gallery of The Supremes walking around Cardiff in 1965
What is amazing about The Supremes appearance in the city as part of a tour that also included a 14-year-old ‘Little’ Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, and Martha & the Vandellas, is that audiences were sparse.
This was certainly the case in Wales. Cardiff was the fourth date on the package tour with the Capitol Theatre hosting two shows by these soul pioneers.
For the first performance the audience consisted of just 43 people. Astonishing to think that there were more people backstage than were in the crowd that night.
Georgie Fame – then a big draw in the UK – had been drafted in to the tour to try and bolster numbers.
The second performance saw a much bigger turn-out, but the American soul invasion would take another year before it well and truly exploded in the UK.
Thankfully, there will a large crowd for the legend that is Diana Ross at Cardiff Castle this evening.
Memories of those who were at the Capitol Theatre show…
My memories of the show are limited, but I remember Steve Wonder in a shiny suit being led on stage. I think The Supremes had sparkly dresses which reflected in the lights. Georgie Fame playing a large electric organ, the smell of the cushioned seating and feeling very excited. I lived 20 miles away and at 14 I was very adventurous!
I left school early and myself and a chum caught the bus into town for the first show. Absolutely amazing music. If I remember the Capitol was a third full. Every act though was spot on.
One of the most memorable nights of my life to see all of the Tamla Motown stable in our town. Musical tour de force from all the acts even managed to get backstage headed straight to Stevie’s dressing room to say hi as we were both the same age. We all went back to the Royal Hotel after the show as that’s where they stayed the night. They were in as much awe of us as we of them. George Fame headed up to Newport Rd for a smoke in some guy’s flat!
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