Mary Wilson: I think that we wanted - we being The Supremes - we wanted to - make a difference for our race you know. We wanted to - every time we' d go up there - we wanted to be viewed as not only good people but let people see that black people weren' t what they were saying we were - you know. And that we were beautiful and that we were successful.
That' s why people like Mrs Maxine Powell was very important to us because when we went to Artist Development at Motown - you know - we were very interested in the classes. We didn' t try to cut the classes - we wanted to make sure we were in the class, you know.
Maxine Powell: All my life I was thinking of things that would help my race become outstanding and I thought of class and style - and refinement was two things that would be accepted around the world.
Mary Wilson: So going out and travelling all over the world - it was always important for us to - make sure that our blackness was known and that we held ourselves in such a way whereas - you know - we felt as good as the next person.
Maxine Powell: And I know today that to look chic, stunning, elegant and smart can be learnt. And then there' s certain colours that make you glow. So you learn that. And then they always looked good. And then they wanted to do something different. They wanted to glitter.
Mary Wilson: When we first started singing as the Primettes, we never wore make-up, well I think the most we did was maybe smudge some eyeliner round the eyes and I always more Maybelline mascara.
The reason for wigs is because the wear and tear on your own hair. Especially travelling to different countries - it was horrible and until they had black lines - you see there was a time when - there was not - not even - make-up for black faces, you know, and so by the same token, there was not -the relaxing or the - perms that you could do on your hair. When Black is Beautiful became in - well then of course we started doing the natural and - at that point - I had the biggest natural - but it was my own hair - it wasn' t a - you know - a wig. So, you know, as time changes as trends change, you know, we have - changed as well.
Maxine Powell: And they were doing the Shake, a dance called the Shake and I said - what are you doing? Oh, we' re doing - they were just like the youngsters of today - oh we' re doing the - a dance, I don' t know if you know about it - and I said - yeah, I know about the Shake. And I showed them how it should be done.
With the buttocks tucked under, smiling and shaken to the floor, you see. And then coming up and then going into something classy, and smiling and gleaming and whatnot. So they learned how to do those things.
Mary Wilson: But I think The Supremes became the most popular female group around the world internationally because we did start a trend. And we were used as the model, and I mean even today, I would say that - you know - people would look at The Supremes' image and, you know, some will say well we choose to be that, some people say no, but I think that we did set that model.
And it was because we were different - we were - we were not only three pretty girls - you know - like I know the Ronettes were pretty girls too - you know - but we had the style, we had the class, we had the look, we had the sound. It was almost like we embodied the total thing of perfection for women and I think that' s why we stood out, because we had that - we just set a trend. We were like the first.
Following on from the BBC2 documentary programme, author A.N. Wilson will discuss his novel based on Josiah Wedgwood, The Potter’s Hand, within which he evokes the world of the great eighteenth-century ceramicist, scientist and industrialist.