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The Lost Supreme
The Lost Supreme

The Lost Supreme

The Life of Dreamgirl Florence Ballard


240 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, PDF, Mobipocket, EPUB

Trade Paper, $16.99 (US $16.99) (CA $22.99)

Publication Date: September 2009

ISBN 9781556529597

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Sep 2009)
Lawrence Hill Books


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The complete Florence Ballard story—for the first time

In the months before she died, Florence Ballard, the spunky teenager who founded the most successful female vocal group in history—the Supremes—told her own side of the story. Recorded on tape, Flo shed light on all areas of her life, including the surprising identity of the man who raped her prior to entering the music business, the details of her love-hate relationship with Motown Records czar Berry Gordy, her drinking problem and pleas for help, a never-ending desire to be the Supremes’ lead singer, and her attempts to get her life back on track after being brutally expelled from the group. This is a tumultuous and heartbreaking story of a world-famous performer whose life ended at the age of 32 as a lonely mother of three who had only recently recovered from years of poverty and despair.


"Readers who are familiar with the group and even those who are not will definitely enjoy this well-written biography."  —Library Journal

"An unmatchable snapshot of the exhilarating yet often ugly 1960s soul music scene."  —Kirkus Reviews

"Peter Benjaminson's sardonic, hard-nosed series of vignettes from the white-collar world of Tweed-like municipal corruption is the dramatic story of a city unraveling from the top." —Village Voice

"Get to know the real Flo, from the beginning to the end. A must read."  —Otis Williams, The Temptations

"Benjaminson tells Flo's story masterfully, with all the drama and empathy her life deserves."  —Gerald Posner, author, Motown and Why America Slept

"Ballard's voice was never prominently featured in the group's hits. Yet in The Lost Supreme, we finally hear Ballard."  —The Boston Globe

"Benjaminson holds back nothing, sharing with the reader the thoughts and moods of the various figures who came and went during the early years."  —Soul Magazine

"Flo was a beautiful person—loving and warm. . . . She was down-to-earth, she loved to laugh, and everyone loved her."  —Marvin Gaye

Author Biography

Peter Benjaminson is the author of Death in the Afternoon: America’s Newspaper Giants Struggle for Survival, Secret Police: Inside the New York City Department of Investigation, and The Story of Motown, and is the coauthor of Investigative Reporting. He is a former reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Detroit Free Press. He lives in New York City.