Mary Wilson: Still Soulfully Supreme

Motown Legend Dazzling at D.C.'s Blues Alley

Mary Wilson, one of the three founding members of the legendary Supremes, brought her own magic to the District in a one-woman performance that concludes with two evening shows on Sunday, Feb. 19 at the historic Blues Alley in Georgetown.

Wilson reminds that despite turning 73 next month, she continues to love the job she’s had since her teen years – “singing because it makes people happy.”

Wilson looked wonderful in a sequined purple gown when I caught her on Saturday evening, playing to the audience like the seasoned veteran that she is. And while she says she used to do “the oohs and aahs,” she captured our attention with her powerful yet sultry voice.

“This show is about me — my life, the music that has moved me,” she said.

After each song, Wilson chatted with the audience, even moving about the quaint supper club and inviting some fans to join her on the mic.

Her songs were a combination of jazz, Latin, blues, pop and R&B. And of course, she took us down memory lane with several Motown medleys of the hits that catapulted the Supremes to stardom.

Truth to be told, I wanted to see Mary Wilson more than hear her — eager to be reminded of the many memorable moments of my childhood in Detroit — the place where Motown was born.

But Wilson brought her A-game. And she sang her way into my heart.

Mary Wilson had me in the palm of her hand. Yes, she’s still soulfully supreme.

About D. Kevin McNeir – Washington Informer Editor 132 Articles

Award-winning journalist, book editor, voice-over specialist and author with 17 years in the industry. Currently an education and religion beat reporter for The Washington Informer. But I also tackle local (D.C. and Maryland) politics, entertainment, business and health articles to maintain my edge.

Born and raised in Motown and a staunch Wolverine – that is a graduate of the University of Michigan, I left corporate America (IBM) to pursue my passion for writing, accepting a beat reporter’s gig under the tutelage of the late Sam Logan, founding publisher of the Michigan Chronicle. I continued to hone my craft at N’DIGO Magapaper, Windy City Times and The Wednesday Journal, all in Chicagoland; the Atlanta Voice and The Miami Times. I’ve been fortunate to be chosen twice as the Feature Writer of the Year by the Chicago Association of Black Journalists. Later, as the senior editor of one of the country’s oldest Black-owned newspapers, The Miami Times, I helped my staff bring home the NNPA’s highest honor – Publication of the Year, 2001. That same year I picked up first and second place awards for news and feature writing, respectively, also from the NNPA.

Today I’m based in the nation’s capital where I’m honored to serve as the editor for The Washington Informer. Recognizing the importance of education, I’ve earned two master’s degrees from Emory University, Summa Cum Laude and Princeton Theological Seminary, majoring in theology and philosophy.

If I can slow down, I may actually complete and publish a collection of essays I’ve been working on for many years, “Growing up Motown,” sharing childhood memories of experiences with musical legends like Marvin Gaye, Kim Weston, the Four Tops, the Miracles, Gladys Knight and Take Six. My favorite foods: spinach, lasagna, pancakes and Oysters Rockefeller. My mom, 86, always my “best friend” and “cheerleader,” now lives with me and she brings me great joy. I’m a fiercely protective yet encouraging father and grandfather always down for traveling, shopping or celebrating the natural beauty of God’s world. I live by the following words: “Less is more” and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

You can reach me on Twitter (@dkevinmcneir), Facebook (Kevin McNeir) or via e-mail, mcneirdk@washingtoninformer.com