In the story of this song, a woman who was born into poverty (or so she says) has been ashamed of her mother ever since she was a kid. After she grows up and leaves home, she lies about her past and her socioeconomic status in order to move up into higher societies and then marries a man who's well off. She ostracizes her mother and even makes up a story about her mother dying while going to Spain. On top of that, after she gives birth to her first child, she doesn't even bother to tell her mother about it. Then, one day, the woman receives a telegram saying that her mother died and she now feels extremely guilty about the damages she caused. Talk about learning a lesson the hard way!
This is a sequel to the Supremes' 1968 hit "Love Child." It was inspired by the 1959 film Imitation of Life, starring Lana Turner.
The working titles for this song were "The Eyes of Love" and "I Live in Shame."
Suggestion credit: Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for above 2
The Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting trio, which wrote most of the hits for The Supremes, had left Motown by this point. "I'm Livin' in Shame" was written by others at the label: Frank Wilson, Henry Cosby, label boss Berry Gordy, R. Dean Taylor and Pam Sawyer.
Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 5th 1969, Diana Ross & the Supremes debut their latest single, "I'm Livin' In Shame", on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'... Two weeks later on January 19th it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on February 16th it peaked at #10 (for 1 week) and spent 8 weeks on the Top 100... Neither Mary Wilson or Cindy Birdsong sang back-up on the record, that was provided by the Andantes... On the same Sullivan show the trio sang "Love Child", which peaked at #1 (for 2 weeks) starting on November 24th, 1968... R.I.P. Mr. Sullivan (1901 - 1974) and Diana Ross will celebrate her 70th birthday in two months on March 26th.
Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesEither she won a scholarship or Mama had been putting money into a college fund all those years. In either case, Mama was doing something right.
Kristin from Bessemer, AlMary Wilson commented in her best-seller "Dreamgirl" that she does not appear on this record. In fact, after Flo Ballard was dismissed from the Supremes, Wilson and new member Cindy Birdsong did not appear on any single releases with Diana Ross, except those releases performed with the Temptations.
Howard from St. Louis Park, MnThis was an outstanding Motown storysong. It would also have made a great country song since it reflected real-life.
Kacey Musgraves originally offered "Follow Your Arrow" to her friend Katy Perry. However, Perry thought Musgraves should record the song herself as it seemed, "like something that you would totally say."