Someday We'll Be Together

Album: Cream of the Crop (1969)
Charted: 13 1
  • This was originally recorded by the duo Johnny & Jackey (Johnny Bristol and Jackey Beavers) in 1961. Their version went nowhere, and the duo were defunct a short time later.

    The song was revived in 1969 when Motown Records brought in Bristol to produce a new version for Jr. Walker & the All-Stars as a follow-up to their hit "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)." Bristol recorded the track with Motown's famed Funk Brothers house band and added backing vocals using singers at the label, along with the sisters Maxine and Julia Waters. But Walker never got to record it. The Supremes were about to break up, and Motown needed a big hit to launch Diana Ross' solo career. Increasingly desperate, label head Berry Gordy decided to give "Someday We'll Be Together" to Ross instead of Walker. She added her lead vocal to the track, but Gordy decided it was better suited as the final Supremes single with Ross instead of her debut. The Supremes needed a big finale to close out their Diana Ross era, move forward as a group, and send off Ross as a solo artist, and that's exactly what the song did, even though Ross was the only group member to appear on it.

    Released on October 14, 1969, "Someday We'll Be Together" quickly rose up the charts. Ross announced she was leaving The Supremes in November, and on December 27, it hit #1 on the Hot 100, giving the group one last chart-topper, bringing their total to 12.
  • Jackey Beavers and Johnny Bristol wrote this song while they were touring in the Midwest. Most of it was written while they were driving from gig to gig. Harvey Fuqua, who was their label boss at Tri-Phi Records, also is credited as a writer. Fuqua was married to Berry Gordy's sister, Gwen, and later joined Berry's company, Motown Records, where he worked when this song was issued by The Supremes.
  • Johnny Bristol, who produced the track, struggled to get the sound he wanted from Ross, so he went into a different vocal booth to augment her, shouting encouragement while she was recording. These exhortations made it onto the final product: That's him coaching Diana through the song, offering "sing it pretty" and "you better" along the way.
  • In the original Johnny & Jackey version, the song is about a guy predicting that he and his girl are destined to be together even though he let her go. The Supremes version could be heard as an affirmation that the group will always be together in spirit, even after the departure of Diana Ross. The group didn't share this sentiment, as Ross was at odds with her bandmates, Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong.
  • This song served as Diana Ross' send-off from The Supremes. They performed it last at their final concert: a midnight show at the Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on January 14, 1970 (technically January 15 once the clock struck midnight). Motown royalty like Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson were in the crowd, along with celebrities like Johnny Carson and Dick Clark. The night was dedicated to Ross and orchestrated to launch her solo career. The Supremes soldiered on with various lineups until 1977, but never returned to their past glory; Ross became one of the biggest stars of the '70s, landing a #1 with her second single, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."

    The Frontier show was recorded and released as a live double album called Farewell, with some tracks taken from previous shows during their run.
  • Diana Ross performed with The Supremes just once after her departure, singing this song with Wilson and Birdsong at the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever special, fulfilling the prophesy in the lyric. The show ended with the Motown acts that performed earlier - The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and Michael Jackson among them - taking the stage and singing along.

    The show drew a huge audience and revived interest in The Supremes. A reunion was planned, but scrapped when Wilson refused to accept far less than what Ross was slated.
  • Up to the Motown 25 reunion, the last televised Supremes performance with Ross took place on December 21, 1969 when they performed this song on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was the 20th time they appeared on the show.
  • This song has one of the most prominent string sections of any Motown track. That part was overdubbed after the basic track was recorded in a session where 11 guys played together.

    The guitarist on this session was Dennis Coffey, who later had his own hit with "Scorpio." Speaking with Songfacts, Coffey said: "On that song, I'm doing the vibrato sound with the guitar and then I switch to backbeats later on. They had good arrangers at Motown, like Paul Riser or David Van DePitte. So, when you go into the studio, there's usually the arranger and the producer. We would have the charts in front of us, so we would have to read the chart correctly first and then they kind of massaged it based upon us playing licks for them that they liked and stuff like that."
  • This was used in episodes of the TV series The Wonder Years ("Just Between Me and You and Kirk and Paul and Carla and Becky" - 1989), Quantum Leap ("The Leap Home: Part 2" - 1990) and Murphy Brown ("Bump in the Night" - 1993).
  • On the R&B chart, this went to #1 for four weeks, their seventh to hit the top on that tally. The group did land one more #1 R&B hit, the Ross-less "Stoned Love."
  • Janet Jackson sampled this on her 1993 hit single "If."

Comments: 13

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyExactly fifty years ago today on December 21st, 1969 "Someday We'll Be Together"* by Diana Ross and the Supremes peaked at #1 {for 1 week} on Billboard's Top 100 chart...
    The rest of the Top 10 on December 21st, 1969:
    At #2. "Leaving On A Jet Plane" by Peter, Paul and Mary {Last week's #1 record}...
    #3. "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" by B.J. Thomas
    #4. "Down On The Corner/Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
    #5. "Nan Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" by Steam
    #6. "Holly Holy" by Neil Diamond
    #7. "Come Together/"Something" by The Beatles
    #8. "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5
    #9. "Whole Lotta Love/Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)" by Led Zeppelin
    #10. "Take A Letter Maria" by R.B. Greaves
    * And "Someday We'll Be Together" also reached #1 {for 4 weeks} on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart...
    As noted above, "Someday We'll Be Together" was the trio's twelfth and final #1 record on the Top 100 chart, and Diana Ross' last charted record as a member of the Supremes...
    Personal note: On June 6th, 1991 Diana Ross appeared in concert at the Stanley Theater in Utica, NY; my wife wanted to go but I wasn't very keen on the idea. But now I'm glad that I went, she put on a great show, and there was a young male fan in the audience and he had with him a bunch of Supreme albums, he caught Ms. Ross' eye and she called him up on stage and signed each album while the audience applauded and cheered...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 15th 1970, the 'new' Supremes, with its new lineup of Cindy Birdsong, Mary Wilson, & Diana Ross' replacement, Jean Terrel, performed "Up the Latter to the Roof" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    Exactly two weeks later on March 1st the song entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #57; six weeks later on April 12th it would peak at #10 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the chart for 11 weeks...
    It reached #5 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1970 and 1976 the 'new' Supremes had twelve Top 100 records; two made the Top 10, their other Top 10 record was "Stoned Love", it peaked at #7 {for 2 weeks} on December 13th, 1970...
    They charted on the Top 100 two more times in duets with the Four Tops; "River Deep - Mountain High" {at #14} and "You Gotta Have Love In Your Heart" {at #55}, both charted in 1971...
    And on the day the 'new' Supremes appeared on the 'Sullivan' show, the old Supremes with Diana Ross were still on the Top 100, "Someday, We'll Be Together" was at position #29.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 8th 1970, Diana Ross performed for the first time as a solo act after leaving the Supremes*; she appeared at the Monticello Dinner Theater & Night Club in Framingham, Massachusetts...
    One month later on April 19th, 1970 her first solo release, "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)", entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #49, and six weeks later on May 31st it peaked at #20 {for 1 week} and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #7 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Was track one of side one from her debut solo album, 'Diana Ross', and the album peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart {#19 on the Top 200 Pop Albums chart}...
    * at the time of this solo appearance the Supreme's "Someday, We'll Be Together" was at #19 on the Top 100 chart {See posts below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 14th 1970, the Supremes appeared at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas; it would be the last time Diana Ross performed as a member of the Supremes*...
    At the time the trio's "Someday We'll Be Together" was at #4 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; twenty-four days earlier on December 21st, 1969 it peaked at #1 for 1 week {See the next post below}...
    It was the last of their twelve records that peaked at #1 on the Top 100; and they just missed having a thirteenth #1 when "Reflections" peaked at #2 {for 2 weeks} in 1967 {the 2 weeks it was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "Ode to Billie Joe" by Bobbie Gentry...
    * During their performance Jean Terrell was introduced as Ms. Ross' replacement.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 21st 1969 Diana Ross & the Supremes performed "Someday We'll Be Together" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    And on that very same day is reached #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on November 2nd and spent 16 weeks on the Top 100...
    On December 7th it reached #1 (for 4 weeks) on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart...
    And on the same show the trio also performed a medley of ten of their #1 records.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhDiana Ross's voice is so sultry, so sublime in this tune, sexy and a little breathless. The song really captured that moment in time as well as the emotion of it; she was going out on her own. Tho she sings "I made a big mistake" she doesn't really sound too sad about it, does she? I think that's why the song works so well.
  • John from Hamlin, Ny...Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong are not on the's back-up singers.
    Miss Ross and her monumental ego flashes forward.
    They were my favorite group as a kid.

    God bless Florence Ballard.
  • Kristin from Bessemer, AlIt was rumored that if this song did not reach #1, then the tune "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" would have been the final release under the name Diana Ross and the Supremes.
  • Kristin from Bessemer, AlDuring the "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Forever" special on NBC in 1983, the highlight of the show was to have been the reunion of Diana Ross along with Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong - Diana Ross was already recording with RCA and Wilson and Birdsong were all but forgotten at Motown at the time - the performance only lasted a few minutes, and from the looks of it, it was not well choreographed or arranged.
  • Kristin from Bessemer, AlIt was rumored that if this song did not reach #1, then the tune "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" would have been the final release under the name Diana Ross and the Supremes.
  • Tony from Charleston, ScThis song was played at Florence Ballard's funeral although she was no longer a Supreme when Diana Ross recorded this song with session singers.
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaOh, I'm shocked to find this is Diana only. I always thought it was all of them. It's such a perfect song. Kind of ironic, since it's their "swan song" called Someday We'll Be Together." Hmm, kinda reminds me of John & Paul doing "Ballad of John & Yoko."
  • Nate from Newport News, VaThis was the last Billboard No. 1 song of the 1960s.
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