On This Day: The Supremes Record First No. 1 Hit ‘Where Did Our Love Go’ in 1964

by Keeli Parkey

A significant moment in the history of one of the most important groups in music took place 57 years ago today (Thursday, April 8, 2021). On this day in 1964, The Supremes recorded their No. 1 hit song “Where Did Our Love Go.”

In a brief video shared via Twitter on Thursday, The Associated Press shared details about the recording of that hit song. According to the clip, The Supremes recorded this hit song in Detroit. Of course, the location was Motown Studios there.

“Where Did Our Love Go,” was the first hit in a very, very long list of hits for The Supremes. According to The Associated Press, the famous female group followed this hit with four other singles – all of which would also become No. 1 hits. These hits are songs you will recognize. They are the tracks “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” and “Back in My Arms Again.”

You can watch The Associated Press report about the first No. 1 hit recorded by The Supremes below.

According to this video clip shared by The Associated Press on April 8, The Supremes “became America’s most successful vocal group of all time with 12 No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100.”

You can watch The Supremes perform “Where Did Our Love Go” below.

First No. 1 for The Supremes First Offered to Another Group

Interestingly, according to SongFacts.com, “Where Did Our Love Go” was not initially meant to be performed by The Supremes. In fact, it was offered to another group known as The Marvelettes. That group rejected the song and it was eventually offered to The Supremes. The website also reported that “Where Did Our Love Go” was written by Eddie Holland, Brian Holland, and Lamont Dozier. These men frequently wrote for Motown during this time.

However, the song required lead singer Diana Ross to sing a key lower than she normally did. And, Ross was not very happy about this at all. However, this helped really capture the mood of the song, according to Dozier.

SongFacts.com quotes Dozier as saying this about the recording of the hit song: “… Since the track was already cut, (Diana Ross) had to sing it in that key and she’d never sung that low before. It turned out that her bad attitude and the low key were exactly what the song needed! I’d worked out intricate background vocals but the girls refused to learn them. Finally I said, ‘Just sing ‘Baby, baby, baby’.’ It worked to their advantage and worked perfectly.”

The rest, as they say, is music history.

Fans will know that The Supremes were originally Diana Ross, Florence Ballard, and Mary Wilson. Ballard passed away in 1976. Then, Betty McGlown joined the group. She passed away in 2008. Mary Wilson died earlier this year at the age of 76.

At the news of Wilson’s death in February of this year, Ross shared the following statement on social media: “I just woke up to this news, my condolences to you Mary’s family. I am reminded that each day is a gift, I have so many wonderful memories of our time together ‘The Supremes’ will live on, in our hearts.”