Cindy Birdsong
American singer
Cindy Birdsong
Cynthia Ann "Cindy" Birdsong is an American singer, most famous for singing with the legendary soul groups Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles and The Supremes.
Biography
Cindy Birdsong's personal information overview.
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Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Cindy Birdsong
News
News abour Cindy Birdsong from around the web
Asked and Answered: Mary Wilson - New York Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Getty Images Diana Ross, Cindy Birdsong and Mary Wilson. What I loved in the recent expanded re-issue of “Meet the Supremes,” was that you went back and found Barbara Martin. Barbara and I have remained friends all through the years
Article Link:
Google News article
Florence Ballard – Unsung Supreme - Legacy.com
Google News - over 5 years
Berry Gordy quietly started grooming another singer, Cindy Birdsong, to take her place – even going so far as to secretly fly Birdsong to all Supremes shows just in case Ballard failed to show up. Ballard got wind of the plot when she discovered five
Article Link:
Google News article
Havant Gas Fitter Electrocuted By Water Pipe - The Spoof (satire)
Google News - over 5 years
Mr Cleverly had been called out to a semi detached residence in Abbey Road to attend a suspected gas leak, by homeowner, Mrs Cindy Birdsong, and was rummaging about under the stairs looking for signs of a leak, when BANG! He inadvertently touched a
Article Link:
Google News article
Don't Stop the Music - Success Magazine
Google News - almost 6 years
After losing member Cindy Birdsong to The Supremes, LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash formed the trio LaBelle, which reached its peak in 1975 with the album Nightbirds, which included the breakout hit Lady Marmalade. The group broke up in 1976
Article Link:
Google News article
Dare To Be Supreme
NYTimes - about 10 years
MARY WILSON was 13 and an aspiring pop diva with little cash to spare and even fewer role models. But she had a notion of what a star should look like. ''I used to think I was Doris Day,'' Ms. Wilson said. ''She was cute and perky and that was me. For a while in our group, I was the blonde.'' Her group, the Supremes, and its rags-to-riches story
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NYTimes article
TELEVISION REVIEW; Simply Motown, a Nostalgic Mixture of Amusement and Resignation
NYTimes - almost 13 years
Lionel Richie, the father of the reality star Nicole Richie, appears on ABC tonight to introduce ''Motown 45,'' a celebration of the 45th anniversary of that Detroit label. ''It's all about the music,'' he says, and at this unadorned concert of Motown hits, which features no awards or film clips, the claim is more true than it usually is. But the
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NYTimes article
The Supremes May Be Ending National Tour
NYTimes - over 16 years
A reunion of Diana Ross with members of her former group, the Supremes, was canceled yesterday, according to a statement released by Ms. Ross. A spokesman for SFX, the concert promoter, disputed Ms. Ross's statement, saying the company had not yet decided to cancel the reunion. He said that dates in Wantagh, N.Y., Washington and Pittsburgh had been
Article Link:
NYTimes article
POP REVIEW; As Ever, Aglitter in the Name of Love
NYTimes - over 16 years
When Diana Ross and ''the former ladies of the Supremes'' revived the Supremes' hits on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, it was a tribute to three musicians who weren't onstage: Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland Jr. They were the ones behind the Supremes' string of indelible hits from 1963 to 1967. The H-D-H team wrote and
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NYTimes article
POP REVIEW; Miss Ross Is Ready, So Fawn, Baby Love
NYTimes - almost 17 years
Divas do what they want to do, when they want to do it. Divas can't resist an adoring audience. Divas have big hair and flashy dresses. Divas live in a realm where show-business cliches become a secular creed. Divas profess love while wreaking havoc. Divas are beloved troupers and glamorous monsters. Diana Ross lived up to her billing as the
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NYTimes article
Stop! In the Name of Nostalgia
NYTimes - almost 17 years
Diana Ross and the Supremes are back, at least in name. The trio is to tour arenas this summer with two singers who joined the Supremes after Miss Ross left the group in 1970. The reconstituted Supremes are to perform 60's hits like ''Where Did Our Love Go,'' ''I Hear a Symphony,'' ''Baby Love'' and ''You Keep Me Hangin' On.'' At a news conference
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NYTimes article
TV WEEKEND; Swinging, Swaying, Records Playing
NYTimes - about 19 years
Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown records, says, ''My dream was that an artist could walk in one door just a normal kid off the street, and come out another door a star.'' In other words, he fantasized about owning a dream factory. Deep inside that fantasy is a cynical hint that almost anyone could be molded into a show-biz hit. But the
Article Link:
NYTimes article
WHERE DID THEIR LOVE GO?
NYTimes - over 30 years
DREAMGIRL My Life as a Supreme. By Mary Wilson with Patricia Romanowski and Ahrgus Juilliard. Illustrated. 292 pp. New York: St. Martin's Press. $16.95. EARLY in her autobiography about her years with Motown's premier hit makers of the 1960's, Mary Wilson recounts how as a child she was beaten for soiling her aunt's gowns while playing dress-up.
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NYTimes article
TV: SOUND OF MOTOWN CELEBRATED
NYTimes - almost 34 years
FROM the Grammy Awards to Grand Ole Opry galas, music specials on television are fairly rigid affairs - a long list of name performers drenched in hit recordings or sentimental nostalgia. Two new productions this week stick closely to the familiar formula. One is pleasant. The other - as the ultimate superlative in current slang would have it - is
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Cindy Birdsong
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2004
    Age 64
    In 2004, Birdsong joined former Supreme Mary Wilson and Kelly Rowland (of Destiny's Child) to perform a medley of Supreme hits for the Motown 45 anniversary television special. Today, Cindy is divorced and a minister in the Los Angeles area. Cindy married Charles Hewlett in August, 1970 in San Francisco.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1999
    Age 59
    In 1999, she reunited with the Bluebelles, who changed their name to Labelle after Birdsong's departure, for the first time in thirty-two years as the group accepted an R&B Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" together.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1983
    Age 43
    In 1983, Birdsong joined fellow former Supremes Mary Wilson and Diana Ross in a one-off reunion on the Motown 25 anniversary television special.
    More Details Hide Details She was an original member of the Former Ladies of the Supremes along with Jean Terrell and Scherrie Payne but left to pursue a solo career in singing. Once again, she was replaced by Lynda Laurence in the group.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1976
    Age 36
    Birdsong remained with the Supremes until she retired in February 1976, frustrated with her dealings with Mary Wilson's then-husband, Pedro Ferrer, who was serving as the group's manager.
    More Details Hide Details During that period, Birdsong contributed to two albums: The Supremes (1975) and High Energy (1976). During this time-frame, Cindy recorded lead vocals on a version of "High Energy," however her version has not been found. Although Birdsong is vocally present on the entire High Energy album, her replacement Susaye Greene, whose voice is only heard on the title song as well as "I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do The Walking," appears on the album cover. After leaving the Supremes, Birdsong worked as a nurse at UCLA Medical Center under her married name of Cindy Hewlett, and then went to work for Suzanne de Passe at Motown Records. In 1987, Birdsong returned to singing, and released the single "Dancing Room" on Hi-Hat Records. Other songs were demoed, but none released. These songs included "Ready For You", "Check It Out", "Talk is Cheap", and "Anatomy".
  • 1975
    Age 35
    Birdsong filed for divorce in March, 1975 citing "irreconcilable differences".
    More Details Hide Details The couple have one son, David, born in 1972. On December 2, 1969, Birdsong was kidnapped while returning to her apartment with her then-boyfriend (later husband) Charles Hewlett and their friend, Howard Meak. The intruder, wielding a knife, forced Birdsong to tie up the two, then forced her downstairs into her car. Birdsong managed to unlock the car door and jump out of the vehicle onto the highway to safety. Four days later, on December 6, 1969, Charles Collier, a maintenance man at Birdsong's apartment, contacted police and turned himself in.
  • 1973
    Age 33
    Her replacement, Lynda Laurence, who is Sundray Tucker's sister, had already joined Mary Wilson and Jean Terrell onstage and on the Floy Joy album cover, as Birdsong's pregnancy became visible. After a brief hiatus, Birdsong returned to the Supremes in late 1973, replacing a pregnant Laurence.
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  • 1972
    Age 32
    Birdsong continued to perform with the Supremes when she became pregnant with her son, David, Birdsong officially leaving the Supremes in April 1972, after completing the Floy Joy album's recording sessions.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1967
    Age 27
    In 1967, Birdsong abruptly left the Bluebelles to join Diana Ross and the Supremes as Ballard's official replacement.
    More Details Hide Details Birdsong said that the remaining Bluebelles were angry with her for not telling them about joining the Supremes and refused to talk to her for years. Later, as the group changed their name to Labelle and embraced funk and rock music, they would record member Nona Hendryx's composition, "(Can I Speak To You Before You Go To) Hollywood", which was allegedly based on Birdsong. Birdsong and lead singer Patti LaBelle repaired their friendship in the early 1980s after Birdsong appeared at one of LaBelle's sold-out, standing-room concerts. In 1999, Birdsong and the other Blue Belles received a Pioneer Award from the R&B Foundation and were honored by Lauryn Hill. For her first two and a half years as a Supreme, listeners did not hear Birdsong's voice on most of The Supremes' newest singles. Except for featured backgrounds on several collaborations with The Temptations, live album tracks, and some studio LP tracks, Birdsong and fellow member Mary Wilson did not sing backing vocals on the group's later singles. Session singers The Andantes substituted for Mary and Cindy on many, although not on all, cuts in subsequent Diana Ross & the Supremes albums. Both the Let the Sunshine In album and the Cream of the Crop album include tracks on which Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong sing back-up, often in tandem with the Andantes. However, Cindy can be heard doing a brief solo during "Let the Sunshine In" on their Farewell performance.
    Starting in mid and late 1967, Birdsong began to appear as a stand-in vocalist for Supremes founder Florence Ballard when Ballard's bout with alcoholism caused her to miss important gigs.
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  • 1963
    Age 23
    Birdsong first met The Supremes when the group opened for them in 1963.
    More Details Hide Details Patti LaBelle has noted that a rivalry between the two groups developed after the Supremes were seen in the same store LaBelle and her band members were, shopping for clothes for performances. Group members reportedly were angry when the Supremes showed up on stage wearing the same outfit that they wore. The group would also befriend a fellow Motown alumus and Philly native, Tammi Terrell during that same period. The Blue Belles had some success after joining Atlantic in 1965, recording two relatively successful albums, 1966's Over the Rainbow and 1967's Dreamer scoring modest charted singles such as "All or Nothing", "Take Me a Little While" and "I'm Still Waiting".
  • 1962
    Age 22
    The group had their first hit with "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman" in 1962 though LaBelle wrote in her memoirs that the song was actually recorded by The Starlets.
    More Details Hide Details When the controversy over the song wound down, the group found a hit with the ballad, "Down the Aisle (The Wedding Song)". Birdsong was noted for her high soprano vocals in the background. From 1963 until 1966, The Blue Belles, later Patti LaBelle and The Bluebelles, found relative success on the charts and were raved for their live performances. After first performing at the Apollo Theater in 1961, the group became regular headliners at the world-famous venue, earning the nickname, The Sweethearts of the Apollo. Following the success of "Down the Aisle", the group would have follow-up success with "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Danny Boy" before leaving their second label, Cameo-Parkway, for a more lucrative deal with Atlantic Records.
  • 1960
    Age 20
    When Cindy returned to Philadelphia she was contacted by a longtime friend, Patsy Holt, in 1960 to replace Sundray Tucker in Holt's singing group The Ordettes.
    More Details Hide Details At twenty years of age, Birdsong was the oldest member of the group with the remainder of the group still in their mid-teens. In 1961, after a year performing in jubilees, sock hops and school functions, the Ordettes, then managed by respected music manager Bernard Montague, who later managed several other Philadelphia-based groups such as The Stylistics and The Delfonics, got their first deal with Harold Robinson's Newtown Records. After almost rejecting the group due to him not being initially impressed with the looks of Patsy Holt before Holt and the group sang to him during an audition, which prompted Robinson to change his mind, signing the group and changing the name of both the group (into The Blue Belles, based from a Newtown subsidiary, Blue Belle Records) and Holt's own name, from Patsy Holt to Patti LaBelle.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1939
    Born
    Birdsong was born in Mount Holly, New Jersey on December 15, 1939, to parents Lloyd Birdsong, Sr. and Annie Birdsong.
    More Details Hide Details After living in Philadelphia for a duration of her childhood, the family returned to New Jersey, settling in Camden. Birdsong set her sights on becoming a nurse and attending college in Pennsylvania.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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