By Ken Foote

(CBS11) – The Supremes were probably the most successful female R&B group in their day and remain so today. Over a 13 year period, the group charted 33 times on the Billboard Hot 100 with 12 of them hitting #1. That’s a little over one out of every three songs topping the charts. They were a huge success not only for themselves but for Berry Gordy and Motown Records. But their first song to chart was not “Where Did Our Love Go” from 1964 which is the first song most people know.

The group, consisting of Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Florence Ballard, signed with Motown in 1961. By 1963, they were having some challenges in finding a song that would be a hit for them. Finally, Motown assigned the team of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Brian Holland to find and produce a hit. The result was “When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes.”

Released on Halloween in 1963 with a run time of 3:06, written and produced by the Holland/Dozier/Holland team, the lyrics go like this:

“He gave me the eye
But I just passed him by
I treated him unkind
But he didn’t seem to mind
I told him be on his way
Not a word did he say
He just stood there kind of bored
What am I acting for?
When the lovelight starts shining through his eyes
Made me realize I should apologize
And when he placed a kiss upon my face
Then I knew, oh baby I knew
That he’d won my heart”

The song hit #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 but #2 on the Cash Box R&B chart and a Top 10 hit in Australia. But in less than a year, “Where Did Our Love Go” was released and the Supreme’s dominance over other “girl groups” was underway. This song was also performed by British pop singer Dusty Springfield as well as Rod Argent & The Zombies.

So from 1963… The Supremes with “When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes!”

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