We were sat in the window of ‘Lox and Caper’ on Hanover Street talking mostly Coming Home as you might expect. When Jayne noticed the torrential sheets of rain falling on the street outside and said:
“If it’s not going to be sunny then I don’t mind dramatic weather like this. What I find really depressing are those grey, blank, no weather days – no wind, no rain…”
At which point I bring Diana Ross into our conversation as Jayne has of course begun to quote from the lyrics of one of my favourite songs, the magnificent ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’
“No wind, (no wind)
No rain, (no rain)
Nor winter’s cold…”
See, there’s certainly not enough Diana Ross in all of our lives.
Later, on the bus, I take Jayne through the basic history of Diana Ross and me. A difficult start when I don’t much like ‘Baby Love’ when The Supremes first emerge in 1964, but gradually getting to like them a lot. Feeling very put out for the others when they become Diana Ross & the Supremes later in the decade and not surprised at all when miss big-shot then goes solo. And then overwhelms me by releasing some of the most beautiful music I’ve then heard:
- Reach out and touch (Somebody’s hand)
- Ain’t no mountain high enough
- Remember me
- I’m still waiting
- Touch me in the morning
That’s a pretty well perfect pop sequence. And I never minded at all when Tony Blackburne, her biggest British fan, would play her new single, enthuse over it and then play it again on the Radio One Breakfast Show.
I wasn’t the sort of kid you’d expect to love Diana Ross as I was heavily into Neil Young and Nick Drake in those early 1970s years. But I also loved Dusty. And you couldn’t love Dusty and not also admire a totally on form Diana Ross.
So I still think of her, wonder how she’s doing and wishing her well, not hearing much of her these days.
Before Jayne gets off at her stop we’ve covered Berry Gordy, Lady Sings the Blues and neither of us much liking the disco years. But this post is entirely celebratory, so let’s finish with a bit more Diana Ross – because there’s not enough of her around.