Come See About Me- A Night With The Supremes at Rec Hall

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In 1966, our own Skull Brother Joe Koletar ’66, while also a member of IFC, teamed with Art Esch of Alpa Phi Delta to bring the Supremes to University Park for two concerts at Rec Hall.

“We had to front $32,000 (an awful lot of money at the time),” recalls Koletar.” “We wound up selling out two concerts. Think we made something like $15,000 for the IFC. Actually got to meet the Supremes and got their autographs.”

Were any of our Skull Brothers in attendance at these two shows? If so, share any photos or stories you might have to our Alumni Communications firm at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Read on for the Daily Collegian’s recap of the show that jammed Rec Hall on a 1966 November Saturday night.

By Charles Redmond

Collegian Staff Writer

On Saturday night, The Supremes, America's number one female singing group, appeared twice for concerts in Recreation Hall. A total of 15,000 people, including 1,500 from Commonwealth Campuses, attended the shows. The Supremes .started their show with "Come See about Me," while the audience applauded ln the background.

Diana Ross, the lead singer, then motioned for the crowd to clap along, which they did. Wearing while sequined gowns, the Supremes went through six more songs. After singing "You Can't Hurry Love,” their current number one song, the Supremes left the stage to a thunderous applause.

Article clipping from the Daily Collegian

The Supremes started their "second act,” with "Queen of the House", a spoof on housewives. Then, while singing their newest song, "You Keep Me Hanging' On,” the music stopped and Diana continued singing. They tried the song a second time, but Diana again kept on singing when the band stopped. This seemed to amuse the audience because Diana had said this would be the second time they had sung the song in concert. "You Keep Me Hanging' On," was omitted from the second show.

After three more of their Motown songs, the Supremes left the stage for the second time, but this time, everyone knew they’d be back.

Introductions followed and back they came to introduce their band leader, the Motown Orchestra, and themselves. Diana Florence Ballard as the "quiet one.” Marv Wilson as the "sexy one,” and herself as the "skinny one.”

The last portion of the program, a tribute to the late Sam Cooke, was a medley of Cooke songs, ending with "Snake.” Returning for a curtain call, the Supremes left the stage with a standing ovation.

The difference between the first show, which was at 7:30 PM and the 10 PM show was slight. The second show audience was more spirited and their applause was louder and longer because of it. Also, the Supremes had changed their gowns for ones of lace.

Besides the Supremes, the concert, which was sponsored by the IFC for the benefit of its Scholarship Fund, featured two other entertainers. The first of these was a ventriloquist named Willie Tyler and his “dummy,” Lester. “I can tell that you’re a lifesaver, you got a hole in your head,” he said, breaking the ice for the 7,500 that attended the first show.

After Tyler, Jimmy Ruffin came on stage in an orange suit to sing. He sand four songs besides “What becomes of the broken hearted,” which is currently in the top ten. Why Ruffin wore the orange suit is questionable, but for the second show, he was sporting a somewhat conservative suit of light green.

The IFC gave themselves 45 minutes to move 15,000 people in and out of Rec Hall. All 15,000 were moved with a minimum of time and effort and the 10 PM show started only 15 minutes late.

Before the first concert, Florence had expressed a desire to go bowling. The University lanes were opened for her and bowling she went.

WDFM Apology

The concert was originally to have been broadcast live on WDFM, the student station. However, a labor dispute prevented the program from being aired, even though the radio station had obtained permission from the Supremes’ representative.

In a letter of apology to the students via the Collegian, WDFM Promotion Director Marc Kuhn said:

“In order that a radio station may broadcast a concert, it must first obtain written consent from the artists involved. WDFM received such consent from Motown Records, the organization representing the Supremes. However, the musicians accompanying the singing group were not included in the contract. This fact was not made known to WDFM until minutes before the broadcast was to begin. Due to limited time we were unable to receive permission from the musicians’ union to air the concert.”