DIANA ROSS & THE JACKSON 5 AND THE SUPREMES:
Diana Ross was given credit for discovering the Jackson 5 but the group was actually discovered by Gladys Knight and Bobby Taylor. Tony Turner reveals in his book, “All That Glittered,” ‘Motown decided to give Ross credit for discovering the group. It was company business. Diana needed this kind of publicity and Motown needed a super-group. Behind the scenes, Diana wasn’t too enthused about it. She’d have to work harder and she didn’t seem all buddy-buddy with the Jackson’s or anything behind closed doors. To me, her attitude seemed like, I’m in town with these kids, I’ve got to make public appearances with them. Tony, see if you can help me out for once. Take these guys off my hands. You’re always hanging around getting into things- that aren’t any of your business, now get up on this!
I was their age and knew all the stores. We went to department stores and the brothers proceeded to go through these places in a whirlwind fashion. One of the brothers asked me if I was going to buy anything but I told him, ‘I don’t think Diana will like it.’ After they coaxed me, I dived into the spree with no restraint.
Meanwhile, Cindy Birdsong had a new boyfriend, Charles Hewlitt. I was immediately suspicious. I didn’t like this man. He was supposed to be a businessman (sales person) but all I knew was that he liked the finer things in life. Cindy told me he just turned up in her dressing room one day, got himself hooked up with her and whenever the Supremes were appearing someplace really hot or extravagant he was always there. I don’t know when he found time to be selling anything or where he got all the money to trail them. I thought this man needed further investigation and I was not alone.
“Cindy decided to center herself around him. Always talking about him.” I was still kind of suspicious of him and when Cindy Birdsong was kidnapped in her Beverly Hills apartment, I became even more so. She was with Charles and another unidentified man when it happened. Cindy and the two men returned to her apartment, found an intruder inside. The intruder made Cindy tie up the two men, then he forced Cindy down to the garage, into the car and he started driving. Charles managed to untie himself but he was too late to do anything.
Cindy was alone with her abductor but she managed to unlock the car door and jump out onto the freeway. When I heard about this, I kept thinking, now ain’t that peculiar? What kind of a botched-up kidnap was this? The man didn’t even handcuff Cindy in the car but Cindy couldn’t give the police a proper description of her abductor, even though she was sitting right next to him in the car. The whole thing seemed fishy to me. This story made every newspaper in the country and Cindy’s real age was mentioned, which shocked a lot of people because she was a few years older than Diana and Mary. This was the time of the Manson murders, so everyone was especially on edge.