Kaaren Ragland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Kaaren Ragland is the founder of the group, Sounds of The Supremes.



Kaaren Ragland was born in Richmond, Virginia but spent her formative years growing up in New England. She attended the Northfield School in Massachusetts, Brown University (BA) and studied acting at Boston University’s School of Fine Arts (MFA) where she also took classes in the Music Department. Her later education included a JD from UCLA. She states that her mother, a well known Virginia educator, always stressed the importance of a well-rounded education. She appeared in the Broadway production of "Eubie" with Cab Calloway, and appeared in productions of “Little Shop of Horrors” and "Balm in Gilead" in Los Angeles. Kaaren was the first African American ingenue hired by the National Shakespeare Company in NYC in the mid 70’s while she was still a student at BU.

It was Motown's intention to disband The Supremes in 1977, however, former Supreme Mary Wilson decided to continue working inspired by the number 1 UK album of The Supremes greatest hits and hired Kaaren Ragland as a member of the revitalized "Supremes" for tours in the UK, Europe, South East Asia and Australia during 1978, continuing throughout the 80's until she sold all her rights back to Motown. Mary had continued to tour with Ragland and other group members performing in the US, Canada, South America, Japan and Europe. Kaaren's final tour as a member of Mary Wilson's Supremes took place in March and April 1989.

In late 1989, Ragland formed her group called “The Sounds of the Supremes” with whom she has appeared in over 70 countries around the world. Wilson attempted to prevent her using the name "The Sounds of the Supremes," in a Federal Court action 1996 but the court found in Ragland’s favor, granting her the right to use her name “The Sounds of the Supremes". [1]Supreme Decision: finding that Motown had no objections to the name and had actually "encouraged and supported" the group's performances.

An article about an October 2009 performance at the Arcadia Theater in Windber, Pennsylvania, correctly states that “The show features Kaaren Ragland, a member of the Supremes from 1977 to 1985” and quotes Ragland: "We're not a tribute act. We're a spin-off because I was in the Supremes".[2] As a matter of fact, the group was hired on many occasion by the owners of the mark The Supremes, Polygram and Universal Music Group for company sponsored shows both in Europe, Japan and at Universal in Los Angeles as attested to in various court documents.

As her website states: “As a member of The Supremes from 1977 Kaaren Ragland performed at the London Palladium and many other venues… In the '80's she appeared with The Supremes before Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret in London…” Some booking agencies for the Sounds of the Supremes state “Since 1989 The Sounds of the Supremes led by Kaaren Ragland, a former member of original Supreme Mary Wilson's 70s/80s group…” [3] whereas another states “The {Sounds of the Supremes] show features former members of the Supremes, whose vocals and choreography bring an authenticity to the show.” [4]


  • Kaaren Ragland, Kathy Merrick, Althea Burkhalter
  • Former members; Roberta Freeman, Van Jewel, Wendy Smith


Live At The Highclere Castle (2007)

  • 1. Symphony
  • 2. You Keep Me Hanging On
  • 3. Where Did Our Love Go
  • 4. Love Child
  • 5. Love Is Here And Now You're Gone
  • 6. Reflections
  • 7. Stoned Love
  • 8. You Can't Hurry Love
  • 9. Come See About Me
  • 10. Back In My Arms Again
  • 11. Baby Love
  • 12. Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart
  • 13. Stop In The Name Of Love
  • 14. Someday We'll Be Together
  • 15. I Hear A Symphony
  • 16. Symphony Reprise

External links[edit]