Diana Ross and the Supremes, formed in 1959 in Detroit, Michigan by Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. Not only were they Motown’s most successful girl group, they were the most successful African-American group of the 1960s, recording 12 American number-one hits between 1964 and 1969.
“Someday We’ll Be Together” was originally released on the Tri-Phi label in 1961 by Johnny Bristol and Jackey Beavers, as Johnny and Jackey. It was somewhat successful in the Midwest, but did not draw much attention elsewhere. Later in the 1960s, Tri-Phi was purchased by Motown Records, and “Someday We’ll Be Together” became part of Motown’s publishing catalog.
In 1969, Bristol produced an recorded the instrumental and backing vocal track for a version of “Someday We’ll Be Together” to be recorded by Junior Walker and the All-Stars, famous for “Shotgun” and “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)”.
When Berry Gordy heard it, he thought that “Someday We’ll Be Together” would be perfect as Diana Ross’s first solo single, as she would soon be leaving the Supremes.
Initially Diana was unable to get a vocal take to Bristol’s liking, so he decided to coach her by singing along with Ross. On the first take, Bristol’s vocal were accidentally recorded, but Bristol and arranger Wade Marcus liked the results, and so Johnny’s voice is heard on the final take.
In the end, the song was credited to “Diana Ross and the Supremes,” even though Diana Ross is the only Supreme on the record.