Diana Ross sings at the Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt, Germany, in April, 1976.

Diana Ross sings at the Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt, Germany, in April, 1976. (Jim Cole / ©Stars and Stripes)


The Lady may be singing the blues over the pans her recent performance in "Broadway '76" drew in London, but Diana Ross could do no wrong as far as a packed, predominantly German audience was concerned a few nights ago at Frankfurt's Jahrhunderthalle.

All that bristling glamour and incandescence was crystallized in another regal return engagement for Motown's First Lady.

"It's my first time in Germany in three years. Why didn't you call me?" she asked impishly after a rousing reception to her hit tune "Touch Me in the Morning."

Indeed, the star seems to shine brightest on stage when doing straight vocals sans the slick, glossy commercial packaging of "Broadway '76's" big production numbers such as "The Point," a childish whimsy which this reviewer failed to get.

Her new million-dollar show coincides with the overseas opening of a Ross-Motown movie "Mahogany." Unfortunately for the Detroit-born sensation, it's far less an artistic success than her first film "Lady Sings the Blues." But, if the queen's tiara is slipping a bit, it's not any fault of La Ross who, at 32, can still sock across a song with power to spare.

Diana is, of course, a devastating entertainer who does wondrous and expressive things with her sparkling eyes, her hands and sylphlike silhouette. The singer-actress manages three stunning costume changes during her musical revue. She renders distinctive Ross treatment to a handful of her personal favorites, among them "The Lady is a Tramp," the latest disc hit "Do You Know Where You're Going" and an oldie "Smile."

Then there's a satisfying medley of Supreme songs and a musical salute to legendary soul sisters such as Ethel Waters, Bessie Smith, Josephine Baker and, most assuredly, Lady Day herself — Billie Holiday.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now