Scherrie Payne (born on November 4, 1944 in Detroit, Michigan) was the co-lead singer of the Supremes from 1973 to 1977 after Jean Terrell departed from the group.
Scherrie is sometimes referred to as "the little lady with the big voice" due to her petite stature of only five-foot-two & her powerful voice.
Her sister is singer\actress Freda Payne. Yrs a: 1972 - 2010
The Glass HouseEdit
Prior to her tenure with The Supremes, Scherrie was the lead singer for a group known as The Glass House (whose other members included Ty Hunter, Pearl Jones & Larry Mitchell).
The group was signed to Invictus Records (which was formed by Motown songwriters Eddie & Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier) in 1969.
The group saw their biggest hit in 1969 with the track "Crumbs Off The Table" (which managed to chart in the Billboard Top Ten).
As a new Supreme in an era when their popularity was waning, Scherrie often remained quiet during interviews with the group (mainly because four years later, reporters were still asking about Diana Ross).
Scherrie contributed powerful vocals and attitude to the group (with Cindy and Mary backing her up very well).
She gained recognition for her vocals on the track "He's My Man" taken from the album "The Supremes."
Even though she's an accomplished songwriter, Scherrie was never able to write any special material for the group which reportedly disappointed her.
Scherrie began to realize that Motown didn't really care as much about The Supremes as they had in the past due to the changing musical tastes of the era and due to the fact that they were working to further the solo career of Diana Ross.
Her contributions did enable The Supremes to enter the disco era, however, with such dance hits as "I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do The Walking" (from the album "High Energy"), "You're My Driving Wheel," "Let Yourself Go" and "Love I Never Knew You Could Feel So Good."
While each of the songs landed in the Top Ten of Billboard's dance music chart, they didn't perform as well on the pop and R&B charts.
The single "I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do The Walking" was a #3 hit on the Disco charts, rose in the Billboard Top 40 to #25 on the R&B chart, and #40 on the Pop chart.
The final three Supremes (Scherrie, Mary and Susaye) officially disbanded in 1977 with a farewell concert in London with Mary announcing that she would start a solo career. Motown decided to officially retire The Supremes.
"Scherrie and Susaye" AlbumEdit
In 1979, Susaye and Scherrie recorded an album called "Partners" together on the Motown label under the name "Scherrie and Susaye."
The album received mixed reviews and they decided to part in order to embark on solo projects.
Prior to the release of "Partners," Scherrie released a solo single for Motown called "Fly" (b/w the song "When I Look at Your Face") in late 1977.
As a solo artist (in addition to "V.I.P."), Scherrie had club hits such as a cover version of 10cc's song "I'm Not In Love" (featuring her sister Freda and Mary Wilson on backing vocals) in 1982.
Two years later, the song "One Night Only" (which was a a song from Act II of the play and movie "Dreamgirls") was released. It featured Cindy Songbird on background vocals.
In 1986, Scherrie recorded a solo album for Superstar International Records which contained several duets with Phillip Ingram.
The following year, she signed with British producer Ian Levine for his Motown reunion project, Motorcity Records.
While with Ian, she released two solo singles "Chasing Me Into Somebody Else's Arms" and cover versions of Diana Ross' songs "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" & "I'm Still Waiting."
Scherrie also recorded the songs "Who's Wrong, Who's Right," "Hit & Miss" and "One More Time" for Motorcity Records as well.
In August of 2001, Scherrie was invited to perform at the annual prestigious open-air festival Sunset Junction Street Fair in Los Angeles.
She performed a dynamic and versatile set that showcased her talents perfectly, including Supremes' classics (such as "Stoned Love" & "My World Is Empty Without You") in addition to a couple of her own solo hits ("I'm Not In Love" & "Another Life From Now").
The following year, Scherrie made a return visit to Sunset Junction, performing a similar set.
On January 14, 2007, she was the special guest star at the "If My Friends Could See Me Now" fundraiser in Los Angeles, California where performed her previous hit song "One Night Only" (from the musical "Dreamgirls").
Backing her were long-time friends Pam Vincent and Joyce Vincent Wilson (who were former members of Tony Orlando & Dawn).
In 2012, Scherrie (along with longtime producer Rick Gianatos) recorded and released a fresh new version of The Supremes hit song "Let Yourself Go" along with an accompanying video.
In late 2013, she lent her vocals to Pattie Brooks' single "I Like The Way You Move." In 2014, Scherrie can be seen in the accompanying video as one of the judges.
A reunion of sorts with Susaye Greene is scheduled for the summer of 2014 for a benefit show in Los Angeles.
Former Ladies of the Supremes (FLOS)Edit
In 1986, Scherrie joined former Supremes Jean Terrell (and briefly Cindy Birdsong) to form The Former Ladies Of The Supremes (or FLOS).
When Cindy left to pursue an acting career, Lynda Laurence took her place and they renamed themselves "Jean, Scherrie & Lynda of the Supremes."
They recorded the single "We're Back" (featuring Temptations member Ali-Ollie Woodson).
Throughout the 1980s and the 1990s, they traveled the world upholding The Supremes' legacy.
When Jean departed, the group continued with Lynda's sister Sundray Tucker (who like Lynda was a former member of Stevie Wonder's back-up group, Wonder Love).
This line-up worked prolifically with British record producer Steve Weaver, resulting in a catalogue of 40 new recordings (some of them re-recordings were of the Supremes' original hits).
Scherrie and Lynda continued to tour under the FLOS name with third new member Freddi Poole (who joined the group in 1996 replacing Sundray).
In 2000, Scherrie and Lynda backed Diana on the "Return To Love Supremes" reunion tour (in which Diana allowed each of them to lead one of the classic Supremes songs).
In 2006, the FLOS celebrated their 20th anniversary (with Cindy, Sundray & Susaye in the audience).
In September of 2009, Joyce Vincent joined Scherrie and Lynda replacing Freddi Poole.
They continue to tour under the banner "Scherrie & Lynda of The Supremes."
For the past four decades, Scherrie has also been a songwriter and composer.
She composed a musical entitled "Ten Good Years" (from which the song "Another Life from Now" was taken from).
It remains a staple part of Scherrie's rare solo concerts.
The songs that Scherrie has composed or contributed to include:
- "Now Is the Time to Say Goodbye" (which was written for and recorded by her sister Freda Payne)
- "Storybook Romance"
- "Leaving Me Was the Best Thing You've Ever Done" (which was co-written by Payne and Susaye Greene and included on their album "Partners")
- "I Found Another Love"
- "You've Been Good to Me"
- "Another Life from Now"
- "Pure Energy"
- "Who's Wrong, Who's Right"
- "Don't Rock My World"
- "Keep On Loving Me"
- "Sisters United (We're Taking Control)"
- "Light the World (With the Flame of Love)" (which was co-written by FLOS member Lynda Laurence)
- "Crumbs Off the Table"
- "The Fox"
- "Horse and Rider"
- "Let It Flow"
- "Hit and Miss"
- "Your Love (Keeps Lifting Me)"
Over the years, Scherrie has loaned her unique and stunning vocals as backing vocalist to many established performers (including her sister Freda Payne) on the following listed albums:
- Supernatural High - Freda Payne (Scherrie appears alongside her sister on the song "Storybook Romance", which she composed; Scherrie recorded this herself a year later for the Partners album with Susaye Greene)
- An Evening With Freda Payne: Live In Concert - Freda Payne
- It's Your Night - James Ingram
- Bickram's Lounge - Bickram Choudray
- Late at Night - Billy Preston
- Light Up Your Night - The Brothers Johnson
- Calling - Noel Pointer