Review: Supreme Partners LIVE! at Sheraton Gateway

Scherrie and Susaye 2014 Everyone knows "The Supremes" and if you don't...they were a chart-topping hit female group in the 60's and 70's who boasts twelve  #1 hits including "Where Did Our Love Go", which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

What you also didn't know is that Scherrie Payne and Susaye Green partnered up in 1979 on an album called "Partners".  30 years later and after many dedicated fans lobbied for a re-release, the ladies re-emerged as "Supreme Partners" and their "Partners" project has been re-released by Universal Japan.

This past weekend the ladies kicked off their "Supreme Partners" LIVE tour with a concert at the Sheraton Gateway LAX to benefit New Directions for Veterans .  Hosted by masterful and hilarious Kevin Jordan and in the spirit of Independence Day weekend, the evening kicked off with a Color Guard presentation by New Directions and boasted a lineup of special guest artists including vocal powerhouse and Broadway veteran Charlo Crossley Fortier.

“The “Partners” album was a fantastic collaboration and we had so much fun doing it,” says Scherrie Payne. “We always felt that it was a little ahead of its time, but we’re so thrilled to know that at last, it's been released in CD format and fans are supporting it.”

Longtime Supreme fans are in awe and are showing great support for the CD released in Japan last October. Scherrie and Susaye share songwriter and associate producer credits for the album.

Susaye Greene traveled with musical genius Ray Charles as a Raelette and featured vocalist, as well as, Stevie Wonder's Wonderlove and sang a duet with him: "Joy Inside My Tears" on his "Songs In The Key of Life" album.  Together they penned many tunes, including "I Can't Help It," which appeared on Michael Jackson's hit album "Off The Wall" and has been covered and sampled numerous times.  Susaye also collaborated with Deniece Williams on her first million seller "Free," and was the last member of the Supremes signed to Motown Records.  Most recently, Susaye had a recurring role in director Michael Ajakwe's new TV series, "Basketball Wife," and was featured in the Academy Award-winning documentary, “Twenty Feet From Stardom," directed by Morgan Neville. She is currently producing and recording a new solo album.

In 1973, Scherrie Payne became the final lead singer of Motown's legendary recording group "The Supremes."“He’s My Man,” “I’m Gonna Let My Heart Do The Walking,” "Let Yourself Go;" and “You’re My Driving Wheel” were the singles that Scherrie sang lead on in Motown’s closing chapter of The Supremes.  In June 1977, The Supremes performed their final farewell concert and the group was officially retired.

Since 1986, Scherrie has been a member of The Former Ladies of The Supremes, a group reflecting the unique essence of The Supremes. Scherrie is an avid writer and has written over 18 screenplays. In September 2012, her screenplay "It Always Rains On Sunday" was produced by director Donald Welch and had a 3-day sold out run in Los Angeles.

I had the pleasure of interviewing these ladies for "On Air With Tony Sweet" at UBNRadio.com and they are as lovely on the inside as they are on the outside.

The energy and positivity they exude in performance is infectious!  Although, I thoroughly enjoyed the ladies hitting us with all the hit tracks from "Partners" and solo performances.  The highlights were witnessing Susaye and her son collaborate on "Children of the Ghetto".  There is nothing more heartwarming than a Mom's tears of joy dropping with pride at their offspring.  Scherrie's solo featuring a song from one of her plays was a showstopper garnering a standing ovation.

The evening sadly came to a close by motivational speaker Bryant McGill, who shared a reading of the Goodwill Treaty that he and Susaye have been spearheading.  For more on the treaty and to sign it go to http://www.bryantmcgill.com/treaty

For more information on New Directions for Veterans, go to www.ndvets.org

For Kevin Jordan Stand-up dates www.kevinjordan.com

and of course for all things "Supreme Partners" log onto:  http://www.supremepartnerslive.com

 

 

 

The Season of Documentaries

In a summer where blockbusters and sequels tend to dominate the box office, this summer is shedding the light on some very interesting documentaries that I have had to the opportunity to screen and review.  I am taking this opportunity to remind you all about these extraordinary films and encouraging you to check them out at a theatre near you.  You can also check out the reviews of them all right here on CarlaRenatasCorner.Image THE GIRLS IN THE BAND has been extended for its sixth week in Laemmle Theatrers in Southern California and has developed an unwavering flow of loyal followers!  Director Judy Chaiken chronicles the desires of many women who endured racism, prejudice from their male counterparts and in some instances their own families to pursue the first love of their lives...playing music.  You can order a copy of the film and obtain more info about the film at www.thegirlsintheband.com.

20 FEET FROM STARDOM sheds light on the world of background singers who are striving to get the solo careers of the stars they back up and never quite get to center stage.  The film focuses on Lisa Fischer, Darlene Love, Judith Hill and Merry Clayton.  Each one of these women are brilliant vocal stylists who deserved to be megastars, but due to limitations in a youth driven industry the stars were slowly but surely dimmed.  The soundtrack is toe-tapping and makes you want to dance right there in the movie theaters. 20 FEET FROM STARDOM is playing across the country in limited release.

DARK GIRLS, the new documentary directed by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry, delves into the taboo subject of dark skin vs light skin within the African-American community.  It has caused quite a stir to say the least.  So much so, that the duo is working on yet another taboo subject "light skin vs dark skin" called The Yellow Brick Road.  In addition, D. Channsin Berry is tackling the issue of gays in the church, "The Church House".  These men are brilliant and in the process of ruffling feathers are encouraging invigorating heated conversations within the African-American community.  Looking forward to even more from these guys.

Right on the heels of Wimbledon is the ESPN produced and Ava DuVernay directed VENUS VS.  As a young black woman with a desire to play tennis, Venus Williams was already working the odds against her.  VENUS VS sheds even more light on her personal and professional struggle, as well as, her struggle to obtain more pay for female players in general at Wimbledon.  It made me want to run out and get tennis lessons...LOL.

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!