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