Scherrie Payne

Scherrie Payne

Scherrie Payne (born November 4 1944 in Detroit, Michigan} is an African-American singer. The younger sister of singer/actress Freda Payne, Scherrie Payne was lead singer of The Supremes from 1973 to 1977, after Jean Terrell left the group in the fall of 1973. Payne is sometimes referred to as "the little lady with the big voice".


Glass House

Prior to her tenure with The Supremes, Scherrie Payne was the lead singer for a group known as The Glass House. Other group members included Ty Hunter (later with The Originals), Pearl Jones, and Larry Mitchell. This was a group signed to the Invictus Label formed by former Motown songwriters Eddie and Brian Holland, and Lamont Dozier. Signed to the label in 1969, they were signed among other popular acts of the early 70's, including Freda Payne (Scherrie's older sister who saw a #1 hit in 1970 with "Band Of Gold"), and "The Honey Cone" who saw a #1 hit with "Want Ads" In an ironic twist of fate, 'Want Ads' was originally recorded by Glass House with Scherrie on lead vocals. Scherrie, Edna and Freda all had a similar vocal sound. Unfortunately, The Glass House did not meet this same success. The group saw their biggest hit in 1969 with the Payne-led track "Crumbs Off The Table" which managed the Billboard top 10.

Between the years of 1969 and 1972, The Glass House released 2 albums and 9 singles, including Scherrie's solo track, "V.I.P." However, they never really followed up on the success of their first single release. They quietly disbanded in 1972, after the release of their album, "Thanks, I Needed That".

The Supremes

As a new Supreme in an era when their popularity was waning, Payne often remained quiet during interviews with the group; mainly because four years later, reporters were still asking about Diana Ross. When she arrived, original Supreme Mary Wilson and 1960s Supreme Cindy Birdsong were the other two members of the group. Payne contributed powerful vocals and attitude to the group, with Birdsong and Wilson backing her up very well. Payne gained recognition for her vocals in "He's My Man" taken from the album The Supremes '75. An accomplished songwriter, Payne was never able to write any special material for The Supremes which reportedly disappointed her.

Payne 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. Payne's 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 High Energy (album), "You're My Driving Wheel", "Let Yourself Go", and "Love I Never Knew You Could Feel So Good". While each of these disco gems landed in the Billboard Dance Top Five, they didn't perform as well on the pop and R&B charts. The single "I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do The Walking" 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 Supremes founding member Mary Wilson announcing that she would emabrk on a solo career. Scherrie and Susaye decided to remain with the group and add a new third member, inviting Joyce Vincent Wilson of Tony Orlando and Dawn to be the next Supreme. However, when Wilson decided she wanted to rejoin the group, Payne and Greene left The Supremes. Payne and Greene recorded an album together on Motown label, "Partners", under the name "Scherrie and Susaye" in 1979. The album received mixed reviews and the two decided to part in order to embark on solo projects.

Former Ladies of the Supremes

In 1986, Payne 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 placed and they renamed themselves "Jean, Scherrie, & Lynda of the Supremes", recording the excellent single "We're Back', featuring Ali (Ollie) Woodson from The Temptations. Throughout the 80's and the 90's, they traveled the world upholding The Supremes' legacy. In 2000, along with Laurence, she became a part of Diana Ross & The Supremes' "Return To Love" tour. When Terrell departed the group continued with new recruit Sundray Tucker and this lineup worked prolifically with British record producer Steve Weaver, resulting in a catalogue of 40 new recordings, some of them re-recordings of the Supremes' original hits

olo work

As a solo artist, Paynes has had club hits, such as "I'm Not In Love" (featuring sister Freda Payne and former Supreme Mary Wilson on backing vocals) in 1982, followed two years later by "One Night Only", a song from Act II of the play and movie "Dreamgirls", which, interestingly, is a show based loosely on the history of the Supremes and the advancing of the Motown sound into the Disco era. The 12" Megatone Label Disco Single also featured former Supreme Cindy Birdsong on background vocals. In 1986 Payne recorded a solo album for Superstar International Records which contained several duets with Philip Ingram. The following year, Payne signed with British producer Ian Levine for his Motown reunion project, Motorcity Records. While with this label, Payne released two solo singles "Chasing Me Into Somebody Else's Arms" and "Pure Energy" (co-written by Payne), as well as covers of two Diana Ross tunes, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "I'm Still Waiting". Other product recorded for Motorcity included "Who's Wrong, Who's Right" and "One More Time".

In August 2001 Scherrie was invited to perform at the annual prestigious open-air festival Sunset Junction Street Fair in Los Angeles. Scherrie performed a dynamic and versatile set showcasing her talents perfectly. Scherrie performed Supremes' classics like 'Stoned Love' and 'My World Is Empty Without You' as well as a couple of her own solo hits 'I'm Not In Love' and firm fan favorite 'Another Life From Now'. Scherrie made a return visit to Sunset Junction the following year, performing a similar set.

On January 14, 2007, Scherrie was the special gust star at the 'If My Friends Could See me Now' fun-raiser in Los Angeles, California. To a thunderous ovation, Scherrie wowed the audience with a high energy version of her own hit 'One Night Only', from the musical 'Dreamgirls'. Backing Scherrie up were long-time friends Pam Vincent and Joyce Vincent Wilson, both formerly of Dawn.



*With Glass House
* Inside the Glass House (Invictus)
* Thanks, I Needed That (Invictus)

*With The Supremes
* The Supremes (Motown)
* High Energy (Motown)
* Mary, Scherrie & Susaye (Motown)
* Scherrie's contributions with The Supremes also appear on numerous group compilation albums and various artist packages which are currently too numerous to list here.

*With the Former Ladies of the Supremes
* Bouncing Back (Motorcity Records)
* Supreme Voices (Altair)
* Supremely Yours

* Partners (with former Supreme Susaye Greene) (Motown)
* Incredible (Superstar International)


Over the years Scherrie has loaned her unique and stunning vocals as backing vocalist to many established performers that over the years have included sister Freda Payne on the albums
*'Supernatutal High' in 1978 (on the song 'Storybook Roamnce' that Scherrie composed and recorded herself a year later on the 'Partners' album with Susaye Greene)and
*'An Eveing With Freda Payne: Live In Concert' in 1997. Other artists' albums include:
*James Ingram (It's Your Night)
*Bickram Choudray (Bickram's Lounge)
*Billy Preston (Late at Night)
*The Brothers Johnson (Light Up Your Night)
*Noel Pointer (Calling).


Over the past four decades Scherrie has proved herself to be an accomplished and versatile songwriter and composer of music. Scherrie has composed a musical entitled "Ten Good Years," from which the song "Another Life from Now" was taken and featured on the "Partners" album and remains a staple part of Scherrie's all to rare solo concerts. Songs that Scherrie has composed or contributed to include:
*Now Is the Time to Say Goodbye (written for and recorded by her sister Freda Payne)
*Storybook Romance
*Leaving Me Was the Best Thing You've Ever Done (co-written by Payne and Susaye Greene and included in "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) (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)

Payne continues to perform, both as a solo act and as a part of the "Former Ladies of the Supremes". A "FLOS" 20th anniversary concert is scheduled for 2006 in Los Angeles.

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