Former Ladies of The Supremes featuring original members Lynda Laurence & Scherrie Payne
Born in Detroit, Michigan, USA, Scherrie began her long illustrious career as a member of Los Angeles based soul group The Glass House. The Glass House consisted of Scherrie, Pearl Jones, Larry Mitchell and Tyrone Hunter. The band's creative partnership with songwriters and producers Holland/Dozier/Holland resulted in many classic singles. Scherrie's biggest hit with the group was "Crumbs off the Table" which charted at #7 in the Soul Chart in September 1969, and reached #59 in the Billboard Singles Chart. It was Eddie Holland who had persuaded Scherrie and elder sister Freda (of "Band of Gold" fame) to join the new company, Invictus. However, Scherrie's joining the company owed much to chance as she later explained:- "Freda was on the phone discussing her contract with Eddie, and I was playing the piano and singing. And he heard me and asked if I would like to come along to audition".
In a past interview, Scherrie spoke of her days at Invictus with The Glass House:- "Want Ads was the first hit I recorded with the whole group. But we were irate when we found out that Honey Cone had recorded the song. In fact, I walked into the studio one day to discover I was listening to it. I hadn't heard the song for several months and I thought it was me singing (laughter). I didn't know the difference to the very end. Edna did a little lick that was a little different than mine, then I realized that wasn't my voice, because Edward (Holland) had this thing. He would coach each singer the way to sing a song, and actually we all sounded like female Edward Holland's. So Freda, Edna and myself sounded quite a lot alike because of the way he would phrase a song, and he wanted us to sing it exactly the way he phrased it. So when I heard Edna's version it didn't really bother me until they put it out and it became a million seller. Then we were really upset."
In October 1973, Scherrie took over the role of lead vocalist with Motown legends, The Supremes. It was Lamont Dozier who had recommended Scherrie to Mary Wilson, following Jean Terrell's departure. Mary Wilson recalls in her book "Supreme Faith" :- "When I asked if she'd like to come out to LA and audition, Scherrie said she'd be honored to. A few days later she was there, and I was sold. She was pretty, easy to get along with, and her voice was phenomenal. As far as I was concerned, she was in. My timing was perfect as Scherrie was considering taking a regular job when I called. Her eagerness was refreshing, and she and Cindy hit it off". As lead singer, Scherrie recorded three albums with The Supremes, The Supremes (in 1975) High Energy (in 1976) and Mary, Scherrie & Susaye (in 1976).
When The Supremes disbanded in 1977, Scherrie went on to record one final "highly acclaimed" Motown album Partners (1979) with Susaye Greene (also of The Supremes) as "Scherrie & Susaye". Regrettably, this album was never issued in the U.K. Amongst Scherrie's other projects of this time was the writing of a musical called "Ten Good Years", and her appearance in a musical show called "Dream Street". Along with Susaye, Scherrie also sang background vocals on "Animal Party", a track on James Ingram's "It's Your Night" album.
During the early eighties Scherrie was closely associated with British record producer Ian Levine. In 1982 Scherrie recorded a "high energy" dance version of the 10cc classic "I'm not in love", with Mary Wilson on backing vocals. "I'm Not In Love" was produced by Rick Gianatos in Chicago with a Tom Tom arrangement and released on Airwave Records, Hollywood USA. After the record achieved a top 20 status on the Billboard dance charts, it was licensed by Doug Weston to Record Shack Records in the UK. The following year Scherrie recorded a second "high energy" record, "One Night Only", for the US "Megatone" label. Again, Scherrie was joined by a former "Supreme" on backing vocals, with the rare guest appearance of Cindy Birdsong.
In 1986, Scherrie joined a reformed lineup of The Supremes (for legal reasons known as "Former Ladies of the Supremes" or FLOS for short) alongside Jean Terrell & Lynda Laurence. Two songs were recorded for Superstar International Records, "We're Back" and "Getaway", but sadly the company folded before the new recordings could make much impact.
In 1989, The Supremes returned to the recording studios, this time under the direction of Ian Levine. Several singles were released on Levine's Motorcity label, including a reworked version of Stoned Love and a Scherrie Payne self-penned track "Hit & Miss", until the departure of Jean Terrell in 1992.
After a break lasting 2 years, Scherrie and Lynda recruited Lynda's sister, Sundray Tucker, as Jean's replacement. The ladies have since recorded many critically acclaimed albums and have toured Britain, Europe & Japan extensively. More recently in July 1996, Sundray Tucker was replaced by new member Freddi Poole
Lynda LaurenceLynda was born in Philadelphia, and came from a gospel background, her father being the legendary Ira Tucker. In 1969 Lynda Laurence (along with Syreeta) sang background vocals on Stevie Wonder's "Signed Sealed Delivered I'm Yours". Stevie wanted a group to accompany him on a forthcoming tour, so Lynda formed The Third Generation along with her sister Sundray and Terri Hendricks. This group later became the basis for Stevie Wonder's backing group "Wonderlove".
In 1972, Lynda joined The Supremes, first of all when she deputized for ill Jean Terrell, and later when she replaced Cindy Birdsong. Lynda recorded "I guess I'll miss the man", and the Stevie Wonder produced "Bad Weather", which incidentally was co-written by Lynda's brother Ira Jnr. In October 1973, Cindy Birdsong returned to The Supremes, replacing Lynda.
Lynda was first seen on the photo of The Supremes album "Floy Joy", although she was not featured on the album itself. Lynda explained, "Motown thought it was good publicity to put my picture on the sleeve. Anyway Cindy didn't want to pose for the picture because she was having a baby".
After leaving the Supremes and after having her baby, Lynda's career was varied. Among the work she undertook was an album with Nilsson. Shortly afterwards Lynda appeared with her sister Sundray on a disco version of the "I Love Lucy" TV show theme. The record became a big disco hit in the US, released under the name of The Wilton Street Band, which was put together by Lynda's former husband Trevor Laurence.
During the late 1980's, Lynda was asked to join the reformed line-up of The Supremes, again filling a vacancy left by Cindy Birdsong. A string of 12" singles followed, all released on Ian Levine's UK "MotorCity" label. In 1992 Jean Terrell decided to leave the group to pursue business interests and the ladies invited Lynda's sister Sundray to join the line-up.