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Rock 'n' Roll Artists A-Z...The Supremes

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Rock 'n' Roll Artists A-Z...The Supremes

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A Supremes Tribute: The Official Eight Women

Florence Ballard, Scherrie Payne, Diana Ross, Susaye Greene, Lynda Laurence, Mary Wilson, Cindy Birdsong, and Jean Terrell each played a unique and important role in helping to make The Supremes, the most recognizable and successful female singing group of all time. During The Supremes' several reincarnations, each member made distinctive contributions to the overall success of the group.

The Supremes came to epitomize the style and sophistication, glamour and elegance of Motown. The Supremes were role models for African American women.

The Supremes had an amazing record of 12 Number 1 hits on the U.S. Billboard pop charts during their golden period (including five-in-a-row #1 songs): "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love," "Come See About Me," "Stop! In the Name of Love," "Back in My Arms Again," "I Hear a Symphony," "You Can't Hurry Love," "You Keep Me Hangin' On," "Love is Here and Now You're Gone," "The Happening," "Love Child" and "Someday We'll Be Together."

While Diana, Florence, Mary, and Cindy are most associated with the group's golden years (1964 to 1970), the post-70s Supremes--Jean, Mary, Scherrie, Cindy, Susaye, and Lynda--continued to produce hit records after Diana's departure. Their noteworthy hits (1970 to 1977) include Nathan Jones, Floy Joy, Up the Ladder to the Roof, Stoned Love, and I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do the Walking, as well as a re-make of River Deep, Mountain High (with the Four Tops), a Top-Ten hit in the UK.

The Supremes (Mary Wilson, Scherrie Payne, and Susaye Greene) gave their farewell performance in June of 1977 at the Drury Lane Theatre in London, England, ending a glorious run as the most successful "girl group of all time." What a lovely dream come true.

Supremes Style

All of Motown's acts had to attend the label's "artist development" program. Recognition and credit are deserving for Cholly Atkins, Motown's talented choreographer, who gave each Motown act its own distinctive, polished, and synchronized on-stage moves, as well as Maxine Powell, who taught the finer arts of poise, manners, and social grace.

Supremes Reunion

In 1983, Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Cindy Birdsong reunited briefly on Motown's 25th anniversary tv show, singing "Someday We'll Be Together," a beautiful and memorable moment that was one of the show's many highlights and one that Supremes' fans will always cherish. In 1988, The Supremes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with Motown's founding father and visionary, Berry Gordy, Jr.

Supremes Legacy

When one thinks of other female singing groups who have followed in The Supremes footsteps (from Sister Sledge to The Jones Girls, from The Emotions to The Three Degrees, from Love Unlimited to En Vogue), the imprint and influence of The Supremes is evident.

If one asks what it takes for a female singing group to succeed, look back on the legendary career of The Supremes for the recipe: talent, hard work, preparation, and a bit of luck--plus manners and makeup, choreography and charisma, haute couture and hair. The Supremes...our "Dreamgirls" forever.

The Legend Continues...Former Ladies of The Supremes

The magic and magnetism of Motown continues unabated. And like the phoenix rising from the ashes, the legend of The Supremes continues as well. Former Supremes' member Scherrie Payne was encouraged to reform the group--and she did in the late 1980s. Calling on former Supremes' members Lynda Laurence and Jean Terrell, Scherrie reformed the group. The Former Ladies of the Supremes now include Scherrie Payne, Lynda Laurence and, to complete the trio, Freddi Poole. The group has released several "Greatest Hits" CD packages and continues to tour in the United States, Europe, and UK.

The Supremes: The Return to Love Tour 2000

The Summer of 2000 saw the U.S. launch of The Diana Ross and The Supremes Return to Love Tour, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a wonderful show featuring the hit songs from the group's golden years--fabulous costumes, dancers, and orchestra. Alongside Diana on tour were 1970s Supremes Scherrie Payne (1974-77) and Lynda Laurence (1971-73).

Supremes Fanclub & Listservs

FANCLUB: An international Supremes fan club exists and publishes a quarterly fan magazine ("fanzine"), in which fans can learn about group members (past and present) as well as hear about the current group's tour schedule and latest releases. For those interested in joining this fan club, contact The Supremes International Fan Club, 268 Bush Street, #4013, San Francisco, CA 94104 (United States). Attn: Mr. David Kramlick, Executive Director. Or e-mail Mr. Kramlick at:

LISTSERVS: Also, come join one of several e-mail lists (listservs) for fans of The Supremes: To do so, visit the url at 1) OR 2) and search under "Supremes." Come relive the magic and trade Supremes memorabilia, music, and memories, as well as make new friends.




Recommended Reading

1. To Be Loved: The Music, the Magic, and the Memories of Motown: An Autobiography,
Berry Gordy, Jr.
(Warner Books, 1994)

2. Secrets of a Sparrow (Diana Ross Memoirs),
Diana Ross
(Villard Books, 1993)

3. Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme,
Mary Wilson
(St. Martin's Press, 1986)

4. Supreme Faith: Someday We'll Be Together,
Mary Wilson
(Harper Collins, 1990)

5. The Supremes: Triumph and Tragedy,
Marianne Ruuth
(Holloway Publishing, 1995)

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