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The Supremes

The Supremes image
Parent Issue
Day
3
Month
September
Year
1976
OCR Text

After witnessing-better yet, experiencing -their powerful performance at the RoostertaU's Palm River Club, we must say that the new Supremes easily exceeded our every expeetation. Quite simply, you haven't seen the Supremes until you've seen THESK Supremes -Mary WUson, Scherrie Payne, and newest member Susaye Green. The show opened with a brief Supremes overture by the orchestra, conducted by Detroit's own Teddy Harris. The three ladies tlien hit tire stage, resplendent in their attire as always, and opened with a medley of "WeVe Only Just Begun" and "Tonight," which in no way prepared the capacity audience (50-50 in racial composition) for what was coming. Then Scherrie (Freda Payne's sister) stepped forward to sing lead on a scintillating rendition of the group's '71 hit "Stoned Love," followed by "The Way We Were" with the mellow, almost seductive-voiced Mary Wilson (the only remaining original Supreme) up front. Then it really got hot on the stage. After a bit-of chit-chat the group literally charged into a jet-pace.d '60s medley, breathing new life into Supremes (and Motown) classics like "Baby Love," "You Keep Me Hangin' On," "Where Did Our Love Go?," "My World Is Empty Without You" and of course "Stop! In the Name of Love," alternating leads and changing the arrangementsjust enough to fit the voice and style of whoever happened to be handling the lyrics originally sung by Diana Ross. Following the well-received medley Susaye and Scherrie left the stage and Mary delivered a magnificent fusión of "A Song For You" and "How Lucky Can You Get?," dedicated to the memory of the late Florence Ballard, one of the original Supremes. The next highpoint carne in the form of an extended rendition of "You're What's Missing In My Life," from the fastselling "High Energy" album. This one - had the audience clapping hands, stomping feet and dancing in their seats. Rather than a lead singer and two backup singers, the current Supremes are a true team. Each lady has a distinct sound and style that she is allowed to fully display. ■ Scherrie is excellent on solid R&B numbers or material that calis for that sort of delivery, Mary is at her best on slow, lush ballads and Susaye is, well, just plain magnificent. An alumnus of Stevie Wonder's backup group Wonderlove, Susaye has a five-octave range and fantastic stage presence. Wliile she was singing "He Ain't Heavy He 's My Brother'-'she received several rounds of applause and was given a standing ovation by the ecstatic capacity crowd. Overall „the group is far more R&B-oriented than in the past, and virtually every selection is accentuated by great choreography. Too soon they closed with their latest hit single, 'i'm Gonna Let My Heart Do the Walking." A perfect show! The word "supreme" means not only excellent, but the best. The 1976 Supremes- Mary Wilson, Scherrie Payne and Susaye Green-are not only excellent: they are the best. -Steve Holsey With this review we welcome musii critic Steve Holsey, former president of the Supremes Fan Club, to the Kulchur staff. Steve also writes for Sepia and Soul magazines, and his popular "Reflections" column continúes weekly in the Michigan Chronicle.