The Payne Sisters
Scherrie Payne was born in Detroit, Michigan, the home of the Motown sound. Scherrie is officially recognized as The Supremes’ final lead singer, and is featured on many of their hits including, “He’s My Man” and the Supremes’ final top 40 recording, “Im Gonna Let My Heart Do The Walking.” A talented writer and performer Scherrie was discovered by famed producer Eddie Holland (of Holland/Dozier/Holland fame). Before joining The Supremes, Scherrie was the lead singer of the group “Glass House” and is featured on all of their hits on the Invictus label including, “Crumbs off The Table” which she co-wrote. Scherrie has recorded as a solo artist and has had her own hits including, “I’m Not In Love” and “One Night Only.” Scherrie has worked with many major stars including her sister Freda Payne, George Benson, and Jose Feliciano. Known affectionately by fans as “The Little Lady With The Big Voice” and “The Payne Killer” she brought her superb vocals and dynamic stage presence to the Supremes in 1973, replacing Jean Terrell, and quickly established herself as a firm favorite with the group’s legions of fans worldwide. Scherrie recorded three albums as a member of The Supremes “The Supremes 1975” , “High Energy”, and “Mary Scherrie and Susaye.” She is also featured on many of The Supremes’ “greatest hits” compilations. Scherrie continues to perform alongside former Supreme Lynda Laurence and Joyce Vincent as The FLOS, and in 2000 with Diana Ross, as a member of Diana Ross and the Supremes on their “Return To Love” tour. Scherrie is authentically keeping the legend alive!
The multi-talented Freda Payne is best known for her singing career, yet she has also performed in musicals and acted in movies over the years, and was briefly the host of her own TV talk show. Born Freda Charcilia Payne in Detroit, Michigan, Payne developed an appreciation of music at an early age (due to such sultry jazz singers as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Billie Holiday).
Payne’s own musical career blossomed soon after, as she began early singing radio commercial jingles, which brought the young vocalist to the attention of several music-biz heavyweights. Berry Gordy, Jr. attempted to sign Payne, but her mother wouldn’t agree to it, while Duke Ellington employed Payne as the featured singer with his renowned orchestra for two nights in Pittsburgh, resulting in Ellington offering the teenager a ten-year contract, but it did not happen.
Further albums followed throughout the ’70’s, including such titles as Contact, Reaching Out, Payne & Pleasure, Out of Payne Comes Love, Stares & Whispers, Supernatural High, and Red Hot. Payne also worked with legend artist Sammy Davis, Jr. during much of the 1970’s.
Payne then switched her attention from music to TV, as she hosted her very own talk show in 1981, Today’s Black Woman. The ’90s saw Payne return to music, as such albums as An Evening with Freda Payne and Christmas with Freda & Friends were issued, while Payne also landed roles in such movies as Private Obsession, Sprung and Ragdoll. Payne continued to balance an acting and music career during the early 21st century, as she appeared in the 2000 Eddie Murphy comedy Nutty Professor II: The Klumps and the made-for-TV movie Fire & Ice, plus issuing an all-new album in 2001, Come See About Me on the Volt label.
In 2009 she appeared on American Idol, performing her most iconic song. In June 2014, she released a jazz-influenced studio album entitled Come Back to Me Love, on the Mack Avenue label, which was produced by Bill Cunliffe and was a highly acclaimed jazz album which featured big band arrangements and strings.
Payne also has Broadway credits including: Hallelujah Baby, Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, Ain’t Misbehaving, The Blues in the Night, Jelly’s Last Jam as well as plays: A Change Is Gonna Come, The Divorce written and directed by Donald B. Welch, which is also on DVD. Payne also landed an appearance on the film Kinky set to release in 2017.