Friday, July 5, 2013

Diana's Out The Door, Welcome Jean Terrell

One of my favorite first Supremes performances after Diana Ross hit the door for her solo and acting career in January 1970, and was replaced by the IMO even MORE talented Jean Terrell, sister of boxer Ernie Terrell.  Of course at the last minute, Mr. Berry Gordy decided that Jean wasn't right for the group, and he wanted Stevie Wonder associate Syreeta to take Diana's place.  But original member Mary Wilson was insistent Jean WAS the right singer for the group and was obviously correct.  While Diana's first solo single "Reach Out And Touch (Somebody's Hand)" was flopping and flailing on the charts, the "NEW Supremes" (as Ed Sullivan called them), with Jean, Mary and Cindy Birdsong, done even better with their first single "Up The Ladder To The Roof".

Several TV appearances later after their first LP Right On from 1970, they'd also recorded/released The Magnificent 7 with The Four Tops, and released one more album, New Ways But Love Stays, before the year was over - that LP including their biggest hit with Jean Terrell, "Stoned Love" (which was years later included on the Forrest Gump movie soundtrack).

This live performance is shortly after their first album with Jean hit the record store shelves in early 1970.  And is proof that you don't really need Diana Ross to be "Supreme".  Just TALENT.