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  1. #1

    Jean Terrell's "illness"

    Hey guys--in Mary's book Supreme Faith, she alludes to the fact that Jean missed a few performances due to "illness" and said that she felt guilty for what she was thinking about Jean's illness. Mary never comes out and says what she was thinking. I noticed on anther thread on this forum that Jean's "illness" is in quotation marks like she wasn't really sick. What do people think was going on with her?

  2. #2
    i thought someone on here once said it was high blood pressure

  3. #3
    Didn't seem like Mary and others believed that

  4. #4
    i know other sources like Randy's books talk about Jean being ill and the MLC lineup for a few shows. But other than Mary's 1 book, what sources have stated speculation about Jean's reasons for being absent?

  5. #5
    From what I recall Mary writing in SUPREME FAITH, no one ever told her what Jean's illness was and in Mary's opinion, it seemed to occur when she was unhappy. So that's why she was suspicious.

    In one of the Motown books, Cindy mentioned something about Jean having a headache in Vegas one night and it being almost impossible to get her to go on stage. She went on to say that she and Mary weren't used to that, even saying that Diana was the type who could have a major operation and still be on stage that night.
    Last edited by reese; 06-18-2020 at 01:28 PM.

  6. #6
    Reese--I remember Cindy saying that, although I forgot about it until you reminded me. Anyway--I can't say for sure, but I think Jean was very difficult and if she didn't feel like going onstage, she didn't. I think JT, after a while, had just had it with the whole Supremes thing.

  7. #7
    yeah i think she was really not happy and i think she realized early on that this might not have been the right gig for her. or that at least she'd never really be able to do what she wanted with the role.

    i think the political and superficial aspects of show business were not to her liking. she was more interested in making an artistic statement

  8. #8
    You can be both artistic and professional.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    yeah i think she was really not happy and i think she realized early on that this might not have been the right gig for her. or that at least she'd never really be able to do what she wanted with the role.

    i think the political and superficial aspects of show business were not to her liking. she was more interested in making an artistic statement
    Maybe Berry was right. Seriously, there never has been much said abt his phone call to Mary saying Jean wasnít right for the group. But she did one helluva job as lead. Didnít they let already record much of Right On? And that voice!!!!

  10. #10
    The additional problem is that there was never any master plan in terms of what this new group of Supremes was going to be. Now that I've seen so many old clips, it is clear to me that Motown really didn't have a plan for them--they wanted to milk any residual income that they could out of the group before they fizzled out. But that isn't a plan, it's not a bold new idea on how to stay on top. Just the fact that they were wearing the same old gowns shows that nobody at Motown knew or cared what happened to them. If only they had found younger management--people who were seeing how things were changing in musical tastes and presentations. I remember in the 70's thinking groups like Labelle, P Funk and Rufus all looked "cool"--and those old school gowns looked dated and cheesy. By the time Scherrie came on board, the Supremes seemed to be headed in the right direction--they started wearing less makeup, sexier dresses, and dropped the fake stage banter. Too bad the momentum was long gone.

  11. #11
    The signs were there about Jean if anyone caught it. Listen to the interview on Merv fron Jan 1972
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    Reese--I remember Cindy saying that, although I forgot about it until you reminded me. Anyway--I can't say for sure, but I think Jean was very difficult and if she didn't feel like going onstage, she didn't. I think JT, after a while, had just had it with the whole Supremes thing.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    The additional problem is that there was never any master plan in terms of what this new group of Supremes was going to be. Now that I've seen so many old clips, it is clear to me that Motown really didn't have a plan for them--they wanted to milk any residual income that they could out of the group before they fizzled out. But that isn't a plan, it's not a bold new idea on how to stay on top. Just the fact that they were wearing the same old gowns shows that nobody at Motown knew or cared what happened to them. If only they had found younger management--people who were seeing how things were changing in musical tastes and presentations. I remember in the 70's thinking groups like Labelle, P Funk and Rufus all looked "cool"--and those old school gowns looked dated and cheesy. By the time Scherrie came on board, the Supremes seemed to be headed in the right direction--they started wearing less makeup, sexier dresses, and dropped the fake stage banter. Too bad the momentum was long gone.
    that's a great point. Berry had VERY clear plans for Diana and nothing was left to chance or approached randomly. And that was the same approach with DRATS and even the DFM Supremes. look at all of the wonderful content that was recorded or prepared for recording and then scrapped.

    Once Diana left the Sups, the Sups absolutely did become just like every other motown group in the fact that they had pretty basic career management. after the initial success of market cross over and getting into the supper clubs, Motown had a very short range vision for nearly all acts. Sure they'd support new ideas that were brought to them - like the Temps pushing to evolve into the psychedelic soul image. And then some of the solo artists like Stevie and Marvin had very clear ideas of where their careers should go and they had to fight for that.

    the supremes and other motown acts benefited from the early and strong vision of Berry's which was to be a classy label that would appeal to a broad audience - teens with hot dance songs, MOR albums, supper clubs, etc. But they never really evolved from there. and much of that was frankly based around Berry's idea of having a black female superstar to take to the world.

  13. #13
    An attack of chronic homophobia? Yeah. Went there.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i know other sources like Randy's books talk about Jean being ill and the MLC lineup for a few shows. But other than Mary's 1 book, what sources have stated speculation about Jean's reasons for being absent?
    In one of Lynda Laurence's "concert" videos she mentions that Jean was ill or thinking about becoming ill is what gave her a chance to sing lead for the Supremes.

  15. #15
    If the boss tells you he washes his hand of the new group, I would take that as you are on your own.....good luck.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    yeah i think she was really not happy and i think she realized early on that this might not have been the right gig for her. or that at least she'd never really be able to do what she wanted with the role.

    i think the political and superficial aspects of show business were not to her liking. she was more interested in making an artistic statement
    It wasn't even that complicated. It had to do with Berry Gordy, money and promotion!

  17. #17
    Or could it be- and I realize this is a radical concept here- that Jean was simply, uh, ya know, sick. I hate that I have to constantly point this out, but I'm hoping at some point that it sticks: the Supremes were human beings. It's not like they were all human at birth and then once becoming Supremes they turn into these superhuman superheroes where the normality of life, such as grief, heartbreak, disappointment, and yes physical and mental illness, has no effect. Maybe Jean had a stomach bug, or the flu, or a nasty cold, or female issues. Is that really any less likely than Jean being unprofessional or mad about the direction of her career?

  18. #18
    Ran--I think people understand that, we're grown ups. I was simply curious as to what Mary was alluding to when she said she felt guilty about what she was thinking about Jean's "illness." Other people have said Jean wouldn't go on stage because she got in a fight with Mary--but the public line was always that J was sick.

  19. #19
    Berry Gordy was no longer on the road with them. As Mary stated, he expected them all to have the kind of dedication of going on no matter what. Before the Copa, Florence was ill and they made a big deal about that. Jean had a wonderful voice but it has been stated she had no real dedication to the group as Mary, Diana and Cindy did. She very well may have been ill and it could have been triggered when she was unhappy. Motown was just making money off of the name at this point, they didn't really push Jean. I am sure Mary was happy to have a group group again but has stated that Jean grew weary of answering questions about the past Supremes. Motown's vision on how to promote the group was shortsighted and helped whatever momentum they had to slow down. Berry didn't like stoned love and they only released one song from the NWBLS LP. The group was even seeming to hit the top 20 more than DRATS did with some of their hit and miss releases. Still, on television Mary was coming across as dynamic, happy and bubbly while Cindy was coming off as sweet,demure and happy. Jean was confident in singing but was not as dazzling in her stage personae as Ross or even Wilson,Birdsong or Ballard. As the new lead singer , there should have been a plan in place to find what would work with her personality and to present that more strongly onstage. After all, she was taking on the lead of Motown's former #1 group. Another thing, Terrell I have read was salaried and this could also color how she felt with dedication. She was going to be paid the same salary regardless of how dedicated she was and if she felt Motown wasn't behind her than what point was there other than showing off your singing talent? I think they all would have been happier had Motown called NWBLS Stoned Love and stuck with the original cover art. If Berry changed his mind about Jean and washed his hands of the group and did not like their biggest hit, that should tell you something about what promotion they were going to get. I certainly had a lot of hope when Scherrie joined and split leads with Mary, the group seemed so energized and ready to reign supreme in the new disco era. Unfortunately, that did not go as well as it should have. It also should say something that after all of these years that Mary and Scherrie are still out there determined and dedicated. I really loved Jean's solo LP but that also did not have promotion because I have read Terrell did not want to promote it the way A&M asked. Perhaps, she had the amazing talent but as Mary said she stated it's okay for you to do what they ask but not for me when Mary wanted her to try and go along with the company. If Jean had an illness, hopefully she had and still has good health.

  20. #20
    It would be interesting to know what Gordy saw in Jean in Miami that sold him on the idea of her being the perfect replacement for Diana. Vocally Jean is perfect for the role. Her voice has personality, is versatile, easily recognizable. Visually, as Jim points out, she lacked Diana's dazzling onstage persona. I think it's a bit jarring to go from Diana's liveliness to Jean's more laidback and demure, regal state of being. Jean would've made a perfect edition to Motown as a soloist. With Diana moving into movies, the company could've gotten behind Jean's music. The Supremes needed a lead singer who still gave off a dynamic visual vibe.

    I think Tammi Terrell, had she not been ill, would've been perfect for the job. Freda Payne was already having some success over at Invictus, but she too would've been a great replacement. Edna Wright, had Honey Cone not been a thing, would've been perfect. And honestly I think Brenda Holloway, had she (a) desired to be a part of a group, and (b) desired to return to Motown, would've made an excellent replacement for Ross. These ladies had personality, youthfulness, vivaciousness that came through visually, like Diana, but which Jean seemed to mostly lack.

    I'm not arguing against Jean, as she is one of my all time favorite singers PERIOD. And where during the Flo years I'm enraptured by the totality of the group (which is why it does matter to me who is singing background, even if it ultimately doesn't disrupt how I feel about any given song), I really couldn't care less who is singing backup when Jean is in the group because that's just how much in love with her voice I am. Yet, the more I think about it, the more I start to conclude that Jean might have been all wrong for this particular job and it begs the question how might the 70s Supremes story have changed if someone else had been given the job?

  21. #21
    I agree, Jean has an amazing voice that is distinct. I heard Gordy saw her perform in Miami and decided on her. All of those ideas are good ones but didn't Gordy want Syreeta? I have heard her on music but not visual performances. I think Mary admits gordy saw something in Jean and realized it would not really work as he had thought. I loved Scherrie Payne as she has sparkle, glamour and a big voice-I wonder if it would have been too different from Diana in 1970. Jean always struck me as vocally a cross between Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick. Some folks that are friends have heard me play her and felt she was too nasal and shrill at times. I just wonder if Gordy was so wrapped up in Diana that his carelessness caused him to replace her without putting in as much thought as he used to with the group as he did when Diana was with them. Surely, he should have looked at stage and television presence since that was a big part of their success. Diana,Mary,Florence and Cindy all projected great presence-not saying Jean is not an amazing singer but that part of her personae alone should have not put her in a group, let alone Motown's #1 group.

  22. #22
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    For all intents and purposes, Diana Ross was the Supremes. It was her voice and face and personality that was identified as the Supremes. The Supremes after Diana Ross were still associated with Ross’s persona and magnetism.

    Jean was fine. She did as well as anyone could have done. It was an impossible task to replace Ross. They were given decent songs and they plugged away until memory of Diana Ross as being The Supremes faded. Then, they were just 3 gals on stage acting wildly manic.
    Last edited by Circa 1824; 06-19-2020 at 01:17 PM.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Circa 1824 View Post
    For all intents and purposes, Diana Ross was the Supremes. It was her voice and face and personality that was identified as the Supremes. The Supremes after Diana Ross were still associated with Ross’s persona and magnetism.

    Jean was fine. She did as well as anyone could have done. It was an impossible task to replace Ross. They were given decent songs and they plugged away until memory of Diana Ross as being The Supremes faded. Then, they were just 3 gals on stage acting wildly manic.
    She was not! That's why RTL bombed so bad and stunk to high Heaven!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    She was not! That's why RTL bombed so bad and stunk to high Heaven!
    She was in 1970!!!!! You can not compare 1970 with 2000. Thirty years had passed.

    By 2000, RTL, Ross was lukewarm and the Supremes ice cold. Most didnt care much about either one. Maybe Ross, Wilson, and the RTL promoters forgot it was 30 years since Someday We’ll Be Together.
    Last edited by Circa 1824; 06-19-2020 at 05:33 PM.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Circa 1824 View Post
    She was in 1970!!!!! You can not compare 1970 with 2000. Thirty years had passed.

    By 2000, RTL, Ross was lukewarm and the Supremes ice cold. Most didnt care much about either one. Maybe Ross, Wilson, and the RTL promoters forgot it was 30 years since Someday We’ll Be Together.
    I would agree with you on this. However, I think something happen that evening at the Frontier hotel between Gordy and Terrell that made him say Jean is out. Just my two cents on the whole thing for him to go that far and want to pull the plug.

  26. #26
    Captain you might be right. Think about it--that Farewell show was the first time anybody heard of Jean Terrell and it was the first time people saw her. Some people didn't think she had the right girlie image that the rest of the group had. Things were so hectic that night that I doubt that there was any time to have an altercation with Jean but there was plenty of time for Berry to hear what people thought about his Diana replacement. I would wager that was what happened.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    Captain you might be right. Think about it--that Farewell show was the first time anybody heard of Jean Terrell and it was the first time people saw her. Some people didn't think she had the right girlie image that the rest of the group had. Things were so hectic that night that I doubt that there was any time to have an altercation with Jean but there was plenty of time for Berry to hear what people thought about his Diana replacement. I would wager that was what happened.
    If you wager that, you'd lose! When it comes to men and women and that thing, there is always time........

  28. #28
    Just a theory. I wasn't there and neither were you, Marvypoo

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    yeah i think she was really not happy and i think she realized early on that this might not have been the right gig for her. or that at least she'd never really be able to do what she wanted with the role.

    i think the political and superficial aspects of show business were not to her liking. she was more interested in making an artistic statement
    There is occasional tendency Iím by one person or so who likes to demonize the players involved. I donít hold it against Jean that this gig was just not for her and I got agree with those who feel that way. Iím sure she resented being told By frank wilson to sing it like Diana And the incessant questions about it. Itís possible that Jean didnít have that much respect for Diana as a singer and this was an insult to her. And remember, Jean was going from a rather laid-back working atmosphere to going full force into the Supremes machine without any warm up. In 64, the girls popularity happened overnight but there work load built and built and built and built until it was the crazy System they had. Jean had to step in to that at full of pace and that mightíve been difficult also. Additionally, by several accounts, Jean and Barry didnít get along all that well as far as her performance was going. He was working directly with the group until he felt that it wasnít going to work out, and Mary, right or wrong, demanded Jean and Barry said OK fine Iím done with the group. Thereís no villain here. If mary wanted to continue to work with Barry, she couldíve called him back and said OK letís go ahead and go with Syreeta but she didnít. It was her choice to not have Berry involved. Itís possible that Jean couldíve been a little more malleable to conform to Barryís wishes, after all, heís the one that got her this gig. And I donít think anyone can blame Barry Gordy for not wanting to spend time with a singer that wasnít doing what he wanted.

    as far as Jean being ill, I think itís quite possible that she was, but personally I think it was a power-play that she ultimately lost. I donít think there is any professional excuse, regardless how much they were not getting along, For Jean to of left New York for LA without telling Mary. That was a rotten unprofessional thing to do. And I would fault Linda for not telling Mary sooner except she probably assumed Jean had told her.

    I also disagree with those who feel that Motown was content to let the Supremes die. To me, if that were the case, Barry and Shelley would not have chosen such a fine singer to replace diana. I also donít believe that Barry would have been working with the group in the studio and in the rehearsal hall if he didnít have a vested interest in it because he had plenty on his plate launching diana ross, the Jackson 5, The Temptations exploding popularity and imploding personnel problems, the dismal sales of Martha and the four tops, and Marvin Gayeís break down. Thatís a lot for the executive of any company to have to deal with. If Jean was not following what he wanted, which is what he was used to, and she wasnít going to be replaced, he had every reason to say all right fine you do it. Shelley burger was still managing them, so itís not like they werenít being cared for.

    I also disagree with the notion that Motown had no plan for the group. I believe Motown did have a plan for the group, but I think that plan included better acceptance by the public instead of instantly decreasing album and ticket sales. I think the plan was to develop Jean so that they could do TV specials and bigger gigs, but they couldnít do a special with that group because there was no one to deal with the public. Perhaps they couldíve done another special with the Temptations in the fall of 1970 to lighten the burden on Jean, but thereís many reasons why that might not have worked out even if Motown wanted to. In my opinion thereís no way to say that there was no plan for the group.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    Captain you might be right. Think about it--that Farewell show was the first time anybody heard of Jean Terrell and it was the first time people saw her. Some people didn't think she had the right girlie image that the rest of the group had. Things were so hectic that night that I doubt that there was any time to have an altercation with Jean but there was plenty of time for Berry to hear what people thought about his Diana replacement. I would wager that was what happened.
    I couldn’t agree more! Barry Gordy had a ton of family, industry people, stars, Motown family and diana ross’ last good nerve to deal with that night. And I believe it is quite possible that when Jean got up on stage between Diana and Mary, she very much might have looked like yesterday’s mashed potatoes standing next to one of the most charismatic singers of the century. Who knows how many people saw the same thing And shared that?

  31. #31
    I donít buy the idea that Berry or Motown plotted and schemed for the Sups to fail. I think he heard jean in Miami and was highly impressed like everyone was that would hear her. With their small family band she probably came across as sincere and strong.

    It was later as he was working with her, IMO, that he started to have second thoughts. He knew heíd only be spending a small amount of time w the Sups anyway but if they werenít in alignment w his managerial vision then screw em. Thatís why he washed his hands. He wanted to work w acts that followed his orders

    Now why the hell he waited until the final farewell to make the decision, who knows. Cindy mentions that when they got back to LA from the farewell there was a big blowup. Maybe some of this was starting to rear itís head in the weeks leading up. Who knows.

  32. #32
    Motown had no reason to actively kill the Supremes--that's one of the dopey theories that has floated around since the 70's. I just think that after a good start, Motown just didn't see Jean as being able to carry them to that super star realm again. As one Motowner once said "Motown had to work very hard" to keep the Supremes alive for even a year or two. There was still money to be made and much of the public didn't even know Ross was gone. As one poster on this thread already pointed out--when Ross went solo, she got all new wardrobe, a new updated look, a whole new show, the works. You didn't see her waddling around on stage in Vegassy gowns from five years before. Nope. DR was pushed as a brand new package, whereas the Supremes were stuck in neutral.Again, when Scherrie came along it was obvious to anyone paying attention that the group knew it was past time for a whole new direction, vocally and visually

  33. #33
    Berry Gordy was the boss. Had he really cared about the Supremes post Diana, when, for whatever reason, he deemed Jean the wrong move, Jean would've been out on her ass and there would've been nothing Mary could do about it. Berry Gordy was a control freak where his female acts were concerned. I can't think of a single moment where any of them ever had a say so in their careers, particularly if it was something Gordy wanted and they didn't. Between 1961 and 1969 Berry Gordy probably consulted Mary Wilson about one Supremes related issue: what to do about Florence. And as we all know, although some fans prefer to become selective amnesiacs at this point, that Mary's answer was that Flo had to go. Now I'd like to see a show of hands of those who believe that had Mary's response been "Flo stays", that Flo's Supremes story would've ended any differently. Anybody? Somebody? Nobody? Yeah, I didn't think so. Gordy would've reminded Mary to be careful lest she find her ass out right next to Florence.

    Perhaps the only power play the Supremes had was Diana siding with them. Gordy might have been willing to give in on some things in order to keep the ship righted. Flo being unhappy made for a rocky ship. Diana being unhappy could've sunk the ship. With Diana out, who did Gordy really have to keep happy in the Supremes? Gordy had been telling Mary what to do for almost a decade of her life. Cindy had been in this thing for about two and a half years, but Gordy surely didn't have any loyalty to her. So if he really didn't want Jean, if Jean really was a breaking point for him with the group, he'd have fired her, called Mary that morning to tell her of his decision and then hung up on her ass before she could say another word.

    I think Berry always knew that, Jean or no Jean, he was out of the Supremes business when Diana was out of it. And if Mary's story is to be believed, this made for a great response to the question of "Why aren't you in our corner like you were when Diane was in the group?" Easy answer: "You refused to make the change, so now you deal with the group on your own." It makes the entire situation Mary's fault and Gordy's hands, well, they're washed clean.

    Gordy was a man of the streets. He knew how to do this shit.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    Just a theory. I wasn't there and neither were you, Marvypoo
    No I wasn't. I was 9 going on 10 at that time. Years later, someone who was standing right there, an eyewitness told me what really happened. What are you basing your claims on Bobbygirl?

  35. #35
    I'm not a girl, Marvipoo. I realize that you must be gender fluid but I'm a man.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    I'm not a girl, Marvipoo. I realize that you must be gender fluid but I'm a man.
    You don't realize shit, but think you are being a smart ass. I had never called you out of your name before and you do not know me or anything about most shit you talk about on here. So off to the ignore field with you.

  37. #37
    I don't think Motown actively killed the Supremes, I think Berry was too preoccupied with Diana to split equally the care needed to make Ross the first superstar of the 70's and to continue the success of the Supremes. He found a great voice in Jean Terrell but perhaps not the right fit for the Supremes image. When he changed his mind, he didn't actively put in as much care as he had in the past to give them a solid image. He was focused on Diana Ross, the Supremes were not the only group to lose his attention because of that. If he wanted Syreeta, he should have put her in the group. Refitting gowns while they were going forward with a new concept was all cost conscious. All they wanted to do was make as much money on the Supremes' name while they could. Slipping in someone with a great voice was a plus, but not realizing a new image or promoting Jean Terrell and her image did not bode well for longevity. As hard as it was for Terrell, it had to be harder for Wilson to see the company no longer make them a top priority. The push they gave was just to make money for the name recognition and reputation. Having to fight for the group and then deal with a new member who did not agree with you must have been very hard.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by jim aka jtigre99 View Post
    I don't think Motown actively killed the Supremes, I think Berry was too preoccupied with Diana to split equally the care needed to make Ross the first superstar of the 70's and to continue the success of the Supremes. He found a great voice in Jean Terrell but perhaps not the right fit for the Supremes image. When he changed his mind, he didn't actively put in as much care as he had in the past to give them a solid image. He was focused on Diana Ross, the Supremes were not the only group to lose his attention because of that. If he wanted Syreeta, he should have put her in the group. Refitting gowns while they were going forward with a new concept was all cost conscious. All they wanted to do was make as much money on the Supremes' name while they could. Slipping in someone with a great voice was a plus, but not realizing a new image or promoting Jean Terrell and her image did not bode well for longevity. As hard as it was for Terrell, it had to be harder for Wilson to see the company no longer make them a top priority. The push they gave was just to make money for the name recognition and reputation. Having to fight for the group and then deal with a new member who did not agree with you must have been very hard.
    It was not as hard on Mary in the beginning because she, Cindy Birdsong and Jean Terrell were united. Later on, when Jean became disenchanted with how Motown was treating them, it became very hard on her.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Berry Gordy was the boss. Had he really cared about the Supremes post Diana, when, for whatever reason, he deemed Jean the wrong move, Jean would've been out on her ass and there would've been nothing Mary could do about it. Berry Gordy was a control freak where his female acts were concerned. I can't think of a single moment where any of them ever had a say so in their careers, particularly if it was something Gordy wanted and they didn't. Between 1961 and 1969 Berry Gordy probably consulted Mary Wilson about one Supremes related issue: what to do about Florence. And as we all know, although some fans prefer to become selective amnesiacs at this point, that Mary's answer was that Flo had to go. Now I'd like to see a show of hands of those who believe that had Mary's response been "Flo stays", that Flo's Supremes story would've ended any differently. Anybody? Somebody? Nobody? Yeah, I didn't think so. Gordy would've reminded Mary to be careful lest she find her ass out right next to Florence.

    Perhaps the only power play the Supremes had was Diana siding with them. Gordy might have been willing to give in on some things in order to keep the ship righted. Flo being unhappy made for a rocky ship. Diana being unhappy could've sunk the ship. With Diana out, who did Gordy really have to keep happy in the Supremes? Gordy had been telling Mary what to do for almost a decade of her life. Cindy had been in this thing for about two and a half years, but Gordy surely didn't have any loyalty to her. So if he really didn't want Jean, if Jean really was a breaking point for him with the group, he'd have fired her, called Mary that morning to tell her of his decision and then hung up on her ass before she could say another word.

    I think Berry always knew that, Jean or no Jean, he was out of the Supremes business when Diana was out of it. And if Mary's story is to be believed, this made for a great response to the question of "Why aren't you in our corner like you were when Diane was in the group?" Easy answer: "You refused to make the change, so now you deal with the group on your own." It makes the entire situation Mary's fault and Gordy's hands, well, they're washed clean.

    Gordy was a man of the streets. He knew how to do this shit.
    I think a lot of the downfall of the 70s Supremes was Pedro Ferrer. None of the ladies liked him being involved in the group and being women they probably despised the way he beat up Mary Wilson. A true POS who wasnt a real man. Real men dont beat up women.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    An attack of chronic homophobia? Yeah. Went there.
    Why would you join the most famous girl group in the world knowing they had a real huge Gay following if you dissapproved of homosexuality? When I heard that Jean didnt care for Gay people I was soooo done with her.

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    Why would you join the most famous girl group in the world knowing they had a real huge Gay following if you dissapproved of homosexuality? When I heard that Jean didnt care for Gay people I was soooo done with her.
    I agree with you Roberta. It was like one of those things that make you say HUH ?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    Why would you join the most famous girl group in the world knowing they had a real huge Gay following if you dissapproved of homosexuality? When I heard that Jean didnt care for Gay people I was soooo done with her.
    why would anyone care so much about another person’s political or religious views??? If I like someone, I like them and accept their diversity. I don’t do a litmus test on everyone else.
    Last edited by Circa 1824; 06-21-2020 at 08:25 AM.

  43. #43
    I think it makes perfect sense, regarding Jean and gay people. I sincerely doubt Jean even knew that the Supremes had a gay following back when she joined. People just didn't talk about gay people back then, and if anyone did mention gay people, it was like a dirty joke that you didn't tell in mixed company. Don't forget that back in 1969, you could get fired from being a teacher, police officer, FBI etc so if you were gay and smart, you hid. At that time people justified their contempt for gays on religious grounds and Jean was very religious.I would imagine Jean was completely blind sided.The first pop/R&B group I ever even heard mention having a gay following was Patti Labelle and the Bluebelles. They were very accepting after years of playing to a large gay following. Later in the 70's Diana Ross came out and said something to the effect of "Yes I have a large gay following and it is my pleasure." I remember choking up when I read that because in those days, that was the first time I heard anybody saying anything positive about gay people.

    Now today, most of the fan sites and fan groups of older female entertainers are run by gay men. Many of the people buying tickets to their shows are gay guys. Gay people are very loyal on the whole. We stick by these stars when the general populace have lost interest. I doubt Jean knew any of this when she joined the Supremes but I'll bet she gets it now.

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Circa 1824 View Post
    why would anyone care so much about another personís political or religious views??? If I like someone, I like them and accept their diversity. I donít do a litmus test on everyone else.
    You dont do a litmus test. Thats real rich coming from you.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    I think it makes perfect sense, regarding Jean and gay people. I sincerely doubt Jean even knew that the Supremes had a gay following back when she joined. People just didn't talk about gay people back then, and if anyone did mention gay people, it was like a dirty joke that you didn't tell in mixed company. Don't forget that back in 1969, you could get fired from being a teacher, police officer, FBI etc so if you were gay and smart, you hid. At that time people justified their contempt for gays on religious grounds and Jean was very religious.I would imagine Jean was completely blind sided.The first pop/R&B group I ever even heard mention having a gay following was Patti Labelle and the Bluebelles. They were very accepting after years of playing to a large gay following. Later in the 70's Diana Ross came out and said something to the effect of "Yes I have a large gay following and it is my pleasure." I remember choking up when I read that because in those days, that was the first time I heard anybody saying anything positive about gay people.

    Now today, most of the fan sites and fan groups of older female entertainers are run by gay men. Many of the people buying tickets to their shows are gay guys. Gay people are very loyal on the whole. We stick by these stars when the general populace have lost interest. I doubt Jean knew any of this when she joined the Supremes but I'll bet she gets it now.
    That is a good observation. Things were very different back then. It seems odd from todayís perspective but thatís how they were. We can wish and hope things could have been different but they werenít. Itís not to say that such behavior was ok, but in historical context it was the circumstances in which people found themselves. Were she still to hold those views today, that would be another story.

  46. #46
    People ? Jean Terrell had it with Show Business,she wanted out,no matter what,it's fans that wanna believe she was not happy with the way Motown was treating the group,that's why she left, Jean would have left The Supremes if they would have had 5 number 1 singles in a row,she just didn't like Show Business,so she was unhappy,i don't believe Jean was really sick,she'd have a attitude with Mary,just because she didn't want to be there,and with her becoming a Jehovah Witness made it worst, so she left,i don't know how she got her deal at A&M, Jean recorded I Had To Fall In Love,from what i'm told, she never finish the album,and she wouldn't go out and promote the album,so A&M let her go,no one in Show Business is gonna put up with Jean Terrell.I disagree,i think that Jean had the looks the voice,and a great stage presence,what she didn't have was the love for Show Business,if she did,she would have never stop singing.
    Last edited by REDHOT; 06-22-2020 at 06:25 AM.

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    I think a lot of the downfall of the 70s Supremes was Pedro Ferrer. None of the ladies liked him being involved in the group and being women they probably despised the way he beat up Mary Wilson. A true POS who wasnt a real man. Real men dont beat up women.
    Pedro didn't do the group any favors, but let's be real, that ship was sinking way before he became involved.

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by REDHOT View Post
    People ? Jean Terrell had it with Show Business,she wanted out,no matter what,it's fans that wanna believe she was not happy with the way Motown was treating the group,that's why she left, Jean would have left The Supremes if they would have had 5 number 1 singles in a row,she just didn't like Show Business,so she was unhappy,i don't believe Jean was really sick,she'd have a attitude with Mary,just because she didn't want to be there,and with her becoming a Jehovah Witness made it worst, so she left,i don't know how she got her deal at A&M, Jean recorded I Had To Fall In Love,from what i'm told, she never finish the album,and she wouldn't go out and promote the album,so A&M let her go,no one in Show Business is gonna put up with Jean Terrell.I disagree,i think that Jean had the looks the voice,and a great stage presence,what she didn't have was the love for Show Business,if she did,she would have never stop singing.
    Except most of what you say here is factually incorrect. After Jean left the Supremes she did some recording, the details of which escape me, but she recorded "Do You Believe In Love At First Sight" among some other songs. After that she signed with A&M and not only recorded "I Had To Fall In Love", but completed the album of the same name, which was released. And then after that, in the early to mid 80s, she did at least two shows that I suspect can really only be described as showcases, used to elicit interests by record labels. And yet still, when the FLOS were formed, Jean was a founding member. She never "stopped" singing. For somebody whom you claim wanted no part in showbusiness, she sure as hell kept knocking on the door.

    In any career there are ups and downs. Sometimes a person goes to work in his/her chosen field, joins a particular company and finds that it's a nightmare working there. I think most of us have had similar experiences. You leave one place and find a home somewhere else. I'm not sure what Jean's real story is in regards to the business. I keep seeing all of these posts about how she felt but rarely does anyone source them. Has Jean gone on the record about her feelings, or is it all conjecture?

    I do think it's possible that even with five number ones Jean may have been unhappy if (a) the money wasn't right, (b) creatively and artistically she wasn't being heard, (c) Mary was power trippin'. She wouldn't be the first artist to be annoyed with her record label and the business decisions thereof. Gladys Knight basically gave Motown the finger, and then she left to what is arguably even greater success.

    Sometimes it seems like whenever an artist was fed up with Motown some fans jump to the conclusion that said artist was done with the business. Face it, some folks got sick of Motown's bullshit and simply wanted out. If they received better treatment elsewhere, that's where they would rather be. But Jean does strike me as someone who may have been hard to please, so she may have had trouble just about anywhere, especially if someone in control lacked the ability to handle her with care. Today artists go the independent route for these very reasons. Had that been a big thing back then, Jean may have had greater solo success.

  49. #49
    the entire point of getting a Jean Terrell was NOT to get another Diana Ross...the group didn't need that, and Berry did not need a competitor in his own stable.
    the group did not need or want a star within the group setting again...increasing the vocal contributions and visibility of Mary and Cindy was a very noticeable and welcome change.
    The scenario of the group having a more successful beginning than Ross chart wise, and the possibility of that continuing must have kept Berry up nights...lets remember in the 70's Diana's singles generally petered out short of the top 10...4 times at #1...but not a top ten hit if it didn't go all the way

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    the entire point of getting a Jean Terrell was NOT to get another Diana Ross...the group didn't need that, and Berry did not need a competitor in his own stable.
    the group did not need or want a star within the group setting again...increasing the vocal contributions and visibility of Mary and Cindy was a very noticeable and welcome change.
    The scenario of the group having a more successful beginning than Ross chart wise, and the possibility of that continuing must have kept Berry up nights...lets remember in the 70's Diana's singles generally petered out short of the top 10...4 times at #1...but not a top ten hit if it didn't go all the way
    Excellent points gman.

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