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  1. #1

    Jean Terrell - Before the Supremes


  2. #2
    The last time I saw this the quality wasn't this good. Nice to see a better quality vid this time. Jean looks and sounds terrific. There was a question posed in a thread at some point, of what exactly did Gordy see and hear in Miami that told him "That's the one" as a replacement for Diana. I think this performance gives some clues. She looks gorgeous, she sounds amazing and from the brief moments that the camera actually focuses on her, she has nice stage presence.

  3. #3
    Jean voice certainly "pops" here and cuts through the band. that's one thing she, Scherrie and Diana shared. their vocals have some nasality with causes the tone to pierce through a heavy band or orchestra. their vocals never get lost or washes away

    i wonder if in Miami, her beautiful vocals and tone first grabbed Berry's and Shelley's ears. Then this was HER show. something she and Ernie put together without all of the window dressings and excess of a Motown staff. So maybe that gave her the extra oomph. the confidence to work it and own it. and having that just shine. Rather than some heavy, over the top Vegas-y extravaganza that was foisted on her

  4. #4
    I was impressed by her as well. Jean had it when Berry found her. To me, she possessed something in her voice that no Supreme other than Diana had.

  5. #5
    she's wonderful! thanks for sharing!

    I bet Berry was 100% enthusiastic about these new Supremes with Jean at the helm. When that faltered, and Jean [[and Cindy) pulled out, he must have thought ....OK well here's another group that's run its course...
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 03-18-2021 at 04:35 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    I was impressed by her as well. Jean had it when Berry found her. To me, she possessed something in her voice that no Supreme other than Diana had.
    Totally agree. She lacked Diana's charisma and stage presence, but that voice was something else. It's such a pity she wasn't comfortable in the spotlight. She could and should have been a superstar in her own right. The only person that prevented that from happening was Jean herself.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Totally agree. She lacked Diana's charisma and stage presence, but that voice was something else. It's such a pity she wasn't comfortable in the spotlight. She could and should have been a superstar in her own right. The only person that prevented that from happening was Jean herself.
    agreed. IMO it was just her personality and what makes Jean, Jean. and this isn't meant as a put down. People described Diana as one of those little kids that just LOVED to show off and perform and sing and all in front of people. even if it was just 3 relatives sitting on the coach in the living room. she'd do a dance or sing something. Other kids and people are more reserved, getting embarrassed or shy when put in the spotlight like that

    when Jean started, Ernie was the known entity within the group. the leader, even though Jean sang lead on the majority of the tunes. I've never seen their entire stage show so i don't know who really "lead" throughout with all of the talking and dialog and interacting with the audience.

    I have a hunch that Jean is probably more like the rest of us. a more modest personality, a bit shy in the face of major adulation. The issue was she was replacing a woman who was SO the opposite of that. that contrast was probably the biggest problem the new Sups faced

  8. #8
    It takes all kinds to make stars. Patti Labelle was extremely shy as a kid. You couldn't tell it by how she takes the stage. I think we sometimes think there's a blueprint for stardom, but there really isn't one. Luck, luck, and more luck, with a little hard work sprinkled in seems to be the recipe. I think Jean just wanted to be herself. In her brother's group she was getting her feet wet and was probably willing to do whatever. In the Supremes she may have felt like, taking over Diana's spot, she'd be allowed some control, only to find out that nobody had more control than Motown, and she'd only be second in command after Mary. Had to be frustrating to want to go in a certain artistic direction and be stifled by the label and/or a group member. Not to mention the constant comparisons to her predecessor. Add to that the financial situation, and the entire thing becomes frustrating. Jean walked. I don't know what happened at A&M. I know what the popular story is, especially as it relates to her religion, but she gave the industry a few more tries after A&M and as far as I know she's still a JW, so something isn't adding up. I suspect Jean needed to feel like she had support, real support, and she never got it. Like I said, luck, luck, and more luck. Without it, nothing else much matters.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    It takes all kinds to make stars. Patti Labelle was extremely shy as a kid. You couldn't tell it by how she takes the stage. I think we sometimes think there's a blueprint for stardom, but there really isn't one. Luck, luck, and more luck, with a little hard work sprinkled in seems to be the recipe. I think Jean just wanted to be herself. In her brother's group she was getting her feet wet and was probably willing to do whatever. In the Supremes she may have felt like, taking over Diana's spot, she'd be allowed some control, only to find out that nobody had more control than Motown, and she'd only be second in command after Mary. Had to be frustrating to want to go in a certain artistic direction and be stifled by the label and/or a group member. Not to mention the constant comparisons to her predecessor. Add to that the financial situation, and the entire thing becomes frustrating. Jean walked. I don't know what happened at A&M. I know what the popular story is, especially as it relates to her religion, but she gave the industry a few more tries after A&M and as far as I know she's still a JW, so something isn't adding up. I suspect Jean needed to feel like she had support, real support, and she never got it. Like I said, luck, luck, and more luck. Without it, nothing else much matters.
    good point. a "star" isn't always a Diana Ross type. and being a DR doesn't necessarily guarantee stardom.

    i might revise my points a bit by saying that Jean and Diana were too different. a different group concept might have been more appropriate for Jean and might have allowed her to leave more of a mark of her own personality and character. but Diana had made such a lasting impression of what a Supreme was, she had such a larger than life personality. Jean was just the total opposite of this and i think that was part of the problem. on tv shows, in interviews, etc she didn't have enough spark, at least compared to the image set in the public's mind from her predecessor.

    You can't simply abruptly change a group's whole image and brand without running the risk of alienating your current base of fans. it has to be an evolution.

  10. #10
    I have often wondered if Berry's strategy was to get Ernie Terrell within his management as well. Gordy being an ex-boxer himself had to see potential with Jean and Ernie, because that is just the type of business man he is. Jean was definitely talented and a great singer and he would have been crazy to just walk away. However talented she was it quickly faded with him on that last night of Farewell with Diana Ross and the Supremes.

  11. #11
    Jean sounds terrific here, her voice a little more rounded. You can well understand why Berry was instantly taken with her.
    To some degree it’s a shame she was not signed as a solo act, without the confines of the Supremes image for her to maintain.

  12. #12
    Jean Terrell has a stellar voice. Berry Gordy made a great choice. A solo career seemed to be waiting in the wings for her. I guess an extended singing career was not her goal.

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