[REMOVE ADS]




Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1

    Freda Payne-Band of Gold Book

    I have just been rereading Freda Payne's autobiography Band of Gold. Inside it, she does mention many things regarding the Supremes, Motown, HDH and Berry Gordy.
    Freda states that Berry was going to make her his first female star but that her Mother wouldn't let her just sign a contract without taking it and looking it over. It seemed Berry objected to that. So, they rejected the contract. Later, when she signed with HDH on Invictus she didn't look it over as carefully and surprised the Hollands by accepting the contract and it wasn't in her best interest and they were expecting her to negotiate.
    Plus, she mentions Berry's overtures to her. That what he saw in her was the same that he saw in Diana Ross, except she didn't have the nasal crossover friendly voice. She also stated that she did not have the kind of drive to do whatever to succeed that Diana did and eluded to the fact that that was a problem in the Supremes. She also stated she did something similar in her act to TCB Afro-Vogue dance and when she saw that just said to herself I wonder where they picked that up at? She knew because their paths crossed in Great Britain when she performed that and Berry came to see her.
    Freda also mentions meeting the Supremes but not really becoming friends until later. She mentions how Scherrie became a Supreme and she was happy for her. That she was friendly with Mary because they both loved to go out on the town and have fun. She also mentions that Berry lost all interest in the Supremes once Pedro became manager. She said he was a bully and that rubbed Motown the wrong way. She stated he bullied his way with what he thought would be best for Mary, Scherrie, Cindy and Susaye. I am not sure if they were her opinions or if that was something shared to her by Mary or Scherrie. Mary always downplayed his management and sort of wrote in his defense. Of course, this was written with Mark Bego, so not sure if some are his opinions as well.
    Freda also said Mary did not pass away from a heart attack or stroke, but that her heart just stopped beating. Not sure where that information came from or if it was true. Plus that she recorded an album that Mary was going to do but that she pulled out of the last minute due to contract negotiations with her management and she decided not to do it. This Jay Schwartz seemed to hold her back with his management.
    There were also references to Berry Gordy and his wanting her as a conquest. Freda was friendly with David Gest and there is mention of Michael Jackson in Gest's marriage to Liza Minnelli. Her info on Liza was a bit shocking, too.
    Last edited by jim aka jtigre99; 05-29-2024 at 12:39 AM.

  2. #2
    i've not investigated much into Freda's life and story but this does seem to pretty well match up with what i've heard. Randy writes in [[i think) CHMR that Freda was potentially considered for that first female pop star. I think the above sums it up perfectly - Randy mentioned how vocally and visually, Freda would have been ideal. also mentions the contract issue. He didn't mention how Freda differed from Diana in terms of drive and ambition. but an interesting point

    Freda and Mary were quite good friends. i believe between her friendship with Mary and being sisters with Scherrie, Freda heard a LOT about the issues with the later groupings. about the problems Pedro caused.

    my theory is that the Scherrie years could have been different. true, mary had to practically force Berry to keep the group going after J and L left. at that point motown probably figured they were done with the group. but Mary kept touring, the reviews for the new group were very strong and fans were still rabidly interested in the group. i also think mary really pleaded with berry since she really didn't have any other options and she saw very clearly what had happened to flo. so he relented.

    Bayou and others have mentioned that when HMM became a disco hit and the group's first album clicked with the gay fans and disco audience, motown realized "hmmmm - disco is starting to happen and so maybe we could have an instant disco group with the Supremes"

    of course motown would never have supported this era of Supremes like they supported the 60s group. but had pedro NOT been around, there would have been so much less turmoil in the group. mary would probably not be looking to launch herself as a solo artist and the group might have had some degree of stability with MSC. the disco tunes could have had some degree of support from motown and the group probably could have continued.

  3. #3
    I can say a lot about the book but I will refrain. There were a few inaccuracies in it. And she left out some important details, expecially about her relationship and divorce from Greg Abbott.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    I can say a lot about the book but I will refrain. There were a few inaccuracies in it. And she left out some important details, expecially about her relationship and divorce from Greg Abbott.
    please share - not to be meanspirited or harsh to Freda. but just in the sense of accuracy. at least in terms of the stories with the supremes, since this is a Sup board

  5. #5
    Oohhh goody! A new book to devour! I don't know how this one passed me by! I read all the show-biz memoirs, even if I'm not a fan.

  6. #6
    If I'm not mistaken, but I think Berry tried again to sign Freda in 1965 but when she said we would bring her own lawyer to review the contract, he called it off.

    As posted above, I firmly believe if Pedro wasn't in the picture, the Supremes would have kept on going into the 80s as Mary, Scherrie, and Cindy.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, but I think Berry tried again to sign Freda in 1965 but when she said we would bring her own lawyer to review the contract, he called it off.

    As posted above, I firmly believe if Pedro wasn't in the picture, the Supremes would have kept on going into the 80s as Mary, Scherrie, and Cindy.
    exactly - in another thread [[or maybe on FB) we fans were discussing a pic of Scherrie, mary and Bern Nadette Stanis. I remember on Good Times she had a pic of MJL on her wall in her room. it would have been perfect for the girls to have appeared on the show. maybe they appear as themselves doing a concert or something in Chicago and running into Thelma. or they could be cast as other supporting players. while i know the 3 weren't necessarily gifted actresses, I don't think anyone would be anticipating them doing huge dramatic monologues lol. Or the girls on Love Boat or other things. Sesame Street had the Pointer Sisters sing the pinball number song.

  8. #8
    Sup:

    Bayou and others have mentioned that when HMM became a disco hit and the group's first album clicked with the gay fans and disco audience, motown realized "hmmmm - disco is starting to happen and so maybe we could have an instant disco group with the Supremes"
    I've learned so much attending these forums about Motown. I've always been critical of their lack of perception of how tailor made they were to take the disco scene by storm. They did well in it anyway but its almost like they had to be taken dragging and screaming. I could make a list of where they should've turned left when instead they turned right. They had disco successes in spite of themselves.
    But unlike Casablanca they weren't a label in search of an identity. They were already MOTOWN and had nothing to prove.

    The Supremes were just as welcomed there in discoland as was Diana Ross herself. IF they wanted to really pursue that grittier route, it was theirs to have.
    I doubt Motown wanted to invest too much into a shakey group that repeatedly fractured.... but disco music didn't really require that, get the music in the hands of the DJs and if it was good, they'd take it from there.
    [One of the problems with disco was getting the crowd to know who it was the were dancing to... "I wonder which set of girls that one was by ?"]

    Motown could've had a goldmine with Bonnie Pointer, she was a smash right out of the box and already had a name and experience. They seemed to have done very little with her. [?]
    The same with Rick James ...he seems to have been self-made in spite of Motown.

    I hadn't paid attention to how by the mid 70's, Motown was but a shell of their former selves.
    Mostly the thrill of it all for Berry Gordy was over, and he was the little engine that could. Once Diana truly moved on personally, and some main acts moved on with the ones staying being more of a pain in the ass, and with his dad aging ... he really had his hands full, but again, the thrill was gone...


    ... it all makes more sense to me now.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    I've learned so much attending these forums about Motown. I've always been critical of their lack of perception of how tailor made they were to take the disco scene by storm. They did well in it anyway but its almost like they had to be taken dragging and screaming. I could make a list of where they should've turned left when instead they turned right. They had disco successes in spite of themselves.
    But unlike Casablanca they weren't a label in search of an identity. They were already MOTOWN and had nothing to prove.

    The Supremes were just as welcomed there in discoland as was Diana Ross herself. IF they wanted to really pursue that grittier route, it was theirs to have.
    I doubt Motown wanted to invest too much into a shakey group that repeatedly fractured.... but disco music didn't really require that, get the music in the hands of the DJs and if it was good, they'd take it from there.
    [One of the problems with disco was getting the crowd to know who it was the were dancing to... "I wonder which set of girls that one was by ?"]

    Motown could've had a goldmine with Bonnie Pointer, she was a smash right out of the box and already had a name and experience. They seemed to have done very little with her. [?]
    The same with Rick James ...he seems to have been self-made in spite of Motown.

    I hadn't paid attention to how by the mid 70's, Motown was but a shell of their former selves.
    Mostly the thrill of it all for Berry Gordy was over, and he was the little engine that could. Once Diana truly moved on personally, and some main acts moved on with the ones staying being more of a pain in the ass, and with his dad aging ... he really had his hands full, but again, the thrill was gone...


    ... it all makes more sense to me now.
    yes it definitely seems like motown in the mid-late 70s was pretty much lost. they had some strong hits now and then. Rick James and the Commodores were new, fresh acts. Diana and Smokey and marvin occasionally had big hits. but even in Berry's bio, he mentions how things were near disaster in 80 or so.

    back in the 60s, they understood the idea of setting up different labels to accommodate different styles and acts. for instance the Soul label. i don't know that they needed separate labels still in the 70s but they clearly could/should have mapped out unique strategies to target the different musical genres popular at the time. and then push hard in those areas. funk, disco, r&b, pop...

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    yes it definitely seems like motown in the mid-late 70s was pretty much lost. they had some strong hits now and then. Rick James and the Commodores were new, fresh acts. Diana and Smokey and marvin occasionally had big hits. but even in Berry's bio, he mentions how things were near disaster in 80 or so.

    back in the 60s, they understood the idea of setting up different labels to accommodate different styles and acts. for instance the Soul label. i don't know that they needed separate labels still in the 70s but they clearly could/should have mapped out unique strategies to target the different musical genres popular at the time. and then push hard in those areas. funk, disco, r&b, pop...
    Interesting. Yes Motown could've come up with a disco label, that was certainly nothing foreign to them , creating labels for certain sounds. But then who do you put on it? Who do you want to pigeon-hole as "disco". Certainly not Stevie, Marvin or Diana , yet they were their hottest disco acts. If you didn't put Diana on it, and she continues to dabble some with disco ...how does the buyer know without her being on Motown's disco label??


    Most acts did some disco ....mixed in with other sounds...

    Boy disco sure was a complicated mess ...lol!
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 05-29-2024 at 11:39 AM.

  11. #11
    Mary Scherrie and Cindy were IMHO the perfect trio...2 co leads and a occaisional solo from Cindy would have been fine....I can understand BG being a bit concerned with investing in a trio that lost 2 members simultaneously....but one re-entering member was a well known and accepted Supreme, and one that did not cause any problems....and he couldn't possibly ignored Scherries fire, beauty and talent..or the immediate better notices the group was getting for live performances...
    I think more of it had to do with a attitude clash... not liking Mary's confidence and leadership...he must have felt the control he had slipping...the long wait for a new LP definitely kept the group in the dark to most people...If it wasn't for Right On magazine, I wouldn't have known they were actively performing.
    I've said it a million times...the group should have either killed off the big orchestra high speed brassy arrangements live, and especially on TV....[[double that for the last line up with Susaye...) They recorded 3 really great modern sounding LPS...and I doubt anyone who saw the live TV performances rushed out to buy them....If I didn't pick them up automatically when they first came out, and was the type of fan waiting for a tV performance to see if I liked the material I would have def. passed.
    I've read Ms. Payne worked for the Gordy's in one of their stores...she knew Berry when he was very young...perhaps Freda's love for jazz made her hold out a bit longer til she could get with a label that released jazz, Impulse...I am not a jazz oriented fan, I like Pop and RNB...Freda def had the goods...my fav is Deeper and Deeper...there are some good cuts on all her Invictus LPs...

  12. #12
    gman:
    I think more of it had to do with a attitude clash... not liking Mary's confidence and leadership...he must have felt the control he had slipping...
    do you think Berry much cared at that point. He might've been glad Mary was willing to take on the leadership ...it was either that or close shop on them.

    So then what should they be ? A legacy act featuring spectacular hits, but with the primary singers absent [The Four Seasons without Frankie Vali ]?
    Or reinvent themselves entirely, fresh faces with fresh music. Disco was certainly a handy avenue.
    What fans do they lose by going that route ...the die hard ones who had been with them for many many years and preferring those sounds .....[or was there even such a thing .... that crowd was probably now on Diana Ross' boat].
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 05-29-2024 at 12:38 PM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    Mary Scherrie and Cindy were IMHO the perfect trio...2 co leads and a occaisional solo from Cindy would have been fine....I can understand BG being a bit concerned with investing in a trio that lost 2 members simultaneously....but one re-entering member was a well known and accepted Supreme, and one that did not cause any problems....and he couldn't possibly ignored Scherries fire, beauty and talent..or the immediate better notices the group was getting for live performances...
    I think more of it had to do with a attitude clash... not liking Mary's confidence and leadership...he must have felt the control he had slipping...the long wait for a new LP definitely kept the group in the dark to most people...If it wasn't for Right On magazine, I wouldn't have known they were actively performing.
    I've said it a million times...the group should have either killed off the big orchestra high speed brassy arrangements live, and especially on TV....[[double that for the last line up with Susaye...) They recorded 3 really great modern sounding LPS...and I doubt anyone who saw the live TV performances rushed out to buy them....If I didn't pick them up automatically when they first came out, and was the type of fan waiting for a tV performance to see if I liked the material I would have def. passed.
    I've read Ms. Payne worked for the Gordy's in one of their stores...she knew Berry when he was very young...perhaps Freda's love for jazz made her hold out a bit longer til she could get with a label that released jazz, Impulse...I am not a jazz oriented fan, I like Pop and RNB...Freda def had the goods...my fav is Deeper and Deeper...there are some good cuts on all her Invictus LPs...
    my guess is that by late 73/early 74 motown figured the group was done. that public interest was gone. the group had a strong start with a top 10 on Ladder and then SL. but NJ and FJ barely got into the top 20, and everything else fell short. and the trend was going the wrong way - AS, YWSSL, IGIMTM, BW. each charter progressively worse. and the lps mostly did nothing either. Reviews for the JML lineup had not be strong either. so motown thought - ok we're done. plus the group was very expensive.

    MJL had talked about leaving the label and going elsewhere. Mary was right in knowing that motown would never relinquish the name though. and she got cold feet and abandoned that idea. so J went ahead and left. but J and L were not coordinating their departure. L was still supposedly considering staying but after meeting with mary and pedro, decided otherwise.

    interesting to wonder if only J had left, what would motown have done? would they have let the group continue with MLC?

  14. #14
    My opinion is this [[and I love all the ladies) if Berry was not in your corner on who was gonna replace Diana then work with him unless you are ready to go solo. I love Jean as much as every Supreme on this board but if Scherrie had come sooner .....WOW. Scherrie was such a powerhouse but above all that she was a group person. Mary should have fired Pedro. Anyway Motown got the name back and Mary got a contract that quickly ended.

  15. #15
    I can illustrate just how unfair the business was to female entertainers back in the day, nothing like it is now.

    Teena Marie came to Motown in the late 70s and was a protege of Rick James. By 1982 she had sold millions of records and with Diana Ross gone, had she stayed at Motown, she'd have been their 80s queen.

    Despite all the success Teena knew the bookkeeping was off. When Larkin Arnold of CBS records heard she was unhappy he called her to schedule a meeting. She invited him to her home.

    He said when he got there he was shocked with her living arrangement. A small one bedroom apartment sparsely furnished. She signed with Epic and finally began making some money.

    JoJo of the Mary Jane Girls made a similar claim. After two best selling lps and a huge hit single, she had a one bedroom apartment also with no furniture and was being wined and dined by music afficianados all over during this.

  16. #16
    let's assume there wasn't any shady accounting or anything devious going on - even then the girls were never going to be rich. Randy does a good job of detailing the royalty %s and rates from their contracts. The money coming into motown was NOT going to the singers but to Berry and then the producers and then the writers.

    And the order in which the writer's names appear on the record typically signals their role in the process. Berry was pretty smart in chatting with the writers and offering advice. if you provide just 1 word of the lyrics or 1 note of the song, you are entitled to part of it. That's why there are so many motown tunes with Berry on the credits.

    There's a story with Destiny's Child where the 4 girls were working on a tune and one of the producers or guys offered up something for a line. immediately the girls froze a look on his of "know your place" and they all four instantly shut their notebooks. they were NOT going to add another person to the song lol

  17. #17
    Kat Schaffner told me that about her song I Don't Want To Do Wrong on Gladys Knight. She said she wrote the whole thing and when she brought it to Johnny Bristol he made some suggestions of the lyrics. Next thing you know it is issued and become a sizeable hit and Kat finds out all these people are co-writers, leaving her with pennies in royalties

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    Kat Schaffner told me that about her song I Don't Want To Do Wrong on Gladys Knight. She said she wrote the whole thing and when she brought it to Johnny Bristol he made some suggestions of the lyrics. Next thing you know it is issued and become a sizeable hit and Kat finds out all these people are co-writers, leaving her with pennies in royalties


    looks like Gladys got a piece out of this one.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

[REMOVE ADS]

Ralph Terrana
MODERATOR

Welcome to Soulful Detroit! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
Soulful Detroit is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to Soulful Detroit. [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.