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  Jean Terrell
 

 

 

Click below for a Jean Terrell sample:

Rising Cost Of Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jean Terrell introduction into the music business certainly created a splash, as she was the replacement for Diana Ross in the Supremes.  Berry Gordy originally intended to use Terrell as a solo artist, but when circumstances forced by Ross' departure necessitated a quick response, Gordy switched up his plan and took Terrell from the obscurity of her group the Heavyweights to fronting the most popular girl group of all time. (By the way, she is not related to Tammi Terrell.) 

With Terrell's glorious voice leading the way, the Supremes kept the hits coming with "Nathan Jones," "Up The Ladder To The Roof," and "Stoned Love."  As an indication of Terrell's vocal prowess, it is rumored that the original version of "Up The Ladder To The Roof" was shelved because Gordy claimed it was too soulful for the Supremes fan base! 

Terrell was with the Supremes until 1973, when business disputes caused her to leave.  She had seemingly abandoned the music business until 1978, when she signed with A&M and released I Had To Fall In Love.  With Terrell's name recognition and contributions from skilled writers/producers Grey and Hanks and Bobby Martin, the album should have been at least moderately successful. But Terrell again got in a dispute with the label, this time over the promotion of the project.  Although the details remain sketchy, apparently the label executives wanted Terrell to behave in a matter contrary to her Jehovah's Witness beliefs, and the album subsequently sank without a trace. 

With another frustrating experience with the industry behind her, Terrell maintained a low profile until the mid 80s, when she formed the Former Ladies Of the Supremes (FLOS) with Lynda Laurence and Scherrie Payne. She released the autobiographical DVD Through The Eyes Of A Supreme in 2006.  

Jean Terrell's Deepest Grooves

I Had To Fall In Love (A&M, 1978)
Another album rescued from obscurity by rare groove fanatics, this album is worthy of its high praise for the stepper "Rising Cost Of Love"  Includes the original version of "No Limit," later done with great fanfare by Breakwater.

This Is the Story (Hip-O, 2006)
A massive 3-CD collection, this box set includes every song Terrell recorded with the Supremes, plus unreleased material. It certainly can't be said that her contributions are neglected now.

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