The Rubberband Man – Spinners | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#2) & R&B (#1); 1976

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

By 1976, Thom Bell had produced five #1 R&B smashes for the Spinners, starting with 1972’s I’ll Be Around, plus one 1974 pop chart topper in Then Came You with Dionne Warwick taking over the lead. In the two years following Then Came You, the Spinners managed only one crossover hit, and were anxious for another Top 40 hit. Enter Thom Bell again with an unlikely song he had written for his son Mark. Originally, Thom called the tune The Fat Man, however, after schoolmates began teasing Mark about his weight, father Bell changed it to The Big Man. Long-time collaborator Linda Creed supplied the melody to Thom’s ditty – now called The Rubberband Man – yet thought the lyrics were just plain dumb. Thom stood by his ode to a big guy who lit up parties with his outrageous dancing, and even came up with a corresponding routine for the Spinners involving huge elastic bands. The public sided with Thom making The Rubberband Man a flat-out smash.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Thom Bell

Lyrics Written by:

  • Thom Bell
  • Linda Creed