The Spinners Biography
The Spinners are an American rhythm and blues vocal group that was founded in 1954 in Ferndale, Michigan. During the 1960s and 1970s, they had a streak of successful singles and albums, thanks to producer Thom Bell. With Henry Fambrough as the only original member, the band continues to tour. “The Rubberband Man” and “It’s A Shame” are two of their most well-known songs.
Due to their 1960s recordings with the Motown label, the group is also known as the Detroit Spinners and the Motown Spinners. These alternate names were adopted in the UK to avoid confusion with The Spinners, a British folk band. They were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on June 30, 1976. They were nominated to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.
In Ferndale, Michigan, a northern suburb of Detroit, Billy Henderson, Henry Fambrough, Pervis Jackson, C. P. Spencer, and James Edwards founded The Domingoes in 1954. The pals met in the Herman Gardens public housing project in Detroit and decided to make music together.
Bobby Smith, who sang lead on most of the Spinners’ early records and their biggest Atlantic Records singles, replaced James Edwards after a few weeks with the group. Spencer departed the band soon after Edwards and went on to join the Voice Masters and the Originals. In 1961, Spencer was replaced by George Dixon, and the group was renamed the Spinners.
“That’s What Girls Are Made For,” the Spinners’ first single, was recorded for Harvey Fuqua’s Tri-Phi Records. According to one report, Fuqua sang lead vocals on the album. In August 1961, the track reached number 27 on the Billboard Top 100 chart. Smith sang lead vocals on the group’s follow-up hit, “Love (I’m So Glad) I Found You.” This song was the last Tri-Phi Records single to hit the Top 100 charts, peaking at number 91 in November.
The Spinners made their Apollo Theater debut in 1964 and earned a warm reception. In 1965, “I’ll Always Love You” reached number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. The trio recorded one single per year from 1966 to 1969, however only the 1966 single “Truly Yours” reached number 16 on the Billboard 100 R&B chart.
Mighty Love, the band’s follow-up album, was released in 1974 and had three Top 20 hits: “I’m Coming Home,” “Love Don’t Love Nobody,” and the title tune. “Then Came You,” a collaboration with Dionne Warwick (headed by Smith, Warwick, and Wynne), was their biggest hit of the year, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and became each act’s first chart-topping “Pop” smash. The song also charted in the R&B and Easy Listening Top 3 on Billboard.
With Smith and Jackson’s “They Just Can’t Stop It (The Games People Play)” (Billboard number 5) and Wynne’s “The Rubberband Man,” the Spinners made the Top 10 again in the next two years (Billboard number 2). The song “Games People Play” featured guest vocalist Evette L. Benton (though producer Bell disputed this in a UK-based interview, claiming Evette’s line was actually group member Henry Fambrough – his voice sped up),and earned Jackson the moniker “Mister 12:45” after his signature vocal line on the song.
Despite later disagreements, the group continued to release singles and achieve success throughout the 1980s. The Spinners continued to tour for decades after their chart career ended. They are popular on the nostalgia and oldies concert circuits, performing the songs that made them famous.
The Spinners released their first album with the current line-up, ‘Round The Block And Back Again,’ on August 27, 2021, after a long hiatus. “Cliché,” “In Holy Matrimony,” and “Vivid Memories” were the album’s three singles.
|Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow|
|Happiness Is Being with the Spinners|
|Pick of the Litter|
|New And Improved|
|2nd Time Around|
|The Original Spinners|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Was The Spinners Biggest Hit?
The Spinners biggest hit was “Rubberband Man” from the album of the same name. Released in 1976, it was a huge hit for the group, reaching number one on both the R&B and pop charts. The song is about a young man who works long hours at his job to support his family, but when he gets home, he is too exhausted to enjoy himself. Instead, he spends his evenings by himself, playing with his toys and spinning rubber bands around a lock of hair. Although the lyrics don’t explicitly say so, the song could be interpreted as a commentary on both African-American masculinity and other social issues like poverty and addiction. In any case, it remains one of the most memorable and popular songs from The Spinners’ extensive catalog.
Who Was The Leader Of The Spinners?
The Spinners were a Motown soul group who were active between the early 1960s and the mid-1970s. The group’s leader was singer songwriter Bobby Rogers. The other members of the group were Henry Fambrough, Pervis Jackson, Charles Hicks, and John Edwards. The Spinners are best known for their hits “It’s a Shame,” “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love,” “I’ll Be Around,” and “Then Came You.” The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
Who Were The Lead Singers Of The Spinners?
There were several lead singers of The Spinners over the years, but the most well-known are probably Dionne Warwick and Phyllis Hyman. Both women had incredible vocal ranges and could really belt out a tune, which helped make The Spinners’ sound so distinctive. Other notable lead singers of The Spinners include Gladys Knight, G.C. Cameron, and Diane Steinberg. While The Spinners had many great singers over the years, their music was always best when it was performed by a trio. This gave their sound a more soulful and intimate feel, which helped them stand out from other Motown groups of the time. Some of the best songs The Spinners ever recorded were performed by a trio, including “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” “Mighty Love,” and “I’ll Be Around.
How Many Original Members Of The Spinners?
There are four original members of The Spinners: Bobbie Smith, Pervis Jackson, Henry Fambrough, and Billy Henderson. The group has undergone several lineup changes over the years, with Smith, Jackson, and Fambrough being the only constant members. The current lineup includes Smith, Jackson, Fambrough, and two new members, Marvin Taylor and Ronnie Moss. The Spinners are best known for their hits “I’ll Be Around”, “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love”, and “Working My Way Back to You”. The group has been inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the Grammy Hall of Fame, and they have received numerous other awards and honors. The Spinners continue to tour and record new music, and they are still considered one of the greatest vocal groups of all time.