The Spinners remain one of the most beloved R&B vocal groups in the world, celebrated by fans and fellow artists alike. Initially a Motown band with Detroit origins, the Spinners’ lush, soulful harmonies and magnetic stage presence would come to define Philadelphia soul. They achieved massive crossover success, with their songs filling the airwaves and connecting with listeners around the world.
Before settling into the classic five-man lineup of Henry Fambrough, Billy Henderson, Pervis Jackson, Bobbie Smith, and Philippé Wynne, the Spinners spent nearly two decades in their native Detroit. Starting out on Harvey Fuqua’s Tri-Phi label, the Spinners released their debut single “That’s What Girls Are Made For” in 1961. By 1964 the group had moved on to Motown’s V.I.P. imprint, where “I’ll Always Love You” became their first charting R&B single on the label, peaking at Number Eight. The group also had a Top Five R&B single with 1970’s “It’s a Shame,” cowritten and produced by Stevie Wonder.
Two years later, at the behest of Aretha Franklin, the Spinners moved to Atlantic, where they teamed up with Philadelphia producer-songwriter Thom Bell, a perfect choice given his prior work with the Delfonics and the Stylistics. The group became a hitmaking machine with four Number One R&B hits in less than 18 months: “I’ll Be Around,” “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” “One of a Kind (Love Affair),” and “Mighty Love - Pt. 1.” The Spinners released 12 consecutive Top Ten R&B singles over their first five years at Atlantic. The disco era brought massive crossover hits with “They Just Can’t Stop It (The Games People Play),” “The Rubberband Man,” and with Dionne Warwick “Then Came You,” Number One on the Billboard Hot 100.
In the following decades, the Spinners released eight more albums, including 2021’s ‘Round the Block and Back Again, gaining countless new fans on every continent drawn to the eternal joys of classic R&B. Icons such as Elton John, David Bowie, and Elvis Costello have sung their praises.
“That’s What Girls Are Made For” (1961) • “I’ll Always Love You” (1965) • “It’s a Shame,” 2nd Time Around (1970) • “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” (1972) • “One of a Kind (Love Affair),” Spinners (1973) • New and Improved (1974) • Pick of the Litter (1975) • “The Rubberband Man” (1976) • “Working My Way Back to You” / ”Forgive Me, Girl” (1979) • ‘Round the Block and Back Again (2021)
Inductees: Henry Fambrough, Billy Henderson, Pervis Jackson, Bobby Smith, Philippé Wynne, John Edwards
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