(February 17, 2013) Bobbie Smith, co-founder and long time co-lead singer of the legendary Spinners, has died at age 76 of complications from pneumonia. They would go on to release a pair of albums, in addition to performing the title track to the 1987 hit film Spaceballs, during the latter half of the 1980s, though none of these efforts were commercially successful. Ironically, the band's roots lay in Detroit, where they formed as a doo wop group during the late '50s. [1] On June 30, 1976, they received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. [7] The group's follow-up single, "Love (I'm So Glad) I Found You", also featured lead vocals by Smith. Cameron had joined the band as lead singer at the time of this song's initial release. [15] In 1979, Motown released a compilation album on both sides of the Atlantic. In the midst of their Atlantic hits, it crawled to number 91 in the US. [11] It was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA on October 30, 1972.[12]. In a statement released by the manger of the Spinners, it noted Smith, 76, had been diagnosed with lung cancer in November and passed away due to flu and pneumonia complications. Video can also be viewed at www.Remelhodgerhythmforlife.com. Lead singer Bobby Smith died on March 16, 2013. Cameron-led) "It's a Shame" (co-written by Syreeta Wright) and again charted the following year with another Wonder song the composer also produced, "We'll Have It Made" (led by Cameron), from their new album, 2nd Time Around. Jefferson. However, success once again waned in the years that followed. Smith had been ill for some time after having been diagnosed with cancer last Fall. While recording an album that Stevie Wonder was producing for them, their Motown contract expired, leaving the LP unfinished. Soul Tracks added: The group continued recording into the 90s with less success, largely due to uneven … "[8] Fambrough has led on several Spinners songs on which he sang or shared lead vocals, including: "I Don't Want to Lose You", "Ghetto Child", "Living a Little, Laughing a Little", "Ain't No Price on Happiness", "Smile We Have Each Other", "Just as Long as We Have Love", (a second Spinners duet with Dionne Warwick) and "Now That We're Together". The track was then remixed by Ashley Beedle from Xpress-2 in 2003 after becoming a fixture in the Balearic nightclubs and being used by Sky Sports for an advertisement. One had all of the Spinners, the other with only lead singer … In 1983, the group guest starred as themselves on the TV sitcom Laverne and Shirley. [5] Smith sang lead vocal on this track, coached by Fuqua. One had all of the Spinners, the other with only lead singer Philippé Wynne on backing vocals. [21] The group, which still tours actively, consists of Henry Fambrough (the only surviving original member), C.J Jefferson, Jessie Peck, Marvin Taylor and Ronnie Moss. Leave your … However, most sources do not list him as an official member. The Spinners were put into the limelight again in 2003 when an Elton John track was re-issued featuring them on backing vocals. The St. Louis native has already started with DETROIT — Bobby Smith, longtime lead singer of The Spinners, died Saturday in Orlando of complications from pneumonia and the flu, his family said. The singer’s band members always knew deep down that his stint as a Spinner would just be a stepping stone towards bigger self-serving career moves. When the Spinners signed to Atlantic in 1972, they were a respected but commercially unremarkable singing group who had never had a Top Ten pop hit — despite having been a recording act for over a decade. The 1973 follow-up singles "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" (led principally by Smith, with Wynne leading on the tune's fade out), which was another million-seller,[12] "One of a Kind (Love Affair)" (led by Wynne), and "Ghetto Child" (led by Fambrough and Wynne) cemented the group's reputation, as well as further that of Bell, a noted Philly soul producer. "Games People Play" featured guest vocalist Evette L. Benton[13] (though producer Bell disputed this in a UK-based interview, claiming Evette's line was actually group member Henry Fambrough – his voice sped up),[14] and led to the nickname "Mister 12:45" for bass singer Jackson, after his signature vocal line on the song. CJ’s first break in the biz came when he toured with the legendary lead singer of the Temptations, Dennis Edwards, in the Temptations Review. However, these were their last two singles for V.I.P. The Spinners are an American rhythm and blues vocal group that formed in Ferndale, Michigan, in 1954. ), Smith’s lead voice had always been The Spinners’ mainstay. Best known for his role as a lead singer of The Spinners (a role he shared with fellow group members Bobby Smith, and Henry Fambrough). Philippé Wynne (aka Philippe Escalante Wynn; né Walker; April 3, 1941 – July 14, 1984) was an American singer. Roger Elhodge Mays on percussion. The group did have a brief resurgence at the dawning of the new decade, scoring two big hits in 1980 with Michael Zager medleys of "Working My Way Back to You"/"Forgive Me, Girl" (number two in March–April, number one UK) and "Cupid"/"I've Loved You for a Long Time" (number four in July–August, number four UK). Smith had been diagnosed with lung cancer in November. G.C. [19] The group continued for a short time as a quartet before Jessie Robert Peck (born in Queens, New York, December 17, 1968) was recruited as the group's new bass vocalist in February 2009. Smith's final performance came in mid-February during the Soul Train Cruise, said Peck. The friends resided in Detroit's Herman Gardens public housing project and came together to make music. Another early member, C. P. Spencer, had already died from a heart attack on October 20, 2004;[16][17] and another, George Dixon, died in 1994. Sources debate the extent to which Fuqua became a member of the group during its stay at Tri-Phi. Mr. Hollywood presents the SPINOUTS! The Spinners were featured on TV One’s Unsung recently and discussed being neighborhood celebrities, having a gospel background and being considered the "Black Beatles." That year he also found time to tour with the hit play "Only the Strong", starring Fred Hammond, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, and Marvin Sapp. Smith, whose first name was periodically spelled Bobbie, was lead voice on the group's first hit, 1961's That's What Girls Are Made For, produced with Harvey Fuqua, a link that led the group to Motown Records two years later. After some years spent collaborating with Parliament/Funkadelic and working solo, Wynne died of a heart attack while performing in Oakland on July 14, 1984. DETROIT — Bobby Smith, longtime lead singer of The Spinners, died Saturday in Orlando of complications from pneumonia and the flu, his family said. After leaving The Spinners, Wynne never regained the same success, although he featured in hits by other artists such as " Knee Deep" by Funkadelic. [9][10] Radio airplay for the B-side led Atlantic to flip the single over, with "I'll Be Around" hitting number 3 and "How Could I Let You Get Away" reaching number 77. The song also reached the Top 3 of Billboard′s R&B and Easy Listening charts. In their box set, The Chrome Collection, the Spinners were lauded by David Bowie and Elvis Costello. In 1954, Billy Henderson, Henry Fambrough, Pervis Jackson, C. P. Spencer, and James Edwards[5] formed The Domingoes in Ferndale, Michigan, a northern suburb of Detroit. "I'll Always Love You" hit number 35 in 1965. Elton John was not happy with the mixes and sat on the tapes for a year before asking for them to be remixed so they would sound easier on the ear. Pick of the Litter is the sixth studio album by American R&B group The Spinners, released in August 1975 on the Atlantic label. Whereas Philippe Wynne fit neatly in Thom Bell's production style, at this point Bell had no idea what to do with new lead singer John Edwards. The group is also listed as the Detroit Spinners and the Motown Spinners, due to their 1960s recordings with the Motown label. Philippé Wynne was an American singer. John Edwards (singer) Jonathan Edwards (born December 25, 1944), professionally known as John Edwards, is an American soul singer who had a moderately successful solo career before becoming lead singer of The Spinners between 1977 and 2000. (May 10, 2020) Many thanks to our friends at Soul Express for letting us know that the legendary Spinners have shuffled their lineup again. James Edwards remained with the group for a few weeks and was replaced by Bobby Smith, who sang lead on most of the Spinners' early records and their biggest Atlantic Records hits. Throughout the '60s, the Spinners tried to land a hit by adapting to the shifting fashions of R&B and pop. "The Rubberband Man" is a song recorded by the American vocal group The Spinners. After their chart career ended, the Spinners continued touring for decades. The album was produced by Thom Bell … Wynne scored notable hits such as "How Could I Let You Get Away", "The Rubberband Man", and "One of a Kind ". recordings. The funeral will take place Monday in Detroit, where Smith will be interred, said the group's Jessie Peck. In 2017, the Spinners were inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame. Henry Fambrough, the group's lone surviving original member, warmly remembered his friend and groupmate of more than half a century. They contributed two songs to Bell's film The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh and appeared in the film as a band. Mr. Smith was the lead singer on the group’s first hit, ... where Mr. Bell became their producer and Mr. Wynne replaced Mr. Cameron as the second lead vocalist. The Spinners were the greatest soul group of the early '70s, creating a body of work that defined the lush, seductive sound of Philly soul. In 2004, original member Billy Henderson was dismissed from the group after suing the group's corporation and business manager to obtain financial records. [5] From 1966 to 1969, the group released one single a year, but only the 1966 single "Truly Yours" peaked on the Billboard 100 R&B chart at number 16.[5]. Then the group began to perform its 1974 hit Then Came You. [2] In 2015, they were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He … However, with songwriter Thom Bell at the helm, the Spinners charted five Top 100 singles (and two Top Tens) from their first post-Motown album, Spinners (1973), and went on to become one of the biggest soul groups of the 1970s. Cameron rejoined the group as lead vocalist from 2000 to 2002 (replacing John Edwards, who left due to a stroke), but he left them in 2003 to join The Temptations. In 1964, the Spinners made their debut at the Apollo Theater and were received with high favor. Frank Washington, formerly of The Futures and The Delfonics, joined for a few years, before being replaced by Charlton Washington (no relation). The Spinners' first single, "That's What Girls Are Made For", was recorded under Harvey Fuqua's Tri-Phi Records. Smith joined the group in 1956 when it was known as the Domingoes. Had always been. Wynne died of a heart attack while performing at a … As the group maintained a busy touring and recording schedule, Smith left Detroit for New Jersey in the 1980s, later settling in Florida. A stream of hits followed with Smith's prominent vocals: I'll Be Around, Could It Be I'm Falling in Love, One of a Kind (Love Affair), Then Came You,Games People Play. The group, first called The Domingoes, was formed at Ferndale High School, where Bobby took over from James Edwards who lasted only 2 weeks. "I'll Be Around" was also the Spinners' first million-selling hit single. After two more albums bearing no major hits, the Spinners and Bell parted ways. The Spinners tribute to their leader and musical soldier Bobbie "Bird" Smith. Smith was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and became a fixture on the local music scene with his group mates. In 1970, after a five-year absence, they hit number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 with writer-producer Stevie Wonder's composition, (the G.C. In 1954, Billy Henderson, Henry Fambrough, Pervis Jackson, C. P. Spencer, and James Edwards formed The Domingoes in Ferndale, Michigan, a northern suburb of Detroit. The Spinners were put into the limelight again in 2003 when an Elton John track was re-issued featuring them on backing vocals. In Memory of Robert "Bobbie" Smith(1936 - 2013)Main lead singer of The Spinners [citation needed] Finally, in 1979, the Wynne version was released as a single, but it only made it to number 42 in the UK. Henderson died due to complications from diabetes on February 2, 2007, at the age of 67. They Just Can't Stop It (The Games People Play), "Janet Jackson, N.W.A, Los Lobos among Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees", Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies, "Bobby Smith, lead singer of The Spinners, dies", "The Spinners' Henry Fambrough talks to Tom about their history", "HOW COULD I LET YOU GET AWAY / THE SPINNERS", "How Could I Let You Get Away / The Spinners", "Sweethearts of Sigma | Soul Music Biographies", "Original member of The Spinners dies in Detroit", "Bobby Smith, lead singer of the Spinners, dies", "Michigan Rock and Roll Legends - SPINNERS", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Spinners_(American_R%26B_group)&oldid=992696503, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2017, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 6 December 2020, at 17:01. "And ever since I've known him, he was just a natural showman.". Unfortunately, Edwards bore some of the weight of being the lead singer whose arrival coincided with a dry period for an iconic group. Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy, Bobby Smith died Saturday in Orlando of complications from pneumonia and the flu, Smith had been diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2012. Perhaps one day we’ll get more information about the actual reasons for this incident, but now the fact remains that Charlton Washington, who in 2007 replaced another Washington, Frank, as the lead singer of the Spinners, is now replaced by a gentleman named “CJ” Jefferson. They also remixed and reissued the 1970 B-side "Together We Can Make Such Sweet Music" (led by Smith, originally co-led by Cameron) as a 1973 A-side. In a public statement issued by the group’s management, it was revealed that Smith was diagnosed with lung cancer in November and passed away on Saturday, March 16 due to complications related to pneumonia and influenza at a hospital in Orlando, FL. It then went to number one on the singles chart after being released on DJ Fatboy Slim's Southern Fried Records. Bobbie Smith, the former lead singer of the Spinners, died this weekend in Orlando. "The audience went bananas.". Fuqua sang lead on some of the singles and considered himself a Spinner. The group's 1974 follow-up album, Mighty Love, featured three Top 20 hits, "I'm Coming Home", "Love Don't Love Nobody", and the title track. "Bobby was a regular, down-to-earth, good-natured person, the kind of guy who'd give you his shirt," Fambrough said. In a 2014 interview, Henry Fambrough, the group's last surviving original member, stated: "Bobby (Smith) was always our major lead singer for all those years. Russell Thompkins, Jr., grew up on the north side of Philadelphia. In the credits on Tri-Phi 1010 and 1024, the artist was credited for the first two singles and listed as "Harvey (Formerly of the Moonglows and the Spinners)". The friends resided in Detroit's Herman Gardens public housing project and came together to make music. Smith, who had missed several gigs since his cancer diagnosis, was present on the cruise but not expected to perform during The Spinners' set. James Edwards' brother, Edgar "Chico" Edwards, replaced Dixon in the group in 1963, at which time Tri-Phi and its entire artist roster was bought out by Fuqua's brother-in-law, Berry Gordy of Motown Records. Their biggest hit of the year, however, was a collaboration with Dionne Warwick, "Then Came You" (led by Smith, Warwick, and Wynne), which hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming each act's first chart-topping "Pop" hit. The group's last Hot 100 hit was a remake of Willie Nelson's "Funny How Time Slips Away", which peaked at number 67 in 1983. One had all of the Spinners, the other with only lead singer … [18], Original member Pervis Jackson, who was still touring as a member of the group, died from cancer on August 18, 2008. All copyrights belong to their original owners. No copyright infringement intended. [3] Music critic Robert Christgau has called the Spinners "a renowned show group whose supersmooth producer inhibits improvisation".[4]. Frustrated with frequent misspellings, group members soon sought a new name, and it was the suggestion of Smith, a lifelong car buff, that won the day: "Spinners" was a nickname for high-end hubcaps. G. C. Cameron replaced Edgar "Chico" Edwards in 1967, and in 1969, the group switched to the Motown-owned V.I.P. These other names were used in the UK to avoid confusion with a British folk group also called The Spinners. A new lead singer for the Spinners In spite of the fact that the transition wasn't one of the smoothiest, please read about "CJ" Jefferson's background … Following their Atlantic successes, Motown also issued a "Best of the Spinners" LP which featured selections from their Motown/V.I.P. In 1984, the group had their last R&B hit with "Right or Wrong", from that year's Cross Fire album. Coupling that indisputable fact with the continuing decline of the songwriting, Spinners/8 isn't the most proficient album to come down the pike. The Spinners were put into the limelight again in 2003 when an Elton John track was re-issued featuring them on backing vocals. In September 2011, 57 years after forming in Detroit and 50 years after "That's What Girls Are Made For", the group was announced as one of 15 final nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, their first nomination, they were also nominated in 2014 and 2015. Best known for his role as a lead singer of The Spinners. Though this version of the group had minor hits from 1977 to 1979, they failed to hit the pop Top 40 for three years and parted ways with Thom Bell. Philippé Wynne left the group in January 1977 and was replaced by John Edwards, who had recorded a number of R&B hits as a solo singer. Thank you for reading the Philadelphia Tribune. Charlton Washington left the group in 2020 to pursue a solo career.He would be replaced by C.J. Shortly after the release of 2nd Time Around,[8] Atlantic Records recording artist Aretha Franklin suggested the group finish their Motown contract and sign with Atlantic Records. He … The song, written by producer Thom Bell and singer-songwriter Linda Creed, was about Bell's son, who was being teased by his classmates for being overweight.Intended to improve his son's self-image, the song eventually evolved from being about "The Fat Man" to "The Rubberband Man". He was replaced by Harold "Spike" Bonhart. Charlton Washington, who has served as lead singer for the group since 2007, left the act suddenly in March, and has been replaced by former Ol Skool and Temptations Revue singer, CJ Jefferson. In 1977, the Spinners had recorded two versions of "Are You Ready for Love" at the Philadelphia studios. They were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. From left to right: Billy Henderson, Edgar Edwards, Bobby Smith, Henry Fambrough, and Pervis Jackson. In 2009, Bonhart left the Spinners and was replaced by vocalist Marvin Taylor. Smith and the Spinners enjoyed only minimal success during their Motown tenure, but broke big after signing with Atlantic Records in 1971 at the suggestion of Aretha Franklin. imprint. Interestingly, Philippé did not sing lead on many of the group’s hits, but he gained much attention as an ad-libber or the “bring it home guy.” The classic (Detroit) Spinners lineup: Philippe Soul Wynne (b. April 3, 1941, Detroit, MI; d. July 14, 1984, Oakland, CA): vocals (falsetto); Billy Henderson (b. August 9, 1949, Indianapolis, IN; d. February 2, 2007, Daytona Beach, FL): vocals (tenor); Pervis Jackson (b. George Dixon replaced Spencer, and the group renamed themselves the Spinners in 1961.[6]. From the Vaults, (US Natural Resources label NR 4014 and in the UK on Tamla Motown STMR 9001), included the song "What More Could a Boy Ask For" (Fuqua & Bristol), which was recorded circa 1965. Bobbie Smith was the man behind the band, being the lead singer from the group’s birth in the 1961. © 2020 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. March 16, 2013 – Bobby Smith was born in Detroit, Michigan on April 10, 1936.He became the principal lead singer of the classic Motown group, The Spinners at the group’s inception in 1954. Robert "Bobby" Smith (sometimes spelled Bobbie; April 10, 1936 – March 16, 2013) was born in Detroit, Michigan and was an American R&B singer, the principal lead singer of the classic Motown group, The Spinners, also known as the Detroit Spinners or the Motown Spinners, throughout its history. The Bobby Smith-led "I'll Be Around", their first top ten hit, was actually the B-side of their first Atlantic single, the Fambrough and Wynne-led "How Could I Let You Get Away". [22] May 17, 1938, New Orleans, LA; d. He was 76. This song reached number 91 that November, and was the last Tri-Phi Records' single to reach the Top 100 charts. On July 27, 2006, the Spinners performed on the Late Show with David Letterman. They are big draws on the oldies and nostalgia concert circuits, playing the music that made them famous. The group lost another member from their early days, when Edgar "Chico" Edwards died on December 3, 2011.[20]. "Like something out of a movie, Bobby shoots right out onstage and, showman that he is, grabs a mike and sings right on cue," Peck recounted. Bobby Smith (pictured), co-founder and, for the most part, the lead singer of the iconic R&B group, The Spinners, has … In 1972, The Spinners switched record labels and moved from Motown to Atlantic. DETROIT — Bobby Smith, longtime lead singer of The Spinners, died Saturday in Orlando of complications from pneumonia and the flu, his family said. The Spinners hit the Top 10 twice in the next two years with the Smith and Jackson-led "They Just Can't Stop It (The Games People Play)" (Billboard number 5) and the Wynne-led "The Rubberband Man" (Billboard number 2). Bobbie Smith, lead singer for the Detroit soul group the Spinners, died this weekend following complications from flu and pneumonia, The Associated Press … The group continues to tour, with Henry Fambrough as the only original member. Detroit MI 3/25/2013. Spencer left the group shortly after Edwards, and later joined the Voice Masters and the Originals. Soul legend Bobby Smith, who was the first lead singer of iconic soul group the Spinners, has died aged 76.. The single peaked at number 27 on the Top 100 chart in August 1961. G.C. You have exhausted your free article views for this month. In 1977, the Spinners had recorded two versions of "Are You Ready for Love" at the Philadelphia studios. With limited commercial success, Motown assigned the Spinners as road managers, chaperones, and chauffeurs for other groups, and even as shipping clerks. As 1979 arrived, the group found itself without a producer and … They enjoyed a string of hit singles and albums during the 1960s and 1970s, particularly with producer Thom Bell. Always will be. The group then made the switch, but contractual obligations prevented Cameron from leaving Motown, so he stayed on there as a solo artist and urged his cousin, singer Philippé Wynne, to join the Spinners in his place as one of the group's three lead singers, with Henry Fambrough, and Bobby Smith. In 1977, the Spinners had recorded two versions of "Are You Ready for Love" at the Philadelphia studios. Cameron stayed with Motown as a solo artist, and was replaced in The Spinners by Philippé Wynne, who sang lead … Throughout a succession of lead singers (Wynne, Jonathan Edwards, G. C. Cameron etc. Bobby Smith of "The Spinners" is dead at 76. Unsigned and featuring new lead singer Phillipe Wynne, the Spinners seemed destined to never break into the big leagues, but they managed to sign with Atlantic Records, where they began working with producer Thom Bell. The following singles reached the top 40 on the US or UK charts: The Spinners in 1965. 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