A group of friends in a Detroit, Michigan high school in 1957 came together to make music. Billy Henderson, Henry Fambrough, Pervis Jackson, George W. Dixon, and Bobbie Smith called themselves the Domingoes. Early on, The Spinners established a pattern of rapidly going through lead singers. Dixon was the first to go.
The Spinners first hit the charts in 1961, with "That's What Girls Are Made For." In 1964, they made their debut at the Apollo Theater and won instant acclaim, a rare feat at the time. They also signed to Berry Gordy's Motown label, based in Detroit.
Success mostly eluded them until 1970, when they had a hit with Stevie Wonder's composition, "It's A Shame". They did not achieve another commercial hit until singer Philippe Wynne joined the group, and (as legend has it) Aretha Franklin suggested the group finish out their Motown contract, and change to Atlantic Records.
The Spinners began a climb up the charts that put 11 songs in the Top 40 pop charts between 1972 and 1976. With songs like "I'll Be Around", "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love", "Rubberband Man", "One Of A Kind (Love Affair)", and "Then Came You", The Spinners had cemented their place in pop music history.
The Detroit band's popularity was contributed to by their producer, Thom Bell, who was beginning to be recognized for his trademark Philly soul or "Philadelphia Sound". This turned out to be a precursor to disco, the dance music fad that came several years later.
The Spinners now
Even though their last hits were over 20 years ago, the bright lights of their 1972-1976 run of the charts continues to provide for the current members. They are big draws on the oldies and nostalgia concert circuits, and continue to play the music that made them famous.