1970 Spinners – It’s A Shame
In 1954, Billy Henderson, Henry Fambrough, Pervis Jackson, C. P. Spencer, and two other singers formed the Domingoes in Michigan. By 1961, Bobby Smith and George Dixon replaced two members who left, and the group changed their name to The Spinners. The group began working with songwriter/producer Harvey Fuqua. He co-wrote and possibly produced and sang on their first single, which was issued on his own Tri-Phi Record label. Their single, That’s What Girls Are Made For, reached #27 on the Hot 100 and #5 on the R&B chart in 1961.
The group released more records on the label, but did not reach the chart again until Berry Gordy bought Harvey’s record label. Edgar “Chico” Edwards replaced George in the group and G. C. Cameron replaced Chico in 1967 and became the leader singer for the group. The Spinners began recording for a Motown subsidiary label, V.I.P. Records. The group members began working at various support jobs at Motown until they got a chance to perform and record again.
In 1970, the group recorded a song co-written by Stevie Wonder. I’ll Always Love You peaked at #35 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the R&B chart.
It took over four years and another half-dozen singles before the group finally reached the charts again. Stevie Wonder again co-wrote and also produced their next hit single, It’s A Shame. The single reached #14 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the R&B chart in 1970.
The group began work on a new album, but before they finished, Aretha Franklin convinced them to let their contract with Motown expire and move to Atlantic Records. They left their album unfinished and switched labels. G. C. Cameron was under contract with Motown and could not switch labels, so he convinced his cousin Philippé Wynne to join the group as their third lead singer.
The Spinners began working with producer Thom Bell at Atlantic Records. Yvette Davis wrote their first single at Atlantic, How Could I Let You Get Away.
After three weeks on the chart, the single had only reached #77. The main stumbling block for the record was the b-side: I’ll Be Around. Thom had co-written and produced that song, and it reached the Hot 100 a month after the a-side came out. That went on to sell over a million copies, peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 and topping the R&B chart for several weeks.
The Spinners continued working with Thom and amassed an impressive collection of hit records while with Atlantic. The group continues to tour with original member Henry Fambrough leading an otherwise new collection of Spinners.
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