Spin­ners bring hits to Hemp­stead Hall

Texarkana Gazette - - ACCENT - By Aaron Brand

HOPE, Ark.—With roots stretch­ing back to the late 1950s, The Spin­ners made their name as one of the great­est R&B and soul acts of all time with their stylish moves and sweet, on-point har­monies.

Now, The Spin­ners work their way back to our area for a con­cert Satur­day, Feb. 25, at Hemp­stead Hall. Show time is 7 p.m.

These Detroit icons and a world-fa­mous quin­tet scored big in the 1970s on At­lantic with such hits as “Work­ing My Way Back to You,” “I’ll Be Around” and “Could it be I’m Fall­ing in Love.” Singer Henry Fam­brough is the lone orig­i­nal mem­ber still with the group, which started out as The Domin­goes and recorded on the Tri-Phi la­bel be­fore work­ing sev­eral years un­der Motown guid­ance.

The big­gest Spin­ners hits came when they moved on to At­lantic, and it’s those hits that The Spin­ners will largely per­form when they come to Hemp­stead, says Fam­brough.

“We’re still do­ing the reg­u­lar show that we’ve been do­ing for years,” Fam­brough said this week, not­ing they found over the

years that it’s what the au­di­ence wants to hear, those songs the fans know at home.

As the lone sur­vivor from the orig­i­nal days, Fam­brough now works with per­form­ers who are younger than he is. Back in the group’s hey­day, he was joined by Bob­bie Smith and Philippe Wynne on lead vo­cals. But with the newer singers, he’s found per­form­ers who are plenty ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing on The Spin­ners illustrious name and legacy.

“I kind of miss my guys, but as they said, the show must go on,” Fam­brough said, not­ing of his fel­low younger Spin­ners now, “They’ve got the en­ergy like we used to have.”

It was Har­vey Fuqua at TriPhi who co-wrote their song “That’s What Girls Are Made For,” the band’s first hit. As a pro­ducer, he helped the band get the har­monies right, re­called Fam­brough. Fuqua was, for a time, mar­ried to Berry Gordy’s sis­ter. Gordy founded Motown, which even­tu­ally ac­quired TriPhi.

When they went on to At­lantic, The Spin­ners worked with pro­ducer Thom Bell, and it was un­der his guid­ance that the quin­tet re­ally took off, the group turn­ing out chart-top­pers like “Ghetto Child” and “Rub­ber­band Man.”

“As I say, the rest is his­tory after that,” Fam­brough re­called of pair­ing with Bell. He sang with Dionne War­wick for one mid-1970s song, “Just As Long As We Have Love” from the “Pick of the Lit­ter” al­bum.

“We trav­eled with Dionne be­fore we recorded with her,” Fam­brough re­called, not­ing they’re still friends to­day.

He also re­mem­bers that Smith, be­fore he died, urged Fam­brough, dur­ing a “Soul Train” cruise, to keep on with The Spin­ners. And so he has for the group, which is still based out of Detroit. With the band’s mi­cro­phones, the suits and the har­monies, peo­ple at­tend­ing the Hemp­stead Hall show will see and hear what they ex­pect of The Spin­ners.

“Ev­ery­thing that we did over the years is trans­ported to the new guys,” Fam­brough said of the show, which runs 75 to 90 min­utes.

As for him, he still loves the feel­ing of get­ting to a venue and find­ing it’s sold out.

“Just about every place we go we’re selling out our shows,” he said. “That’s a com­pli­ment in it­self.” It can’t be beat, and he still en­joys per­form­ing and en­joys the au­di­ence.

It’s been a while since they’ve been through this area, but he’s look­ing for­ward to be­ing back around and hopes peo­ple get to hear their Spin­ners faves.

“The Spin­ners are com­ing and we’ll still be do­ing what we’ve been do­ing over the years,” Fam­brough said.

(Tick­ets: $65, $45, $35 and $20. For tick­ets and more info, visit Hemp­stead­Hall.com or call 870722-8565.)

Sub­mit­ted photo

n The Spin­ners.

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