R&B legends The Spinners appeared at the Motown Museum last Friday to place 375 of their flamboyantly decorated performance outfits, along with more than 200 pairs of shoes, in the archive.
It’s not their only museum stop this year — this November, the group will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after three prior nominations.
Founding member Henry Fambrough and former member G.C. Cameron signed over the jackets while current Spinners Ronnie Moss, Jessie Peck, and Marvin Taylor looked on.
“We are swimming in a pool of joy and happiness and dreams that have come true for all of us,” said Peck, a Spinner since 2009. “It’s because of these gentlemen; it’s because of the trail that they blazed for themselves, for Black music, for us and the people who continue and go on and live on past them.”
Fambrough is the last surviving original member, and remained active until he retired earlier this year. Cameron went solo after The Spinners left Motown for a deal with Atlantic in 1971; he sang lead on the Spinner’s 1970 breakout hit “It’s a Shame.” The hit single was produced and co-written by Stevie Wonder, who turned 20 the year it came out.
“He was the only producer that had everything together,” said Fambrough. “Some of the young producers, they tend to produce as they go along. With Stevie—bam bam bam bam—and he finished. Genius.”
After their split from Motown, The Spinners would become associated with the lavish, often orchestral “Philadelphia sound” of the 70s, working with producer Thom Bell on tracks like “The Rubberband Man,” “I’ll Be Around,” “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” and Dionne Warwick collaboration “Then Came You.”
Founded in Ferndale, the group formed in 1954. The initial lineup was Fambrough and his high school friends Billy Henderson, Robert “Bobby” Smith, Edward “Chico” Edwards, and Pervis Jackson, according to Fambrough. At first, they were known as the Domingoes.
“I don’t care where we went—they messed up our name,” said Fambrough, recalling an incident where someone mistakenly introduced them as the “Junior Dominos.” Smith, a car hobbyist, would eventually propose “Spinners” in reference to spinner hubcaps on a Cadillac. And the rest is history.
On Nov. 3, 2023, at the 38th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in Brooklyn, Fambrough will be inducted in the performer category, along with posthumous Spinners inductees Philippé Wynne, Jackson, Henderson, and Smith.
Read more about The Spinners’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at rockhall.com, and find more information about the Motown Museum at motownmuseum.org.