Henry Fambrough, Last Surviving Original Member of the Spinners, Dead at 85 | lovebscott.com

Henry Fambrough, Last Surviving Original Member of the Spinners, Dead at 85

Henry Fambrough, the last original surviving member of the Michigan-based R&B group The Spinners, has died.

via: Rolling Stone

Fambrough died peacefully of natural causes Wednesday at his Virginia home following a month in hospice care, the Spinners’ spokeswoman Tanisha Jackson told the Detroit Free-Press. His death comes just over two months after Fambrough was on hand for the Spinners’ Rock Hall induction ceremony in November.

“He got to experience those accolades. He was able to bask in the accomplishment, and that was something he was really happy about,” Jackson added. “He was glad to represent the ones who had gone before him.”

Born in Detroit in 1938, Fambrough co-founded the vocal group that would eventually be renamed the Spinners in nearby Ferndale, Michigan, with fellow singers Pervis Jackson, Billy Henderson, Bobby Smith, and C.P. Spencer. While the group formed in 1954, it would be years later — and following Fambrough’s two-year stint in the U.S. Army — that the group would eventually sign with Detroit’s Tri-Phi Records, which Motown Records soon absorbed.

During a nearly decade-long period with Motown and its offshoot V.I.P. Records, the Spinners scored one major hit — 1970’s “It’s A Shame,” co-written by Stevie Wonder — before the group and recently installed lead singer Philippé Wynne moved to Atlantic Records in 1971 (at the behest of label mate and fellow Detroit singer Aretha Franklin) and soon came under the wing of the label’s recently signed producer Thom Bell.

Though born and raised in Detroit, the Spinners soon became the embodiment of Bell’s Philadelphia soul, rifling off a string of Top 10 hits throughout the Seventies like “I’ll Be Around,” “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” “Then Came You” with Dionne Warwick (a Number One single), “Games People Play” and “The Rubberband Man,” all produced by Bell.

Although the Spinners endured dozens of lineup changes since their formation 70 years ago, Fambrough was the lone constant, remaining the group’s baritone the entire time until his retirement in April 2023.

Share This Post