Classics! Spinners – The Rubberband Man (Atlantic)
Producer Thom Bell and Linda Creed co-wrote ‘The Rubberband Man’. As a matter of fact, it retraces the story of Bell‘s son whose overweight got him teased by his classmates at the time. It would be the last hit of the band featuring Phillipé Wynne on lead vocals. The latter leavin’ the group the year after because of poor health.
Released in 1976, ‘The Rubberband Man’ is included in the ‘Happiness Is Being With The Spinners” album, under the direction of the late Van McCoy to the exception of the aforementioned.
Detroit, MI High School friends Henry Farnborough, Billy Henderson, Pervis Jackson, C.P. Spencer and Bobby Smith first sung together as The Domingoes back in 1955. They would get their first professional gig on the same bill as The Four Ames who later became The Four Tops.
They changed their name 2 years later in order to stop the confusion with both The Dominoes and The Flamingos. In America, they became the Spinners. Meanwhile, they had to add the ‘Detroit’ prefix in the U.K. to avoid confusion with the British Folk group of the name.
The (Detroit) Spinners first signed on Harvey Fuqua and Gwen Gordy‘s Tri-Phi label in 1961. With the latter becoming a part of Motown 3 years after. By then, Chico Edwards had replaced C.P. Spencer. A first string of hits began with ‘Sweet Thing’ (1966), ‘I’ll Aways Love You’ and ‘Truly Yours’. G.C. Cameron then replaced Edwards, and the group scored their first gold single with the Stevie Wonder penned and produced ‘It’s A Shame’. At this point (we were in 1970) Phillippé Wynne came to replace Cameron, and Motown ironically dropped the group…
The Spinners signed with Atlantic 2 years later upon Aretha Franklin‘s recommendation. Teamin’ up with producer Thom Bell, they became one of the biggest Soul groups in the 70’s. Delivering classics such as ‘I’ll Be Around’, ‘Working My Way Back To You’ and ‘The Rubberman Band’. Not to mention ‘Could It Be I’m Falling In Love’ which David Grant & Jaki Graham covered in the mid-80’s.
John Edwards replaced Wynne due to poor health. With him then as their lead singer, they scored an extra hit with the Michael Zager produced medley ‘Cupid – I’ve Loved You For A Long Time’.
In 1984, the Spinners released ‘Cross Fire’ their last album for Atlantic. Eventually getting their very last success (although moderate in comparison with its predecessors) with ‘Right Or Wrong’ along with producer Leon F Sylvers III.
They progressively disappeared from the radar, despite two extra album releases, respectively in 1985 and 1989.
Billy Henderson got dismissed from the band after suing the group’s corporation and business manager to obtain financial records back in 2004. He sadly died of complications caused by diabetes on Feb. 02, 2007 in Daytona Beach, FL, at the age of 67…