Billy Henderson - vocals;
Henry Fambrough - vocals; Pervis Jackson - vocals; Bobbie Smith - vocals; George Dixon - vocals; John Edwards - vocals; Maurice King - musical director; The New Horizons - backup vocals
While this recording is far more casino schmaltz than smoky hot R&B juke-joint, the vocal ability and showmanship of the Spinners is apparent from the first notes of the first song, "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love." The group had some big hits during the disco years, but they were never a disco group. They have always been about great soul music played with passion and conviction.
After the aforementioned hit single, things start to heat up with "Wake Up Susan" (not to be confused with the Everly Brothers 1957 hit, "Wake Up Little Susie"). Next up is the mid-tempo groove, "Throwing A Good Love Away," a song that appears on their newest LP at that time, Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow. But the Spinners are careful not to stay away from the golden oldies for too long. Soon, they are belting out versions of "Then Came You," and "One Of A Kind."
The Spinners were one of those great soul acts whose origins go back to the late-1950s and the doo-wop vocal movement. Although the group never saw the same commercial success as many of its contemporaries, they did score a number of Top 40 hits over a period of ten years. The members would adopt the name the Spinners and sign with Motown, where they recorded a number of albums in the 1960s. Motown, for some reason, always put them on the back burner (focusing on the Four Tops and the Temptations) even after they scored a hit with the song "It's A Shame."
It wasn't until after several personnel changes and a switch to Atlantic Records (where they were paired with Philly recording producer, Thom Bell), that the hits started coming. "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love," "Then Came You" (recorded as a duet with Dionne Warwick), "One Of A Kind (Love Affair)," "Games People Play," "Mighty Love," and "Rubber Band Man" are just some of the mega-hits the band had on both pop and soul charts. All of these songs are featured here in this return to the Latin Casino, a Cherry Hill, NJ venue where the band had recorded its successful double live LP two years earlier in 1975.
During most of the years the band had hits, songs were cut with Philippé Wynne on lead vocals. Between the 1975 appearance and this 1977 appearance, one of two shows taped for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, Wynne had left to pursue a solo career. This was the group's first high profile appearance with new vocalist, John Edwards (who was actually a part of the original lineup but left before the Motown deal).
Sadly, Wynne would die of a heart attack while performing in Oakland in 1984, and Pervis Jackson, the band's bass baritone, died of cancer on August 18, 2008. In 2004, original member Billy Henderson was dismissed after suing the group's corporation and business manager to obtain financial records. He died due to complications from diabetes on February 2, 2007 at the age of 67.
A new version of the Spinners, led by original members Henry Fambrough and Bobbie Smith, continues to perform around the world.
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