In The News

Bobby Smith from the Detroit Spinners passes away

Bobby Smith from the Detroit Spinners passes away

THE death has taken place of Bobby Smith who was a member of the Detroit Spinners. He was 76.

Given the success that the group eventually enjoyed, it is surprising that the great Berry Gordy shunted them off his main Motown record label in 1965 after their single I’ll Always Love You had disappointing sales.

But the then Motown Spinners were to bounce back, thanks to their friend Stevie Wonder. He penned It’s A Shame for the quintet and they went on to reach number 14 in the US charts and Number 20 in the UK with the song.

In 1973 the group changed record labels and their name. They signed for Atlantic Records and finally became known as the Detroit Spinners. It was to mark a major turning point for the group and their brand of soul music. Their album The Spinners was to deliver four top 10 hits — I’ll Be Around (see below), Could It Be I’m Falling In Love, One Of A Kind and Ghetto Child.

By the late 1970s they had teamed up with dance music producer Michael Zager — a relationship which was to produce two hits: Working My Way Back To You (see below) and Cupid. The first, a remake of an old Four Season’s hit, was produced in a medley with a new song Forgive Me Girl. The second hit was a remake of a Sam Cooke number coupled with I’ve Loved You For A Long Time.

Their hits were to earn them almost a dozen gold records as well as a number of Grammy award nominations.

Although the line-up of the group was to change many times over the years, Mr. Smith remained and continued to tour with the outfit until 2012.

Mr. Smith had been diagnosed with lung cancer three months ago and passed away in Florida after apparently suffering complications with pneumonia.

To see the Detroit Spinners performing I’ll Be Around, click here.

To view footage of the Detroit Spinners performing Working My Way Back To You — Forgive Me Girl, click here.

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