The Spinners, Fambrough, member, group

The Last Surviving Original Member Of The Iconic Spinners Dies

Fambrough, the Spinners' only original member, toured with the group for nearly 70 years.

Henry Fambrough of the legendary R&B group The Spinners has died. He was 85.

The group’s spokeswoman, Tanisha Jackson, said the illustrious performer died of natural causes at his Northern Virginia home on Feb. 7.

Last May, in one of his last public appearances, the famed artist visited Motown’s Studio A in Detroit. While there, the Spinners donated 375 of their performance costumes to the museum. In 2023, Fambrough was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame along with bandmates Billy Henderson, Pervis Jackson, Bobby Smith, Philippé Wynn, and John Edwards. 

Fambrough is a native of Ferndale, MI, where he helped to form the legendary singing group in 1954. The Domingoes was the quintet’s first name, but they changed their name to the Spinners in 1961. Their first single, “What Girls Are Made For,” was recorded on the Tri-Phi Record label. The Spinners joined Motown when Motown founder Berry Gordy acquired the Tri-Phi label. 

The group released several singles in the 1960s, but “Truly Yours” made it to the Billboard Hot 100 R&B chart, peaking at No. 16. Because of their meager commercial success, the group members worked as chauffeurs, chaperones, and road managers for some of their more popular labelmates. 

In 1970, “It’s A Shame” peaked at No. 14 On the Billboard Top Hot 100 R&B chart. In 1972, The Spinners joined Atlantic Records, where they went on to record several chart-topping hits, including “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love,” “Working My Way Back To You,” “The Rubberband Man,” and “Then Came You” — featuring Dionne Warwick. 

The group underwent several changes due to internal conflict and deaths. Fambrough continued to tour with The Spinners before retiring in 2023.

Henry Fambrough is survived by his wife of 52 years, Norma, and their daughter, Heather Williams.