The Spinners' Bobbie Smith Dies, Aged 76
Legendary soul band lose one of their founding members
Bobbie Smith of the soul group The Spinners, passed away on Saturday (March 16, 2013) at the age of 76. Smith’s manager released a statement, reported on today by Associated Press, to confirm that the soul singer had passed away as a result of complications from pneumonia and influenza. He had also been diagnosed with lung cancer back in November 2012. Smith was one of the founding members of The Spinners and remained a member even until last year, with the band performing regularly on the ‘oldies circuit,’ Los Angeles Times reports.
Bobbie Smith and Henry Fambrough were two of the band’s founding members and continued to perform together until recent times. They formed in high school, in 1957, along with George W. Dixon, Billy Henderson and Pervis Jackson. Their first top 10 hit came in 1961 with the track ‘That’s What Girls Are Made For.’
The Spinners later recorded for the legendary Motown label, though they were best known for their work with the arranger and songwriter Thom Bell, with whom they helped to define the distinctive Philadelphia soul sound. The Spinners had a number of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including their final hits, which were disco medleys of ‘Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me Girl’ and ‘Cupid/I've Loved You for a Long Time.’