The Spinners’ Last Original Member, Henry Fambrough, Passes Away at Age 85

( — On Wednesday, February 7, the last remaining original member of the legendary Motown group The Spinners, Henry Fambrough, died peacefully of natural causes in his Virginia home. He was 85 years old and is survived by his wife of 52 years, Norma, and his daughter, Heather Williams. Fambrough had only retired in April 2023, after being a member of the band for 69 years.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Fambrough along with Billy Henderson, Pervis Jackson, C. P. Spencer, and James Edwards, first formed the band that would later become known as The Spinners in Ferndale, Michigan in 1954. In those early days, the group was called The Domingos. They changed the name in 1961, and over the years they earned 12 gold records with hits charting on both the rock and R&B charts. They collaborated with Dionne Warwick on the hit “Then Came You” and guest starred as themselves on the sitcom Laverne & Shirley.

Over the many decades since the band’s formation, members have left or, in the case of Pervis Jackson, died as still-active members. However, new members have come into the fold, and they still tour to this day, a lasting testament to their smooth Motown sound and the joy that fans, both old and new, still find in their music. When he retired, Fambrough commented that The Spinners are still here and still singing for those who want to hear them. He added that they would still “be there” for them, referencing their 1973 hit single “I’ll Be Around.”

On October 4, 2015, The Spinners were inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame, and in November, they were entered into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In May of 2023, Fambrough attended a ceremony at the Motown Museum in Detroit. During his tour of the museum, he commented that he used to dream of that place and that the 1960s were a long time ago. The group donated 375 outfits from their performances to the museum, along with over 200 pairs of shoes. Like other Motown bands, they often wore stylish matching outfits during their shows. Many fans have expressed sadness for his passing but also joy that he lived to see The Spinners honored in so many ways.

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