Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Henry Fambrough, Last Surviving Member of The Spinners, Dies at 85

Henry Fambrough, Last Surviving Member of The Spinners, Dies at 85

Henry Fambrough, whose rich baritone added a special touch to the soulful group The Spinners, has died at his home at 85. Group spokesperson Tanisha Jackson made the announcement when speaking with the Detroit Free-Press. Fambrough died at his northern Virginia home after spending a month in hospice care.

When The Spinners were inducted into the Rock & Roll of Fame last November, Fambrough was there for the event. He was the last original surviving member of The Spinners, who set the music world on fire in the 1960s and 1970s.

Henry Fambrough Attended Induction Ceremony

The ceremony took place a few months after Fambrough retired, TMZ reports. He spent seven decades with different lineups for The Spinners, but fans could definitely point out his contribution. Fambrough’s baritone can be heard on such hits as I’ll Be Around, The Rubberband Man, Working My Way Back to You, and Games People Play.

Fambrough “got to experience those accolades,” Jackson said. “He was able to bask in the accomplishment, and that was something he was really happy about.”

He was a founding member of The Spinners back in 1954. Fambrough, along with Pervis Jackson, Billy Henderson, Bobby Smith, and C.P. Spencer, put their voices together for some sweet harmonies. In their tenure, The Spinners had a lot of Billboard Top 40 hits. Then, you can toss in their No. 1 hit with Dionne Warwick, Then Came You. The group amassed six Grammy Award nominations along with 18 Gold and Platinum records.

In 1970, the group, which was then with Motown Records, had their first big hit. It reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, titled It’s A Shame. Philippé Wynne joined The Spinners in that year, and the group signed on with Atlantic Records.

Fans Share Sweet Memories of The Spinners

There was a lot of fluctuation as far as group members are concerned. Fambrough, though, proved to be a steadying voice and steady presence over the years.

Fambrough is survived by his wife, Norma.

Fans from all over the world filled social media platforms with remembrances of Fambrough and The Spinners, too. People were posting their favorite performances from shows like Soul Train and American Bandstand. One fan wrote this on X (formerly known as Twitter), “Henry Fambrough’s baritone complimented Bobby Smith and Philipe Wynne’s voices so well on those Thom Bell cuts. His parts on the co-leads are some of my favorites when talking about The Spinners. This loss really hurts man..”

This fan remembered growing up while listening to the Detroit soul group. “I grew up listening to #TheSpinners. I’m so glad he was able to partake in this induction ceremony. Rest in power to the last original member of #TheSpinners.”

Funeral arrangements are still pending for Fambrough.