The Spinners’ Bobbie Smith


In 1955, five Detroit teenagers came together to form The Spinners, naming themselves after a hubcap on lead singer Bobbie Smith’s Crown Victoria. They won a local talent contest, which led to a recording contract. They thought they had it made when they were picked up by Motown, and although they did have some hits, they were considered Motown’s forgotten group.

The band was spinning in place for a decade until 1973, when everything changed. The band released one of the most important soul albums ever, and the hits kept coming, with four Top 10 songs like “Then Came You,” “Games People Play,” and “Could it Be.”

One of the reason for the group’s success was that none of its members became bigger than the group. “We learned you can’t take ego to the bank,” said Smith (pictured, far right). “Money doesn’t make you smart, but it sure can make you dumb! For the most part, we were smart enough to avoid all that.”

These days, three of the original members and two new sensations singers are still out on the road, and Smith, now in his 70s, couldn’t be happier.

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