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Bobbie Smith, singer for The Spinners, dies from respiratory illnesses

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
March 20th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Lead singer for the 1970s vocal group The Spinners Bobbie Smith has died. He was 76. The Spinners were the vocalists behind such hits as "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" and "Games People Play." Smith had died in Florida following complications from pneumonia and flu.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Smith had been diagnosed with lung cancer last November and had been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment. He died due to compromised immunity from the aggressive treatment.

"One of Bobbie Smith's final requests was to make people aware of his cancer, so as to once again bring to the forefront the many dangers of smoking. He will be dearly missed by all of his friends and colleagues in the music world," group manager Nat Burgess said.

The Grammy-nominated Spinners had seven top 10 singles and five gold albums, with hits on both the pop and R&B charts, including "Rubberband Man," "One of a Kind (Love Affair)," "Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me Girl" and "I'll Be Around."

Two other original members of the Spinners had died - Billy Henderson in 2007 and Pervis Jackson in 2008.

The last remaining original member of the Spinners, Henry Fambrough, along new singers Charlton Washington, Jessie Peck and Marvin Taylor, performed up until last month, when they appeared at a casino in El Cajon, California.

The Spinners began in 1957 when a group of childhood friends in Ferndale, Michigan, a northern suburb bordering Detroit, came together to make music. Original singer James Edwards lasted only a few weeks, to be replaced by Smith who sang lead on most of the Spinners' early records and many of their biggest hits on the Atlantic label. The group named themselves The Spinners in 1961, after looking at popular car hubcaps and noting how they spun around on a car's wheel.

Even though their last hit was in 1983, the bright lights of their run of hit singles continue to provide for the current members. They are big draws on the oldies and nostalgia concert circuits and continue to play the music that made them famous.

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