They took some Motown, tossed in a dose of disco; added plenty of old-school R&B and tied it all together with a rubber band.
Such was the Spinners’ formula Saturday for two rollicking shows at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center.
Henry Fambrough, the lone original member of the group, joined Marvin Taylor, Charlton Washington, Jessie Robert Peck and Ronnie Moss on stage. The Spinners gave a 75-minute soulful serenade to a boisterous and appreciative audience.
From the thumping, opening number, “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love,” to the ultra-funky encore “The Rubberband Man,” this was vintage Spinners harking back to the ‘70s.
“This is my music and I remember hearing it at the disco,” said Jerry Vicenti, president of The Villages Paisans Club. He attended the concert with his wife, Annette.
Turns out the couple met in a disco, back in the day when the Spinners’ music spiced up the “Saturday Night Fever” crowd.
“Those were great days and we had a fun time,” Annette said. “Hearing the Spinners tonight, takes us back to those disco days.”
Her husband shared that nostalgia.
“Disco music was our music, and the Spinners made you feel like dancing,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of soul.”
It was on display throughout the show.
The group used to be on the Motown label and the Spinners learned all about stage presence at Berry Gordy’s record company.
They were moving and dancing all night long, reminiscent of such Motown masters as the Temptations and Four Tops.
But it wasn’t just the choreography that made this show special, it was the vocal mastery and musical precision that was so powerful.
That was evident on such numbers as “It’s a Shame,” and “Mighty Love.” Individual members sampled some oldies, including a gorgeous vocal by Moss on the Smokey Robinson classic, “Oh Baby Baby.” Marvin Taylor covered Marvin Gaye’s sexy “Let’s Get It On.”
That set the stage for an explosive finish.
The Spinners started with Sam Cooke’s “Cupid,” and the temperature in The Sharon kept rising, as the audience would sing and clap with the group. Then the group went into “Working My Way Back to You Babe,” and the place seemed like a disco inferno.
Next, the Spinners paid homage to Sam Cooke once more with “We’re Having a Party.”
The group left the stage but came back to the delight of the crowd. The Spinners offered a mini-collection of their greatest hits, including: “Then Came You,” “One of a Kind,” and “Games People Play.”
Last up was “The Rubberband Man,” and all five Spinners were shaking and dancing with huge, oversized white elastic bands, that extended from head to toe. It was a blast watching the funky aerobics and listening to the smooth, tight harmony.
“This was a wonderful show,” said longtime Spinners’ fan Nichol Smith. “This is the real thing – old school R&B. It’s the music I grew up and I still love it.”