Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Namesakes #14: The Spinners

Last week, we had an interesting experiment, testing four different Placebos. The results were mixed. So much for science! Sadly, the only Placebo not to get a vote was poor old Brian Molko. Still, I guess he's made the most money from the name... there's probably a metaphor for the pharmaceuticals industry somewhere in that.

This week, you’re guaranteed to be all in a spin trying to decide between a plethora of Spinners. Personally, I think it’ll be an easy victory for one of them… still, I’ve been proven wrong before.


We begin our journey in Michigan, 1954, where The Domingoes got together and started making a sweet soulful sound that would keep them spinning for getting on for three quarters of a century. They didn’t become The Spinners until 1961, by which time the band at #2 had also bagsied the name, which is why the world outside the USA knows them better as The Detroit Spinners, or occasionally The Motown Spinners. The band is still performing, with Henry Fambrough the only surviving original member.


Meanwhile, in that Liverpool, circa 1958, Tony Davis, Mick Groves, Cliff Hall and Hugh Jones began to spin the folky, sea shanty, occasionally skiffle-based sound in The Cavern Club, where another four young lads would soon take to the stage. Originally called The Liverpool Spinners, they dropped their home town when fame came knocking, ending up with their own long-running BBC TV show.

The Spinners - In My Liverpool Home


Around the same time that our first and second group of Spinners were starting to rotate at higher frequencies, Texan rockabilly star Johnny Carroll briefly formed his own group of Spinners too. They only released three singles that I can unearth, but this is one of them…

The Spinners - Rag Mop


1958 was obviously a very good time for naming your band The Spinners. Here’s a doo wop group from Pittsburgh with their rather tiny “one hit wonder”…

The Spinners – My Love And Your Love


More doo wop, but another completely different band. I was drawn to this one because I always like a good detective story…

The Spinners – Richard Pry, Private Eye


Sometimes I wonder if I should just quit while I’m ahead? Here’s another band of Spinners, surf-rockers from the early 60s, who only appears to have ever released on 7” single. Here’s the A-side…

The Spinners - Slave Chain


From 1969, here is the Country Funk sound of The Spinners with their cover of an obvious choice of Blood, Sweat & Tears song…

The Spinners - Spinning Wheel


Our eight group of Spinners hail from Ankara in the late 1980s, where Zuhal Uneri formed Turkey’s first all-female punk band. There wasn’t a big audience for punk in Turkey where the rock scene was dominated by metal, so the group spread their wings into other territories.

The Spinners - We're Punk


Latvian Trip Hop from the 90s, though it doesn’t appear to have been released till 2016. Takes a while to get a record out in Latvia, it seems.

The Spinners – Carry Da Gun


Post-hardcore (whatever that means) trio from Athens. Not the Athens that REM came from: the Athens that Zeus came from. This is from 2020, by which time you’d have figured bands might have realised that this name had been used before…

The Spinners – I’ll Be Waiting

I’m going to stop at 10 in honour of the name of this blog. There were other bands called The Spinners, but I couldn’t always find a link to their music. And that's before we even get to The Hamburg Spinners or The Song Spinners or The Southside Spinners or The Sly Spinners or The Money Spinners or The Dub Spinners or... look, stick the word "Spinners" into Discogs and you'll be there all week.

I imagine you gave up reading this some time ago, but just in case you’re still interested… answer me this in the comments: which Spinners spin you right round, baby, right round like a record, baby, right round, round round? Not that I'm trying to sway the vote in any way, but here's another groovy tune to play us out...


  1. Detroit for me - best dancers and best trousers.
    #6 Surfers are also getting a mention in dispatches.

  2. 1 of course, although I have a soft spot for 2 as we had a few of their records at home in my youth. You could see some of the finest knitwear on their album covers.

    And thanks for 9. Clicking on the discography for that Bandcamp page their appears to be some weird and possibly wonderful stuff to explore.

  3. The Rubberband Man is the best track of the lot. Spinners 4, 5 and 6 were a great listen, especially the private eye track. But still, it's #1 for me.

  4. and any band with someone called Pervis in the ranks should win by default

  5. So many Spinners, so little time but I did listen to all of them and have a couple of runners-up. In third place I'm going for the doo-wop band at #4 - the kind of thing they would have played at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance in Back To The Future. In second place I'm going for the Latvians at #9. Really liked their sound. Kept an open mind but it has to be the Detroit Spinners in first place. I grew up watching so many similarly dressed groups do their cheesy little dance moves, but what a sublime sound from them.

    Pete Burns and Dead or Alive had us spinning round like a record in 1984 buy maybe that was a question that didn't really need answered - I went for it anyway.

  6. For the song Rubberband Man alone it has to be number 1, classic tune never tire of hearing it

  7. Detroit for me.
    Although with a change of vowel my vote would go this. The Spanners:


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