WILMINGTON — On Saturday, April 15 at 7 p.m., the Delaware Black Chamber of Commerce will host a fundraising concert starring The Spinners at the Grand Opera House, 818 N. Market St., Wilmington.
They will be joined by Sonny Bivins’ Manhattans and The Intruders.
The Spinners, from the suburbs of Detroit, were just nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Formed in 1960, their first hit single was “That’s What Girls are Made For” (No. 5 R&B chart).
They signed with Berry Gordy’s Motown label but had limited success throughout the 1960s. In 1972, they switched to Atlantic Records and began their collaboration with Philadelphia-based songwriter-producer Thom Bell, resulting in a string of hit singles on the pop and R&B charts throughout the decade of the 1970s. They dominated the charts with 11 top 20 pop singles, including seven top-five pop hits, and 14 top-five R&B hits, including six No 1 R&B hits.
Starting in 1970, hits included: “It’s a Shame,” “I’ll Be Around,” “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” “One of a Kind (Love Affair),” “Ghetto Child,” “Mighty Love,” “Then Came You,” “Games People Play,” “Rubberband Man” and “Workin My Way Back to You.”
Sonny Bivins’ Manhattans got their start in Jersey City high schools in 1962. Mr. Bivins was the leader of the band and wrote most of their hits.
After high school, all five band members enlisted in the armed forces, and reunited after their discharges. Their first hit was on Carnival Records, “I Wanna Be Your Everything.” In 1968, they won the “Most Promising Group” award by NATRA (National Association of Television and Radio Announcers) and, in 1970, Gerald Alston joined the Manhattans as lead singer.
In the early 70s, “One Life to Live” and “There’s No Me Without You” both hit No. 3 on the R&B charts. Their signature hit, “Kiss and Say Goodbye,” written by Blue Lovett, was No. 1 on both the pop and R&B charts and was only the second single in pop history to ever to go platinum.
Other hits in the late 70s included “It Feels so Good to Be Loved So Bad” and “Am I Losing You,” both peaking at No. 6 on the R&B charts. In 1980, “Shining Star” was a mega-hit, winning a Grammy and reaching No. 5 on the pop charts and No. 4 on the R&B charts.
The group had 45 hits on Billboard’s R&B charts, including 12 top-10 smashes and 16 pop 100 hits, including two top 10s and one No. #1.
Opening the show are The Intruders. They began in Philadelphia, with hits in the late 60s and early 70s.
As one of the first groups to record hit songs under the direction of legendary producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, they were pioneers in creating the renowned Philadelphia Soul Sound, or “The Sound of Philadelphia.”
They had 24 hits on the R&B charts, including six in the top ten, and 14 hits on the Billboard Pop 100 charts. Their signature million-selling hit was “Cowboys to Girls”
Other hits were “I Wanna Know your Name,” “(Love is Like A) Baseball Game,” “Together” and “I’ll Always Love my Mamma.”
Tickets are $55, $65 and $75, plus an $8 per ticket service fee. Visit the box office, call 302-652-5577 or visit TheGrandWilmington.org.
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