(August 27, 2021) One of the biggest musical surprises of 2021 has been the re-emergence of The Spinners. The classic soul group from Detroit, which had a decade of preeminence in the 1970s with a string of hit Thom Bell-produced albums, surprised fans a few weeks ago with the release of the single “Cliché.” And now, they follow it up with their first new album in 22 years, Round The Block and Back Again.
It’s been so long since The Spinners released 1999’s At Their Best, that only group co-founder Henry Fambrough remains from that album (John Edwards exited the group in 2003 due to illness, and Spinners originals Pervis Jackson, Bobby Smith and Billy Henderson all died in the interim).
Now consisting of Fambrough along with Ronnie “Raheem” Moss, Jessie Peck, Marvin Taylor and C. J. Jefferson, the group has teamed with legendary songwriter and producer Preston Glass – who in the past decade has also worked on comeback albums for The Stylistics, Chubby Tavares and Freda Payne – for Round the Block.
One can’t help but feel good for the group members, who’ve kept the fires burning in concerts over the years singing hits – originally recorded by other members -- from nearly a half century ago. They now have their first chance to record in the studio together, and will have fresh songs to add to their tours. And Round The Block, mostly a collection of fairly traditional soul ballads and midtempos, has enough strong material that it may just connect with the group’s longtime fans.
(August 27, 2021) Jerry Cummings was an integral part of one of the all-time great soul music groups, and he has a story to tell. The tenor vocalist of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes during that group's Imperial Period, Cummings has taken a more public position lately, reaching into the vaults for several previously unreleased singles, and now issuing his autobiography, From Gold To Glory.
The book archives the Cummings' life journey including "women, drugs, betrayals, abandonment, broken promises and attempts to end his life." But it also tells a story of redemption and and "realizing that the success of gold and platinum albums and relationships was only a shadow of what he was really searching for.