Queensborough Community College has soul.
The Spinners, who started their reign on the Top 40 charts in the ’50s, will perform hits like “Cupid,” “I'll Be Around,” “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love?” and “Games People Play” at a May 5 show at Queensborough Performing Arts Center.
The only original member of the five-member, R&B band, Henry Fambrough, “74 and still kicking,” said the songs The Spinners perform are different from what’s on the radio now.
“Today’s music is not about love and happiness, like ours,” Fambrough said. “If my mother was around she wouldn’t allow me listen to it. It’s totally different. No respect for women, period. I can’t listen to it. I’m not talking about it all, but a lot is derogatory.”
The band, named after the spinning hubcaps on Cadillacs, attempted to play lesser-known songs in the 1980s without success. So now when audience members go to a show they will hear a set and see moves much like they would have in the late 1970s. (The band is working on new material for a CD later this year or next.)
“We tried to play up-to-date stuff, but they didn’t want to hear that,” Fambrough said. “We can’t do everything in one show so we have to consolidate some of the songs in a medley at the end.”
And in the end, he says it doesn’t matter. The group is happy to play what the audience wants.
The show will be a little different with the death of Bobbie Smith, the lead singer, who died on March 21.
“It’s very difficult to lose Bobbie,” Fambrough said. “Bobbie’s voice can be heard on many of our award-winning songs. He was the main singer. He had a different voice from all others and was the last piece of the puzzle when the group first started in 1954.”
Fambrough has started receiving applications to fill Smith’s spot. But he’s going to take his time. Fambrough said he’s looking for more than just a great voice, he’s looking for a role model as well.
The band would also prefer someone from the Detroit area, where the remaining group members are from.
The Spinners acquired 12 gold records with hits on top of both the Pop and R&B charts. They continue to maintain a full touring schedule, performing in cities across the country and around the world.
“We like to perform at colleges because many of our fans tell us that they grew up with our music and it inspired them through their college years,” Fambrough said.
When: Sunday, May 5 at 3 p.m.
Where: Queensborough Performing Arts Center, 222-05 56 Ave., Bayside
Tickets: $35-40, (718) 631-6311