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William (Billy) Henderson (August 9, 1939 – February 2, 2007)[1] was an American singer, best known for being an original member and founder of The Spinners, a soul vocal group.



Billy Henderson was born on August 9, 1939, in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA. He grew up in Royal Oak Township, Michigan,[2] he and four friends at Ferndale High School in 1954 formed a group originally called The Domingos and later renamed The Spinners.[1][3] They had several hits, especially in the 1970s, including "I'll Be Around" (1972) and "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love", "Then Came You" (with Dionne Warwick), "The Rubberband Man" and "It's a Shame".

"It's a Shame" is a song co-written by Stevie Wonder, Syreeta Wright and Lee Garrett and produced by Wonder as a single for The Spinners on Motown's V.I.P. Records label.[1] Recorded in 1970, it became the Detroit-reared group's biggest single on the Motown Records company since they had signed with the company in 1964 and also their biggest hit in a decade. The lineup of the quintet included original members Pervis Jackson, Henry Fambrough, Billy Henderson and Bobby Smith and lead vocalist G. C. Cameron. The song, which is about a man who complains about a lover's "messin' around" on him, became a huge hit for the group, reaching number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the R&B singles chart, making it their biggest hit to date. The song was the first song Wonder produced for another act by himself.

The Spinners were nominated for six Grammy Awards and they received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,[4] the second star for a musical group consisting of Afro Americans. Henderson remained with the group for half a century, until 2004.[3]

In February 2007, Henderson died in Daytona Beach, Florida, at the age of 67, from complications caused by diabetes.[5] His grave is located at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Personal lifeEdit

Henderson and his wife Barbara had three sons: Charles, Sterling and Joseph.[6][1]


  1. ^ a b c d Pierre Perrone, Billy Henderson obituary, The Independent, February 6, 2007.
  2. ^ "The Spinners", Timepieces.
  3. ^ a b "Billy Henderson", The Telegraph, February 7, 2007.
  4. ^ "The Spinners Biography", IMDb.
  5. ^ "Spinners Vocalist Billy Henderson Dies", Billboard, February 3, 2007.
  6. ^ Carlyle C. Douglas, "The Spinners", Ebony, July 1976, p. 46.

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See alsoEdit