The Spinners were inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame on October 4, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. The event was a black tie gala held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. There was a red carpet and a VIP reception. The evening featured a great concert along with the Induction Ceremony. Many of the honorees performed. There were new versions of old groups and old versions of old groups who performed hit after hit after hit. The music was entertaining and brought back many memories. It was great to see old friends in a celebration of their talent.
The mission of the Hall of Fame is to preserve the music of Rhythm and Blues. It was founded by Lamont “Showboat” Robinson who was actually a basketball star. The executive director is Dr. Fred Wheatt. They are committed to honoring our Rhythm and Blues Legends. Their plan is to build a facility here in Detroit to showcase these artists.
We had a moment of silence for the memory of members who were being inducted who are no longer with us. Of course, my husband, Pervis Jackson is one of those and I was honored to pick up his award. Henry Fambrough, the only remaining original member of the Spinners mentioned Pervis, Bobbie Smith, Phillippe Wynne and Billie Henderson in his acceptance speech. He said that he still misses them.
Dr. Wheatt and Mr. Robinson lamented the fact that they didn’t start this years ago while some of the inductees were still alive. Many of us were picking up awards for our talented loved ones who have gone on. Somehow, we feel that they know they are being honored even if it was not while they were here. This induction means that their legacy will not be forgotten.
The Spinners also received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1997. The award was in recognition of their “artistry and lifelong contributions to Rhythm and Blues music”. However, the foundation does not have a physical building. I am grateful that the Hall of Fame is building a museum where people can come to see videos of performers and hear the music of our Rhythm and Blues artists.
Performers of today need to hear the music that gave them their foundation. I believe that there was more “real music” back in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Lyrics had a great deal more meaning. Whatever you wanted to say, but couldn’t put into words, you could find a song to say it for you. Not so today. You wouldn’t dare repeat some of what is being sung about today.
I am so proud of Pervis! Though he is gone, he is still making history. He was a world class person both on and off stage. He taught me a lot. From him, I learned the meaning of persistence, perseverance and never giving up on your goals. He was my mentor. I would not be writing if it were not for Pervis pushing, nagging and encouraging me. He felt that we needed to speak for our son and now I am speaking for the two Pervises. He was the one with all the courage (or nerve), He is gone, but the lessons he taught me remain with me.
The Spinners are now nominated to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which is located in Cleveland, Ohio. This is their third nomination. Hopefully, the third time is the charm. You can vote for them until December 9 at rockhall.com. If you are not familiar with them, look them up on google or youtube. The Spinners had many hits in the 60s and 70s and did many TV shows. They were the second black group to get a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. They were and still are a first class group who put their all into their performances. The newer members are keeping up the traditions of the founding members.
You are used to me writing about the other Pervis, Pervis Jr. But I had to write about Pervis Sr. who is still having an impact on my life. Of course, Pervis Jr is oblivious to all that his father accomplished, but he knew that his father loved him and wanted the best for him, as do I.
Until next time, May the love of God enfold you; May the Power of God protect you.