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The Four Tops & The Spinners

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Date: July 04, 2019
Time: 6:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Cost: $25.00 - $125.00

National Cherry Festival welcomes The Four Tops and The Spinners for a night of Motown Music on July 4, 2019.


THE FOUR TOPS

The quartet, originally called the Four Aims, made their first single for Chess in 1956, and spent seven years on the road and in nightclubs, singing pop, blues, Broadway, but mostly jazz—four-part harmony jazz. When Motown’s Berry Gordy Jr. found out they had hustled a national “Tonight Show” appearance, he signed them without an audition to be the marquee act for the company’s Workshop Jazz label. That proved short-lived, and Stubbs’ powerhouse baritone lead and the exquisite harmonies of Fakir, Benson, and Payton started making one smash after another with the writing-producing trio Holland-Dozier-Holland.

Their first Motown hit, “Baby I Need Your Loving” in 1964, made them stars and their sixties track record on the label is indispensable to any retrospective of the decade. Their songs, soulful and bittersweet, were across-the-board successes. “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch),” a no. 1 R&B and Pop smash in 1965, is one of Motown’s longest-running chart toppers; it was quickly followed by a longtime favorite, “It’s The Same Old Song” (no. 2 R&B/no. 5 pop). Their commercial peak was highlighted by a romantic trilogy: the no. 1 “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “Standing In The Shadows Of Love” (no. 2 R&B/no. 6 pop) and “Bernadette” (no. 3 R&B/no. 4 pop)—an extraordinary run of instant H-D-H classics. Other Tops hits from the decade included “Ask The Lonely,” “Shake Me, Wake Me (When It’s Over),” “Something About You,” “You Keep Running Away,” “7-Rooms Of Gloom” and their covers of “Walk Away Renee” and “If I Were A Carpenter.” The group was also extraordinarily popular in the U.K.

After H-D-H split from Motown, producer Frank Wilson supervised the R&B Top 10 hits “It’s All In The Game” and “Still Water (Love)” at the start of the seventies. The Tops also teamed with Motown’s top girl group, the Supremes, post-Diana Ross. Billing themselves The Magnificent Seven for a series of albums, they hit with a cover of “River Deep - Mountain High.”

When Motown left Detroit in 1972 to move to Los Angeles, the steadfast Tops decided to stay at home, and with another label. They kept up a string of hits with ABC-Dunhill for the next few years: “Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I’ve Got),” a Top 5 hit; the Top 10 “Keeper Of The Castle”; and the R&B Top 10’s “Are You Man Enough (from the movie Shaft In Africa),” “Sweet Understanding Love,” “One Chain Don’t Make No Prison” (later covered by Santana), “Midnight Flower” and the disco perennial “Catfish.”

In 1980 the group moved to Casablanca Records. The following year they were at no. 1 again, with “When She Was My Girl,” making them one of the few groups to have hits in three consecutive decades. They also scored R&B Top 40s with the ballads “Tonight I’m Gonna Love You All Over” and “I Believe In You And Me,” the original version of the 1996 Whitney Houston smash. And the Tops were heard in the film Grease 2 with “Back To School Again.” By 1983, riding the wave of the company’s 25th anniversary celebration, the Tops were back with Motown and H-D-H. The reunion resulted in the R&B Top 40 hits “I Just Can’t Walk Away” and “Sexy Ways.”

They signed with Arista later in the decade, and there they racked up their final solo Top 40 hit, “Indestructible,” which was the theme of the 1988 Summer Olympics. That year they also partnered with Aretha Franklin, a longtime friend from Detroit, for the Top 40 R&B “If Ever A Love There Was.” During this period, Stubbs stepped out and gained notoriety for voicing the man-eating plant Audrey II in the film musical Little Shop Of Horrors, for which he sang the cult classic “Mean Green Mother From Outer Space.”

In 1990, with 24 Top 40 pop hits to their credit, the Four Tops were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Though they would no longer have hits on record, the group continued to be a hit in concert, touring incessantly, a towering testament to the enduring legacy of the Motown Sound they helped shape and define. Following Payton’s death in 1997, the group briefly worked as a trio until Theo Peoples, a former Temptation, was recruited to restore the group to a quartet. When Stubbs subsequently grew ill, Peoples became the lead singer and former Motown artist-producer Ronnie McNeir was enlisted to fill Payton’s spot. In 2005, when Benson died, Payton’s son Roquel replaced him.

For Rolling Stone’s 2004 article “The Immortals – The Greatest Artists Of All Time,” Smokey Robinson remembered: “They were the best in my neighborhood in Detroit when I was growing up (and) the Four Tops will always be one of the biggest and the best groups ever. Their music is forever."

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THE SPINNERS

Most often thought of as a Motown recording act, the classic group sound of legendary R&B recording artists, The Spinners has never lost its universal appeal. Throughout the years they have sold millions of records and topped both the Pop and R&B charts with smash hits like “I’ll Be Around” and “Then Came You.” Today, original member Henry Fambrough is joined onstage by lead singer Charlton Washington, high tenor Marvin Taylor, tenor Ronnie Moss, and bass singer Jessie Peck; a soul-infused 5-piece band, led by Keith Ferguson, backs them up.

After a brief time at Motown, The Spinners signed to Atlantic Records in 1972. There, under the helm of producer and songwriter The Spinners charted five top 100 singles (and two top tens) from their first post-Motown album, Spinners (1972), and went on to become one of the biggest soul groups of the 1970s. A partial list of their hit singles on Atlantic include “Mighty Love,” “Then Came You,” “I’ll Be Around,” “One Of A Kind (Love Affair),” “Games People Play,” and “Could It Be.” In 1979, The Spinners completed their first collaboration with producer Michael Zager, and by early 1980, the single, “Working My Way Back to You,” was topping Pop and R&B charts giving the group its 12th gold record. The Love Trippin’ album’s release included “The Cupid Medley,” one of the fastest selling records in The Spinners’ career. The follow-up album, Labor of Love, featured such stand-out tunes as “Yesterday Once More,” and “Long Live Soul Music.” With the release of “Can’t Shake This Feeling,” their fourth LP in just over two years, the quintet entered a brand new phase of their remarkable career as they joined the award winning producing/writing/ playing team of James Mtume and Reggie Lucas. Other past releases include songs on the motion picture soundtracks of “Twins” and “Spaceballs,” and a single on Arista Records with Dionne Warwick entitled “Then Came You.”

The Spinners have six Grammy nominations and have performed twice during the awards ceremony. Inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999, they have also been awarded the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Award for their contribution to the genre. The group has performed for presidents, received a star on the Hollywood “Walk of Fame,” and has appeared in numerous network and cable television specials paying tribute to the music of the 70’s. In September 2011, 57 years after forming in Detroit and 50 years after That's What Girls Are Made For", the group was announced as one of 15 final nominees for the H Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, their first nomination.

Today, this legendary R & B group maintains an active touring schedule, performing for fans of all ages in sold out houses around the world.


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The Four Tops & The Spinners
The Four Tops & The Spinners
July 04, 2019 | 6:00 PM - 10:30 PM
The Four Tops & The Spinners join the National Cherry Festival in a a celebration of Motown Music on July 4, 2019. Reserved Seating Tickets are $45 plus fees.
The Four Tops & The Spinners - General Admission
The Four Tops & The Spinners - General Admission
July 04, 2019 | 6:00 PM - 10:30 PM
The Four Tops & The Spinners join the National Cherry Festival in a a celebration of Motown Music on July 4, 2019. General Admission Tickets are $25 plus fees.
The Four Tops & The Spinners - Deck Package
The Four Tops & The Spinners - Deck Package
July 04, 2019 | 6:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Welcome to The Deck presented by Larceny Bourbon - National Cherry Festival's VIP concert experience. Each package contains a GA ticket and a deck pass with access to our elevated viewing area, dinner and 2 adult beverage per guest. $125 plus fee
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