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“Then Came You”

Posted by purplemary54 on March 23, 2013

I was a little remiss earlier this week when I failed to note that Spinners’ lead singer Bobbie Smith passed away at 76.  I’d like to correct that now.  Smith was diagnosed with lung cancer just last November.  He chose to treat the disease aggressively, which compromised his immune system, and he died from complications of pneumonia and the flu.

I’ve never been much of a Spinners fan, but Smith had one of those silky smooth voices that just floated over the music.  He made songs like “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” a pleasure to listen to.  He made otherwise innocuous lyrics sound cool and sexy.  The Spinners might not be my first choice, but I don’t turn them off on the radio, largely because of Bobbie Smith’s performance as a vocalist.

My own personal favorite is their 1974 hit with Dionne Warwick, “Then Came You.”  It’s one of those cheesy 70s love songs I just can’t get enough of.  The combination of those wonderful voices is what makes it so much fun to listen to.  It’s not really a duet in the sense that one singer takes each verse, and they come together for the bridge and chorus.  This is Dionne singing with the group, with Bobbie providing counterpoint vocals when he isn’t harmonizing.  I love the call and response style; it just works so well here.  Smith’s responses to Warwick’s call are emotional and evocative, adding a layer of meaning that this song might have otherwise lacked.  Listen to the fade out, especially when he sings out joyously “I’m a contented man!”  There’s a happiness to this song.  I think it’s a great way to remember a great singer.



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