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Society Confidential: Spinners nominated for Rock Hall

Susan Whitall and Chuck Bennett

Motown’s Spinners nominated for Rock Hall

We’re happy that Motown’s Spinners are among the nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016, announced Thursday — if only it could have happened before the majority of the group died (Bobbie Smith, Philippe Wynne, Pervis Jackson). The original lineup met at Lincoln High School in Ferndale and formed as the Domingoes in 1954. As the Spinners, they had some success on Gwen Gordy and Harvey Fuqua’s Tri-Phi label with the song “That’s What Girls are Made For” in 1961, before being absorbed into Gwen’s brother’s little label, Motown. There, with G.C. Cameron on vocals, they scored with the Stevie Wonder-penned “It’s a Shame” in 1970. There were so many male groups getting more attention at Motown, the group decided to decamp for Atlantic, where they racked up innumerable hits featuring Wynne and Smith on lead vocals: “I’ll Be Around,” “Could it Be I’m Falling in Love,” “Rubberband Man,” and “Mighty Love,” to name a few.

Other nominated acts include: The Cars, Chaka Khan, Chicago, Cheap Trick, Chic, Deep Purple, The J.B.’s (James Brown’s band), Janet Jackson,Los Lobos, Steve Miller, N.W.A., Nine Inch Nails, The Smiths and Yes.

Ballots will now be sent out, voting will commence and inductees will be announced in December. And still, we wait for the Rock Hall to do the right thing by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, the Marvelettes and the MC5.

Germany meets Belleville at MOCAD

The Museum of Contemporary Art & Design hosted “Kraftwerk after hours” Monday, a wildly festive after-party following the Masonic Temple concert by the pioneering German electronic music group. Over a thousand fans partied at the Woodward Avenue museum late into the night, dancing until 2 a.m.

DJ sets were performed by Detroit techno icons Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins and Derrick May, the “Belleville Three,” who were very influenced by the Kraftwerk records they heard played by Detroit air personality the Electrifyin’ Mojo back in the late ’70s. The crowd was surprised and delighted when members of Kraftwerk joined Saunderson on the decks for an unforgettable, collaborative performance. We asked MOCAD executive director Elysia Borowy-Reeder if the museum is considering making cool dance parties a regular occurrence. “We’re making music history tonight,” she said. “Anything is possible.”

Fashion goes industrial

Detroit’s raw, urban Russell Industrial Center was transformed into an industrial chic night club atmosphere with bright red contemporary lounge seating last week when Karmanos Cancer Institute presented its 22nd annual Partners Night. Vicki Howard from Tada Productions produced a dazzling fashion show on a 200-foot runway for the Somerset Collection; Forte Belanger’s “street-style” strolling dinner was on point; interactive graffiti artist Shades created a colorful on-site Detroit mural; Forbes Co. honcho Nate Forbes was a delightful emcee; and best of all, the 700-plus attendees raised more than $800,000 to support the Institute’s cancer research programs.