The Spinners

Formed 1958.

UK folk group

The Spinners


The Spinners were a folk group from Liverpool, England, that formed in September 1958. The group was unusual for its time in having a multiracial membership.

They variously had four albums in the UK Albums Chart between September 1970 and April 1972. One of them, Spinners Live Performance (1971), spent three months in the listing and peaked at No. 14.

The band began as a skiffle group with a mainly American repertoire, until they were prompted by Redd Sullivan, a seaman, to include sea shanties and English folk songs. They started out as The Gin Mill Skiffle Group, which included guitarist Tony Davis and washboard player Mick Groves. The group played the Cavern Club, Liverpool for the first time on Friday 18 January 1957, with The Muskrat Jazz Band and The Liverpool University Jazz Band. They played there on a number of occasions on Friday 24 May; Sunday 26 May; Wednesday 5 June; Wednesday 3 July and Friday 16 August 1957. They became The Spinners in September 1958. They founded a folk club in Liverpool, the 'Triton Club', but soon were performing in London at places such as 'The Troubadour'. Their first album, Songs Spun in Liverpool, was recorded by Bill Leader from live performances. In 1962 Peter Kennedy of the English Folk Dance & Song Society recorded an album with them called Quayside Songs Old & New. In 1963 Philips Records signed them, and they recorded eight more albums over the next eight years. They signed for EMI Records in the early 1970s.

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