It's a Shame (The Spinners song)

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"It's a Shame"
Single by the Spinners
from the album 2nd Time Around
B-side"Together We Can Make Such Sweet Music" (1st ver.)
ReleasedJune 11, 1970
StudioGolden World (Studio B)
(Detroit, Michigan)
Producer(s)Stevie Wonder
The Spinners singles chronology
"Message from a Black Man"
"It's a Shame"
"We'll Have It Made"

"It's a Shame" is a song co-written by Stevie Wonder, Syreeta Wright and Lee Garrett and produced by Wonder as a single for the Spinners on Motown's V.I.P. Records label. The single became the Detroit-reared group's biggest single on the Motown Records company since they had signed with the company in 1964 and also their biggest hit in a decade.

The lineup of the Spinners include original members Pervis Jackson, Henry Fambrough, Billy Henderson and Bobby Smith and lead vocalist G.C. Cameron. The quintet recorded the single in 1970.

The song, which is about a man who complains about a lover's "messin' around" on him, became a huge hit for the group reaching number fourteen on the Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the R&B singles chart, making it one of their biggest hits to date. The song was the first song Wonder produced for another act by himself.

Two years later, the group would leave Motown for a contract with Atlantic Records on the advice of fellow Detroit native Aretha Franklin, also an artist on that label. Cameron, who was having an affair with Gwen Gordy Fuqua (sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy) decided to stay in Motown and the group hired Cameron's cousin Philippé Wynne to replace him. Later, Cameron moved with the Gordys to Los Angeles, and stayed with Motown for over a decade. In 2003 Paul Jackson Jr. performed a cover on the electric guitar from his album Still Small Voice.

Beverly Dewitt Yancey, the father of hip-hop producer J Dilla, claims to have ghostwritten the song and sold it to Motown, but the song’s attributed writers dispute this.[1]

Television performance[edit]

The Spinners performed "It's a Shame" and other hits on The Midnight Special television program on July 23, 1976 (season 4, episode 37). The group hosted the show that week.[2]


Chart performance[edit]


  1. ^ Charnas, Dan (2022). Dilla time : the life and afterlife of J Dilla, the hip-hop producer who reinvented rhythm (First ed.). New York: MCD. p. 36. ISBN 9780374139940.
  2. ^ "The Midnight Special". Archived from the original on 2020-08-08. Retrieved 2017-08-13.
  3. ^ "Motown Spinners songs and albums | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 4, 2023.
  4. ^ "The Spinners Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved December 4, 2023.
  5. ^ a b "1970: The Top 100 Soul/R&B Singles". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  6. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1970/Top 100 Songs of 1970". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  7. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1970". 29 November 2014.

External links[edit]