Spyder Turner was born in West Virginia, but grew up in the shadow of Motown in Detroit. He became a polished performer at an early age, forming a doo-wop group called the Nonchalants and individually entering talent shows in Detroit and beyond. He won a talent show at the Apollo Theatre at age 16. Two years later, a demo tape he recorded landed him a contract with MGM Records. The recording, a unique cover of "Stand By Me," featuring Turner's impersonations of Smokey Robinson, David Ruffin, Jackie Wilson and others singing the Ben E. King classic, took Pop and Soul Radio by storm and started a professional career for Turner that is still going on to this day.
Turner never scored another major national hit as a singer, but continued to record solid albums throughout the 70s. He also began working with songwriting legend Norman Whitfield, penning Rose Royce's "Do Your Dance," and also appeared and or performed in a number of movies, including Motown's The Last Dragon, Agent Secret 00 Soul and Street Wars.
After working with legendary Detroit bandleader Johnny Trudell in the 90s, Turner has now assembled a crackerjack band of Detroit musicians and is touring, performing an entertaining show of his past hits as well as more impersonations of classic soul stars. He is also working on a new album, cuts from which are featured on his website.
By Chris Rizik