"Then Came You" Put Dionne Warwick and The Spinners on Top

"Then Came You"
Photo Credit
Atlantic Records

Call them crossovers or team-ups, but when two powerhouses join forces on a singular mission, you never know if their collaboration will be one for the ages or leave you wondering how two great artists could go so wrong. In the case of Dionne Warwick’s 1974 single with The Spinners, the final product landed squarely in the former category...although if you’ve ever heard “Then Came You,” then you already know that.

Penned by Sherman Marshall and Phillip T. Pugh and produced by legendary Philadelphia knob-twiddler Thom Bell, “Then Came You” was – as purists are no doubt already champing at the bit to mention – credited not to Dionne Warwick and The Spinners but, rather, Dionne Warwicke and The Spinners.

Why, you ask, did Dionne perform this name change in 1971? Well, given her history as the spokesperson for the Psychic Friends Hotline, it may not surprise you that she did so at the suggestion of her friend and astrologer, Linda Goodman, who was of the belief that it would bring Dionne greatest success. In that it failed to do so for the first three years of her four-year stint with an extra “E,” we cannot in good conscience attribute the success of “Then Came You” to this move, and nor, we presume, could Dionne, since she dropped the extra “E” in ’75.

That said, however, there’s no doubt that “Then Came You” did indeed change Dionne’s fortunes. Indeed, it provided her with her first-ever No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and it also turned out to be her highest-charting R&B single, too, climbing to No. 2. And she wasn’t alone: the song gave The Spinners their first No. 1 hit on the Hot 100, too.

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As it happens, “Then Came You” turned out to be The Spinners’ only pop chart-topper, although it was far from their last significant chart success: they would go on to have four more Top 5 hits including “Games People Play,” “The Rubberband Man,” “Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me, Girl,” and “Cupid/I’ve Loved You for a Long Time.”

Ms. Warwick, on the other hand, would ascend to the top spot on both the pop and R&B charts one more time, and once again it would be with a collaboration, although this time she’d have several friends in tow.

But, hey, that’s what they’re for, right?

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(Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
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