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Goodbye, Norman Whitfield

17 Sep

Whitfield (on the left) with Barrett Strong

Norman Whitfield, the man behind many of Motown’s biggest hits, has died after a long bout with diabetes. Whitfield began writing for Motown when he was 19 years old.

Some of the classic songs he wrote for Motown artists, we covered by some of the biggest acts in the world. The Beatles’ covered ‘Money (That’s What I Want), The Stones did a version of his ‘Ain’t Too Proud To Beg’, Creedence Clearwater Revival did a cover of his ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’.

Between 1966 and 1974, Whitfield produced nearly every song by The Temptations.

Highlights of the hits of Norman Whitfield are:

1963: “Pride & Joy” – Marvin Gaye
1964: “Too Many Fish in the Sea” – The Marvelettes
1964: “Needle in a Haystack” – The Velvelettes
1964: “He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin'” – The Velvelettes
1964: “Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)” – The Temptations
1966: “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” – The Temptations
1966: “Beauty Is Only Skin Deep” – The Temptations
1966: “(I Know) I’m Losing You” – The Temptations
1967: “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” – Gladys Knight & the Pips, also recorded by Marvin Gaye and Creedence Clearwater Revival
1967: “You’re My Everything” – The Temptations
1967: “I Wish It Would Rain” – The Temptations
1968: “I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You) – The Temptations
1968: “The End Of Our Road” – Gladys Knight & The Pips
1968: “Cloud Nine” – The Temptations
1969: “Friendship Train” – Gladys Knight & the Pips
1969: “Runaway Child, Running Wild” – The Temptations
1969: “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby” – Marvin Gaye
1969: “I Can’t Get Next to You” – The Temptations
1969: “Don’t Let The Joneses Get You Down” – The Temptations
1970: “You Need Love Like I Do (Don’t You)” – Gladys Knight & The Pips, also recorded by The Temptations
1970: “Psychedelic Shack” – The Temptations
1970: “Hum Along and Dance” – The Temptations (later covered by Rare Earth and The Jackson 5)
1970: “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)” – The Temptations
1970: “War” – Edwin Starr
1971: “Smiling Faces Sometimes” – The Undisputed Truth, originally recorded by The Temptations
1971: “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” – The Temptations
1972: “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” – The Temptations
1973: “Masterpiece” – The Temptations
1973: “Let Your Hair Down” – The Temptations
1976: “Car Wash” – Rose Royce
1976: “I’m Going Down” – Rose Royce
1976: “I Wanna Get Next to You” – Rose Royce
1977: “Ooh Boy” – Rose Royce
1977: “Wishing on a Star” – Rose Royce
1978: “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” – Rose Royce

RIP, Norman — you were THE MAN!

Food Network Magazine is Coming Soon

17 Sep

Would you subscribe?

I would surely be open to giving them a try …

Despite the mixed history of publishing partnerships, Hearst Magazines and the Food Network are forging ahead with their new food title. Food Network Magazine, as they’re calling it, will represent the array of the network’s celeb chefs, from Paula Deen to Ina Garten to Bobby Flay. The first of two test issues is slated to come out in October, with a second to follow in January, said Michael Clinton, executive vp, chief marketing officer and publishing director for Hearst.

Hearst has been tight-lipped about the magazine since starting to work on it in earnest early in 2008. The company has only recently acknowledged its existence and begun sharing information with buyers. Hearst is proceeding relatively cautiously, calling the titles a test, setting distribution at a relatively modest 300,000 copies, and holding off on hiring a publisher or dedicated sales staff until it decides to proceed with a full launch.

Clinton agreed to talk about the magazine after Mediaweek learned details of the tests. The first issue contains 160 pages, 50 of them ad pages, including such clients as JCPenney, Kraft and Unilever. Some buyers said Hearst offered pages for free to loyal advertisers; Clinton said the company doesn’t comment on financial arrangements with clients. He also declined to give details of the partnership with the Food Network, saying only it was a collaboration.

Food titles have taken their licks this year, with ad pages down 11.5 percent across the category, per the Mediaweek Monitor. But Jeff Fischer, senior vp, managing director at Universal McCann over Johnson & Johnson’s print business, said that with only a handful of mass-reach food magazines, there was room for another title, particularly as advertisers look to target consumers based on their passions. He said the Food Network, with its strong brand equity, also would be a plus.

With the tagline “Cook like a star,” the oversized title will plug a hole in Hearst’s portfolio, which is heavy on women’s books but lacks a pure food magazine.
“We saw an opening in the epicurean field for a unique product,” Clinton said. “It is such a powerful brand today in America. The opportunity to create a new product through the lens of the Food Network got us really excited.”

Magazines formed from partnerships have had uneven success, as Hearst well knows. Three such magazines it was involved with, Offspring, Talk and Lifetime, flopped. Even O, The Oprah Magazine (a partnership between Hearst and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo) has seen its success cool lately. Single-copy sales fell 17.3 percent in the first half of 2008. So far this year, its ad pages have declined less than other women’s lifestyle publications, but for all of 2007, its ad pages rose only 4.5 percent versus an overall category gain of 11.3 percent.

Clinton said Food Network Magazine’s advantage would lie in its fun approach to cooking. Unlike other celebrity-based magazines, notably Reader’s Digest Association’s Every Day with Rachael Ray (where Maile Carpenter was an editor before Hearst poached her to create the tests), the Food Network Magazine won’t have its fortunes tied to a single personality. “It’s not just focused on high gourmet or food that you make everyday, but everything in between,” he said. “Anyone who’s interested in food is going to be interested in the magazine.”

The magazine will be promoted though subscription cards in the test issues and other Hearst titles; direct mail; and Food Network’s online and on-air properties. Clinton said a decision about a full rollout and frequency would be made after the test period.

Have You Tried Beer Chips?

17 Sep

The Food and Wine section in our local newspaper had a short blurb about Beer Chips. Sounded pretty interesting, so I thought I would pass along the tip to all you foodies out there. Note: This same Portland, Oregon-based company also makes a tequila and lime chip as well as a Bloody Mary flavored chip. Cool, huh?

Which came first – the potato chip or the beer to drink after eating it?

These babies are thick-cut kettle style chips with a serious coating of sugar and salt and to top it off, covered with a major dose of the world’s most perfect beverage…beer.

These guzzle worthy chips provide a common sense answer when the inevitable and life-altering munchies come along and your stomach has taken over the thinking process with the only words it knows is “Beer & Chips”.

By really thinking hard one afternoon, the inventor of Beer Chips® created this technical beer-o-vation breakthrough. Beer Chips® will be there for you to help you truly multi-task while you watch your favorite game or hang out with friends. A virtual party in your mouth delivered in a shiny golden amber bag.

The beer snack god is now in the house.

Learn about how they were developed at: