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!

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