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zzsoul20060618

 

 

McFadden and Whitehead

Soultrain thinks that these guys have got it going on. Gene McFadden and John Whitehead are legendary songwriters that helped form what is now known worldwide as the "Philly Sound". Excellent songwriters, the duo wrote an impressive string of top hits for some of America's top acts, including The O'Jays (Backstabbers), Archie Bell & The Drells (Let's Groove, Don't Let Love Get You Down) and Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Wake Up Everybody, Bad Luck).

They got their start as members of the Epsilons, a group that toured throughout the 1960's and was managed by Otis Redding. The Epsilons changed their name to Talk of the Town, and began working with the legendary composer/producers Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff. Gamble & Huff knew a good thing when they saw it, and they signed Gene and John to their Philadelphia International label. The duo wrote the aforementioned string of blockbuster hits for Gamble & Huff, and decided that with disco starting to take off in the U.S., it was a great time to strike out again as performers.

Their first single "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" was a huge club hit, going to number one on the UK & U.S. R&B charts and number thirteen on the pop charts. Featuring an elegant string orchestration, and a melody that builds to a crescendo, the song is a true treasure. It's positive message and sweeping vibe has made the song an all-purpose anthem for anyone that refuses to be held down any more". Right on.

Unfortunately, they have yet to top this early success on the charts. McFadden & Whitehead have steadily worked as writers and producers however. Their list of clients is a virtual who's-who of soul and disco, including names like Gloria Gaynor, Freddie Jackson, the O'Jays and Melba Moore. The group signed with the TSOP label in 1979 and had a minor hit with "I Heard It In A Love Song" in 1980.