Thursday, March 19, 2009
Norman Jesse Whitfield (May 12, 1940 – September 16, 2008) was an American songwriter and producer, best known for his work with Berry Gordy's Motown label during the 1960s. He was credited as being one of the creators of the Motown Sound, as well as one of the major instrumental figures in the late-60s sub-genre of psychedelic soul.
The hit singles Whitfield produced in his 25-year career included "I Heard It through the Grapevine", "Ain't Too Proud to Beg", "(I Know) I'm Losing You", "Cloud Nine", "War", "Papa Was a Rolling Stone", "Smiling Faces Sometimes" and "Car Wash". Alongside his Motown lyrical collaborator Barrett Strong, he was inducted to the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2004.
From 1966 until 1974, Whitfield produced virtually all of the material for The Temptations, experimenting with sound effects and other production techniques on the
earliest of his records for them.
In 1973, Whitfield left Motown to form his own record label, Whitfield Records. His first act was The Undisputed Truth, who he had convinced to leave Motown, followed by Rose Royce, Willie Hutch, Nytro, Mammatapee, and Junior Walker. Whitfield had a smash hit in 1976 with Rose Royce's "Car Wash", issued on MCA Records.
Norman Whitfield died on September 16, 2008 at approximately 3:30 pm.
To read more about this Motown Legend, click on "Unsung Heroes Vol. 4... Norman Whitfield" Located above.