Norman Whitfield, producer, songwriter, label exec
Songwriter ~ Label exec

Norman Whitfield

May 12, 1940, New York, NY ~ September 16, 2008, Los Angeles, CA

For all his renown as a composer, Mr. Whitfield was even more prominent as a producer and arranger. He was known especially for his work with the Temptations; he produced many of their recordings for Motown, including the album Cloud Nine, whose title track earned the group a Grammy in 1969. He also helped usher in the era of psychedelic soul, producing the work of artists like Edwin Starr and the Undisputed Truth. ~ New York Times: Norman Whitfield Obituary ~ September 18, 2008 © New York Times

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September 16, 1978 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) Foreigner, Hot Blooded ~ #2 (2) Commodores, Three Times A Lady ~ #1 (1) A Taste Of Honey, Boogie Oogie Oogie


Norman Whitfield ~ Inducted in the 2004 Songwriters Hall of Fame ~ Using his keen eye for observation, Whitfield found a mentor in Motown founder Berry Gordy. After wood-shedding on local labels, he began writing songs for Motown and eventually promoted to head of quality control because he was so meticulous about maximizing hit records. The story of him and songwriting partner Barrett Strong creating three distinct versions of I Heard It Through The Grapevine for Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight & the Pips and The Temptations reflects his creativity. ~ 2004 © Songwriters Hall Of Fame

As a Writer or co-writer

Marvin Gaye ~ I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Whitfield/Strong) ~ Ranked #46 NME 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time in 2014 ~ The wounded, primal cry of a man having discovered, via the titular rumour mill, that their partner has been cheating on them, Gaye's impassioned vocal uniquely puts across the depths of his pain. It's little wonder it became known as Marvin's signature song. ~ 2014 © NME

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