A report on Norman Whitfield

Norman Whitfield's The Temptations

American songwriter and producer, who worked with Berry Gordy's Motown labels during the 1960s.

- Norman Whitfield
Norman Whitfield's The Temptations

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The "Classic 5" lineup of the Temptations in 1967. Clockwise from top: David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Otis Williams, Eddie Kendricks, and Paul Williams.

The Temptations

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American vocal group from Detroit, Michigan, who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s.

American vocal group from Detroit, Michigan, who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s.

The "Classic 5" lineup of the Temptations in 1967. Clockwise from top: David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Otis Williams, Eddie Kendricks, and Paul Williams.
A promotional image of the original early 1960s Temptations lineup. Clockwise from top right: Otis Williams, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, and Elbridge "Al" Bryant.
The Temptations perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in September 1969. Left to right: Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, and Dennis Edwards.
The Temptations on stage at London's Royal Albert Hall, November 2005. Pictured L-R: Joe Herndon, Otis Williams, G.C. Cameron, Terry Weeks, and Ron Tyson.

The group's work with producer Norman Whitfield, beginning with the Top 10 hit single "Cloud Nine" in October 1968, pioneered psychedelic soul, and was significant in the evolution of R&B and soul music.

Strong in 1996

Barrett Strong

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American singer and songwriter.

American singer and songwriter.

Strong in 1996

Strong was the first artist to record a hit for Motown, although he is best known for his work as a songwriter, particularly in association with producer Norman Whitfield.

Motown

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American record label owned by the Universal Music Group.

American record label owned by the Universal Music Group.

The Hitsville U.S.A. Motown building, at 2648 West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, Motown's headquarters from 1959 to 1968, which became the Motown Historical Museum in 1985
Berry Gordy House, known as Motown Mansion in Detroit's Boston-Edison Historic District
One of Tamla Motown logos

By the mid-1960s, the company, with the help of songwriters and producers such as Robinson, A&R chief William "Mickey" Stevenson, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Norman Whitfield, had become a major force in the music industry.

One of pressings of the 1968 US single

I Heard It Through the Grapevine

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One of pressings of the 1968 US single

"I Heard It Through the Grapevine" is a song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966.

Rose Royce in concert at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California in 2005

Rose Royce

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American soul and R&B group.

American soul and R&B group.

Rose Royce in concert at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California in 2005

Starr introduced them to Norman Whitfield.

Ain't Too Proud to Beg

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"Ain't Too Proud to Beg" is a 1966 song and hit single by The Temptations for Motown Records' Gordy label, produced by Norman Whitfield and written by Whitfield and Edward Holland Jr. The song peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Pop Chart, and was a number-one hit on the Billboard R&B charts for eight non-consecutive weeks.

One of side-A labels of the US vinyl single

War (The Temptations song)

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One of side-A labels of the US vinyl single

"War" is a counterculture era soul song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for the Motown label in 1969.

The Undisputed Truth

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The Undisputed Truth was an American Motown recording act, assembled by record producer Norman Whitfield as a means for being able to experiment with his psychedelic soul production techniques.

Side-A label of the US single of The Temptations recording

Papa Was a Rollin' Stone

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Song originally performed by Motown recording act The Undisputed Truth in 1972, though it became much better known after a Grammy-award winning cover by The Temptations was issued later the same year.

Song originally performed by Motown recording act The Undisputed Truth in 1972, though it became much better known after a Grammy-award winning cover by The Temptations was issued later the same year.

Side-A label of the US single of The Temptations recording
Side-A label of US single of The Undisputed Truth recording

"Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong in 1971.

Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)

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"Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" is a song by American soul group The Temptations, written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong.