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McFadden & Whitehead Biography

Gene McFadden (1949, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 27 January 2006, Mount Airy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA) and John Whitehead (b. 1948, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 11 May 2004, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA), were former members of the Epsilons, a group managed by Otis Redding, prior to joining the Philadelphia International Records label. Here they forged a career as producers, playing a major role in the development of the label’s ‘sound’ and as songwriters, penning hits for Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes (‘Bad Luck’, ‘Wake Up Everybody’) and the O’Jays (‘Back Stabbers’), ultimately being responsible for over 20 gold discs. As performers, McFadden and Whitehead enjoyed an international smash with ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ (1979), a defiant, post-disco anthem, highlighted by the latter’s magnificent, exhorting delivery. The duo’s later releases, however, were less successful, and, after serving time in prison for tax evasion, Whitehead embarked on a solo career in 1988 with I Need Money Bad. In May 2004, he was shot dead while working on his car in his native Philadelphia. McFadden succumbed to cancer two years later.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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