|Born||February 5, 1941|
West Point, Mississippi, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, musician|
|Labels||Motown (Tamla), Anna, Epic, Capitol, independent|
|Associated acts||The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Edwin Starr, The Undisputed Truth|
Barrett Strong (born February 5, 1941) is an American singer and songwriter. 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.Among his most famous work at Motown, Strong wrote the lyrics for many of the songs recorded by the Temptations.
He was born in West Point, Mississippi.
Strong was among the first artists signed to Berry Gordy's fledgling label, Tamla Records, and was the performer on the company's first hit, "Money (That's What I Want)",which reached No. 2 US R&B in 1960. The single was originally released on Tamla, Motown's first label, but was then leased to the Anna label as it was getting airplay, and it was on the Anna label that it was a hit. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. "Money" was later recorded by a number of acts, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Kingsmen, Richard Wylie and His Band, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Searchers, the Flying Lizards, the Sonics and Buddy Guy. Strong claims that he co-wrote "Money" with Gordy and Janie Bradford; his name appears on the song's original copyright registration with the United States Copyright Office. Gordy disputed these claims, stating that Strong's name was only included because of a clerical error.
In the mid-1960s, Strong became a Motown writer lyricist, teaming with producer Norman Whitfield.Together, they wrote some of the most successful and critically acclaimed soul songs ever to be released by Motown, including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by both Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight & the Pips; "War" by Edwin Starr; "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)" by Paul Young; "Smiling Faces Sometimes" by the Undisputed Truth; and the long line of "psychedelic soul" records by the Temptations, including "Cloud Nine", "I Can't Get Next to You", "Psychedelic Shack", "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)", and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone", amongst others. Strong received a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1973 for "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone". Strong and Whitfield also co-wrote the ballad "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)", a 1971 Billboard No. 1 that also marked the last Temptations single to feature original members Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams.
After Motown moved its operations base from Detroit, Michigan, to Los Angeles, California, Strong left the label and resumed his singing career.He signed with Epic in 1972. Strong left the label for Capitol Records, where he recorded two albums in the 1970s.
In the 1980s, Strong recorded "Rock It Easy" on an independent label, and wrote "You Can Depend on Me", which appeared on their The Second Time album (1988).He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004.
Strong has re-released his latest album, Stronghold II, which he wrote and composed in collaboration with rocker/songwriter Eliza Neals in 2008, in digital format only.
In 2010, Strong appeared in "Misery", his first music video in his fifty years of recording music, co-produced by Eliza Neals and Martin "Tino" Gross with Strong at the helm.
The Temptations are an American vocal group from Detroit, Michigan, who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. 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. The band members are known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and dress style. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are among the most successful groups in popular music.
Motown Records is an American record label owned by the Universal Music Group. It was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. as Tamla Records on January 12, 1959, and incorporated as Motown Record Corporation on April 14, 1960. Its name, a portmanteau of motor and town, has become a nickname for Detroit, where the label was originally headquartered.
Berry Gordy III, known professionally as Berry Gordy Jr., is an American record executive, record producer, songwriter, film producer and television producer. He is best known as the founder of the Motown record label and its subsidiaries, which was the highest-earning African-American business for decades.
The Funk Brothers were a group of Detroit-based session musicians who performed the backing to most Motown recordings from 1959 until the company moved to Los Angeles in 1972.
"I Heard It Through the Grapevine" is a song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966. The first recording of the song to be released was produced by Whitfield for Gladys Knight & the Pips and released as a single in September 1967. It went to number one on the Billboard R&B Singles chart and number two on the Billboard Pop Singles chart and shortly became the biggest selling Motown single to date.
Norman Jesse Whitfield was an American songwriter and producer, who worked with Berry Gordy's Motown labels during the 1960s. He has been credited as one of the creators of the Motown Sound and of the late-1960s subgenre of psychedelic soul.
"Money " is a rhythm and blues song written by Tamla founder Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford, which was the first hit record for Gordy's Motown enterprise. Barrett Strong recorded it in 1959 as a single for the Tamla label, distributed nationally on Anna Records. Many artists later recorded the tune, including the Beatles in 1963 and the Flying Lizards in 1979.
"Just My Imagination " is a song by American soul group The Temptations, written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong. Released on the Gordy (Motown) label, and produced by Norman Whitfield, it features on the group's 1971 album, Sky's the Limit. When released as a single, "Just My Imagination" became the third Temptations song to reach number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The single held the number 1 position on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart for two weeks in 1971, from March 27 to April 10. "Just My Imagination" also held the number one spot on the Billboard R&B Singles chart for three weeks, from February 27 to March 20 of that year.
That Stubborn Kinda Fellow is the second studio album by Marvin Gaye, released on the Tamla label in 1963. The second LP Gaye released on the label, it also produced his first batch of successful singles for the label and established Gaye as one of the label's first hit-making acts in its early years.
Solid Rock is a 1972 album by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label, produced by Norman Whitfield. The LP was the first made primarily without founding members and original lead singers Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams. Frustrated by conflicts and fights with Temptations Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin, and producer Whitfield's steadfast insistence on producing psychedelic soul for the group when they really wanted to sing ballads, Kendricks had quit the act and negotiated a solo deal with Motown's Tamla label.
Greatest Hits II is a 1970 greatest hits album for The Temptations, released by the Gordy (Motown) label. The sequel to the first Temptations greatest hits LP from 1966, Greatest Hits II collects several of the late-1960s hits that followed the release of the first compilation. Included here are the final collection of David Ruffin-led singles, including "(I Know) I'm Losing You", "I Wish It Would Rain" and "I Could Never Love Another ", and the first of the Dennis Edwards-led psychedelic soul records, including "Cloud Nine" and "Psychedelic Shack". A new non-album single, the #3 hit "Ball of Confusion ", is also included.
That's the Way Love Is is the tenth studio album by soul musician Marvin Gaye, released on January 8, 1970, on the Tamla (Motown) label. Built on the success of the title track originally taken from M.P.G., and much like Gaye's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" after its success, was released with intent to sell albums based on the success of one particular single. Gaye was showing signs of disillusionment from the label's powers-that-be mentality but it didn't affect the singer's performance as he gave a powerful vocal in the title track and was especially impressive with his version of The Beatles' "Yesterday". He achieved some success with a cover version of "How Can I Forget?", which just missed out on the US Pop Top 40, making #41, and reached #18 on the R&B Charts. Its B-side, a cover of Jimmy Ruffin's "Gonna Give Her All the Love I've Got", made a separate chart entry, and peaked at #67 and #27 on the Pop and Soul Charts respectively. Gaye also recorded a version of Ruffin's "Don't You Miss Me a Little Bit Baby" for the album. The LP also features Gaye's rendition of the socially conscious tune "Abraham, Martin & John", which became a hit in the UK, peaking at #9 in June 1970. The single is widely regarded as a hint of what would follow a year later with his What's Going On. He also covered The Temptations' hits "I Wish It Would Rain" and "Cloud Nine".
Anthology: The Temptations is one of three greatest hits collections released by Motown Records covering the work of soul/R&B group The Temptations. The initial release was a vinyl three-LP set issued on August 23, 1973, which covered the group's work up to that point. A compact disc double album version was issued in 1986, including five additional tracks recorded between 1973 and 1984. The third and final version of Anthology, also a 2-CD release, was issued on May 23, 1995, with a further re-tooled track listing. In 2003, the album was ranked number 398 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time; the list's 2012 edition had it ranked 400th, while on the 2020 edition it was ranked at number 371.
Super Hits is a compilation album by American soul singer, songwriter, and producer Marvin Gaye. It was released in 1970 by Motown's subsidiary Tamla Records and compiles Gaye's pop-R&B singles recorded from 1962 to 1969.
Hi... We're the Miracles is the first album by Motown's first group, The Miracles, released on Motown's Tamla subsidiary label in the summer of 1961. It also has the distinction of being the first album ever released by the Motown Record Corporation The album features several songs that played an important role in defining The Motown Sound and establishing songwriters Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy.
The Gordys are an African-American family of businesspeople and music industry executives. They were born to Georgia-reared parents Berry "Pops" Gordy Sr. and Bertha Fuller Gordy and raised in Detroit, where most of the siblings played a pivotal role in the international acceptance of rhythm and blues music as a crossover phenomenon in the 1960s. The accomplishment is attributable to the creation of Motown, a company founded by the seventh-oldest sibling, Berry Gordy Jr.
"Gonna Give Her All the Love I've Got" is a 1967 Soul song, originally recorded and made a hit by Jimmy Ruffin on Motown's Soul Label imprint. Ruffin's 1967 original version, from his album Jimmy Ruffin Sings Top Ten, reached the Pop Top 30, peaking at #29, and was a Top 20 R&B Hit as well, peaking at #14. It was also a hit in Britain, reaching #26 on the UK Singles Chart. The song has a social context: it depicts a man anticipating his release from prison on the morrow, when he'll return home on a train to "the girl that I left behind," promising himself that he will reward her steadfast love for him by "giv[ing] her all the love [he's] got." The song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong and produced by Whitfield.
Anna Records was a short-lived record label, known as a forerunner of Motown, founded by sisters Anna and Gwen Gordy and Roquel Billy Davis in 1959 and located in Detroit, Michigan. Gwen Gordy and Davis had written hit songs for Jackie Wilson and Etta James prior to founding the label. Anna Records recorded acts like David Ruffin, future lead singer of the Temptations, Joe Tex, Herman Griffin, Johnny Bristol and his partner Jackey Beavers, and future Motown hit-making songwriter-producer Lamont Dozier. They hired future Motown star Marvin Gaye as drummer for the label.
"Come to Me" is the debut single by American singer Marv Johnson. It is notable as the first ever single to be released by what would eventually become known as Motown, on the newly formed Tamla Records label. It also became Johnson's first hit single after the song was nationally distributed by United Artists. It was recorded at United Sound Systems.
"Don't You Miss Me a Little Bit Baby" is a 1967 soul song originally recorded by Motown singer Jimmy Ruffin and released on the company's Soul subsidiary label.