It is a piece of pop music still sure to make your legs move in response; one that will induce merry bobs of your head if you were caught up in some work schedule of conversation. Ain’t no stopping us now is one of the hit tracks of the 70’s and 80’s band McFadden and Whitehead. They were a songwriting, production, and recording duo, best known for this signature tune “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.” McFadden and Whitehead wrote and produced some of the most popular R&B hits of the 1970s, and were primarily associated with Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International soul music record label.
Gene McFadden and John Whitehead formed a group called The Epsilons when they were just teenagers. They would shortly be discovered by Otis Redding with whom they embarked on musical tours in the 6o’s before a plane crash took Redding’s life in 1967. That experienced honed them for their spectacular musical journey.
They after Redding’s demise joined Philly International Records, and did some chartbusting songs. The song “Back Stabbers” which they wrote for the O’Jays in 1972 became in one week the No. 1 song on the charts.
McFadden and Whitehead also worked with other stars like Melba Moore, Freddie Jackson and Gloria Gaynor, Teddy Pendergrass, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Gladys Knight, The Jackson 5, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Lou Rawls, Archie Bell & the Drells and The Intruders, among several others, recording several hits.
All over the world, it was a black day in the music world on May 11, 2004, being the day one of the duo, Whitehead was murdered on the street outside of his Philadelphia home, while working on his car with his nephew.
Two unknown men gunned him down and fled. He was 55 when the incident happened and till today, the murder remains unresolved. His partner, as though could not continue without a partner whose life had woven into his to form a solid unit, passed on in January 2006 from liver and lung cancer.
Their legacy “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”, continues to be a source of inspiration to many. Really, unless you stop yourself from achieving that dream or attaining that life transforming ambition, no one really can stop you.
– Manny Ita