1979 McFadden & Whitehead – Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now
Gene McFadden and John Whitehead began singing in a local group called The Epsilons in the mid-sixties while they were still teenagers. Otis Redding discovered the group, and they toured with his shows. Otis arranged for them to record a single called The Echo, which was released after Otis died in 1967.
The group signed with Philadelphia International Records. The Epsilons released a few singles in the ensuing years, but the label had signed them primarily because they wanted Gene and John as a songwriting team. The duo wrote songs for the label’s artists. The most successful song they wrote came when the O’Jays recorded their song Back Stabbers, which went to number three on the Hot 100 in 1972.
The Epsilons continued to record for several years, and their lack of sales finally forced the group to disband in 1975.
Gene and John formed their own group in 1977 and began releasing records as McFadden & Whitehead. In 1979, they released Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now, a disco tune they co-wrote with keyboard player Jerry Cohen. The single reached #13 on the Hot 100 and topped the R&B chart. As you would expect for a disco song in the late seventies, they also released a seven-minute version of the song.
The pair never reached the Hot 100 again, although they continued to write songs other artists had hits with. They had a few more singles that reached the R&B chart, where their only other top forty single was Heard It In A Love Song (which is not related to the Marshall Tucker Band song).
John was shot and killed in 2004 while his SUV was being repaired. They never identified the killer.
Gene died from complications of liver and lung cancer in 2006.
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