1960 Barrett Strong – Money
Motown’s first hit record was recorded in 1959 by Barrett Strong, a friend of Berry Gordy. Barrett was one of the earliest artists to sign with Berry’s Tamla Record label. The song was developed during a jam session that included Berry playing piano and Barrett singing lyrics written by Janie Bradford. Barrett initially had credit for co-writing the song, but that appears to have been a clerical error that has since been corrected.
The single peaked at #23 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart in early 1960.
The Beatles released their cover version of the song on their second album and often performed the song live in many of their early appearances. They released Please Mr. Postman as a single in Japan and included Money as the b-side of the record.
Barrett kept recording singles throughout his career, but never reached the Hot 100 again. He did, however, have a very successful career as a lyricist.
Working with Motown producer Norman Whitfield, Barrett co-wrote I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me), Ball Of Confusion, War, and many more hit records for Motown artists.
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