John Whitehead Biography
Renowned singer songwriter, John Whitehead, wrote and performed many songs that gained national and international acclaim. "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" is just one of John's many mega hits. John was nominated three times for Grammy Awards.
It was John Whitehead's love of music that kept him going in the industry for years. At age sixteen, he toured with Otis Redding, who also managed him along with his group, "The Epsilons". After Otis' death, John was managed by Guilda Woods, the wife of popular Philadelphia disc jockey Georgie Woods. John and his group made his first recording on the Stax label entitled, "The Echo," a record that brought the group local fame. Gene McFadden and John Whitehead were the remaining members of The Epsilons, whose name later changed to the "The talk of the Town". John then became affiliated with the production team of Gamble and Huff and the "Sound of Philadelphia". The rest is history. The team of McFadden and Whitehead wrote their first hit, "The Backstabbers" for the O'Jays, which became a gold record. It would be the first of many (37) Gold and Platinum hit records for the team of McFadden and Whitehead and Philadelphia International Records.
After the Backstabbers was written, McFadden and Whitehead went on to write songs for the Backstabbers album, which also went Platinum. Songwriting was natural for John and he began writing songs for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, The Intruders, Billy Paul, Teddy Pendergrass, The Jacksons, Archie Bell and The Drells, The Futures, Lou Rawls, and Ms Jean Carne. John also wrote and produced for Hush Productions recording artists, Freddie Jackson, Melba Moore, Beau Williams and Eric Gable.
John Whitehead performed live around the world and at home in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love for such events as the Philadelphia 76ers' 2001 NBA playoffs and the 2002 NBA All-Star Basketball game. For three years running, John performed at NBA all-star Ray Allen's Ray of Hope Foundation Basketball Tournament. John performed on the Oprah Winfrey TV Show not long ago and was featured on the VH-1 Special, "Where are they now?". John's new CD is entitled "Messages" and it includes such great inspirational songs as, "Let Freedom Ring", "Stand Tall" and a remake of John's "Wake Up Everybody". Let Freedom Ring is a duet with Israeli singing sensation, "Rita" and this song was recently selected as the leading song for the program for the Rally for the Troops at the Washington Mall sponsored by the Citizens United Foundation, April 2003.
Music is the universal language and John's message songs have universal appeal. John's favorite quotation is, "People who make music together cannot be enemies as long as the music lasts." So let the music play!
John Whitehead was shot dead Tuesday, May 11, 2004, in Philadelphia.
Whitehead, 55, and another man were working on a vehicle when they were shot by two gunmen, police said. The assailants fled.
The names Gene McFadden and John Whitehead should be familiar to anyone who has been remotely connected to the music industry during the 70's. They wrote and produced some of the most powerful R&B hits of this decade.
As young men they formed a group called the Epsilons and had a hit called "The Echo". They had the good fortune to be discovered by the late great Otis Reading, touring with him during the late 60's until his unfortunate death.