Gene McFadden will chiefly be remembered, as part of the duo McFadden and Whitehead that created the universal disco anthem 'Ain't No Stopping Us Now', that set the world alight in 1979.
In the mid sixties along with his childhood friend John Whitehead, the then teenage Philadelphians, along with three pals formed the Epsilons. Although still in high school the group was invited by Otis Redding to become a part of his revue. They spent a year on the road with him during which time they recorded their first record 'The Echo' for Stax.
McFadden and Whitehead tired of travelling and returned to Philadelphia around 1972. They approached Gamble & Huff’s fledging Philadelphia International empire, who had just signed deal with CBS. They initially recorded as Talk Of Town, but nothing really happened, and spent most of their time working in various roles behind the scenes at the company.
They collaborated together, and came up with the composition 'Back Stabbers', which Huff recorded on the O'Jays, becoming the company's first Gold single. Sidetracked into becoming full time songwriters and producers the duo achieved enormous success, helping the formulation of the legendary Philly soul sound that dominated turntables and air waves in the seventies. You will find their names as writers and producers on numerous Philadelphia International album sleeves. Apart from 'Back Stabbers', among their greatest achievements was Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ 'Wake Up Everybody'.
Some thirty plus Gold singles, Platinum albums and Grammy nominations later, the duo still wanted to make it as recording artists themselves. They wrote and recorded in 1979, although the company weren't keen, 'Ain't No Stopping Us Now'. The rest is History. The follow up single 'I've Been Pushed A Side' was a minor hit, but the next release gave them a sizeable, and last, hit with 'I Heard It In A Love Song'.
In the early eighties they signed for Capitol, but made little impact. They continued to produce albums for other artists, but further mainstream success eluded them. The duo finally split in the mid eighties until the early nineties when they were reunited, and continued to make a healthy living working the lustrous nostalgia circuit and Philly packages.
His long time partner John Whitehead was fatally shot in May 2004. (For full story see TFTW 41/42). Gene McFadden died on 27th January 2006 from liver and lung cancer.
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