philly 76


On this day in music history: June 2, 1979 - “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, and #13 on the Hot 100 on July 21, 1979. Written by Gene McFadden, John Whitehead and Jerry Cohen, it is the biggest hit for the Philadelphia, PA based R&B vocal, songwriting and production duo. McFadden and Whitehead are intially discovered by R&B legend Otis Redding in 1967 before becoming staff writers and producers for Philadelphia International Records, co-writing such classics as “Back Stabbers” for The O’Jays, “I’ll Always Love My Mama” for The Intruders, and “Bad Luck” and “Wake Up Everybody” for Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes”. After years of watching other artists have hits with their songs, the duo decide to once again chase their dream of being a successful recording act. In late 1978, McFadden & Whitehead begin work on their self-titled debut album. The duo write the music for what becomes “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” with keyboardist Jerry Cohen. Not having written the lyrics ahead of time, John and Gene literally improvise them on mic while tracking their vocals, capturing their lead vocals in a single take. Released in March of 1979, the single is an immediate smash on the radio and on the dance floor. “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” is also adopted as an anthem for civil rights, and the theme song for the Philadelphia Phillies, The 76’ers, and the Eagles. The duo record a special version of the song with altered lyrics (referring to the Phillies and the Eagles) that is released as a limited edition 12” in 1980. The complete original version of the track (clocking in at over ten and a half minutes) is also released as 12” single during the songs original run on the charts. A Philly Soul classic and regarded as one of the greatest songs of the Disco Era, the song is covered several times, with versions by Luther Vandross, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson (of The B-52’s), and Wayman Tisdale. McFadden & Whitehead’s original recording is featured in the film “Boogie Nights” in 1997.  “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.