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Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now

by

McFadden & Whitehead



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Movie appearances of this song include The Associate (1996 - performed by Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson of The B-52), Boogie Nights (1997), Shrek 2 (2004), Soul Men (2008), You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008), and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011).
Gene McFadden and John Whitehead were songwriters and producers at Philadelphia International Records, where they worked on many of the tracks that helped define the Philadelphia Soul sound. In 1972, they wrote the O'Jays hit "Back Stabbers" with Leon Huff, who co-owned the label with Kenny Gamble. Subsequent hits the pair penned include "I'll Always Love My Mama" by The Intruders (1973) and "Bad Luck" by Harold Melvin.

By the late '70s, McFadden and Whitehead were hankering to record their own material, and convinced Gamble and Huff to let them try. Exhilarated by the opportunity, they thought, "ain't no stopping us now!," and wrote this motivational song. It was inspired by their personal experience, but resonated with anyone looking forward to a challenge. The song went to #1 on the R&B charts and also found a home on Top-40 radio. It has aged well, and is still played on a variety of radio station formats.
McFadden & Whitehead wrote and produced this song with their keyboard player Jerry Cohen. Recorded at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, other musicians on the track include guitarists Dennis Harris and Bobby Eli, bass player James Williams, and drummer Keith Benson. The backing vocals were done by the female trio of Barbara Ingram, Carla Benson and Evette Benton, who sang on many of the recordings that came out of Sigma. They had various appellations, including The Sweeties, The Philadelphia Angels, and The Girls.
This was the only hit for McFadden & Whitehead. They released two more albums: I Heard It In A Love Song (1980) and Movin' On (1983).

Whitehead's sons Johnny and Kenny had some success in the '90s as part of an R&B group called the Whitehead Brothers.
John Whitehead claimed that he made up the lyrics on the spot in the studio, and did his vocal in just one take.
On May 11, 2004, Whitehead was shot to death while he was working on a vehicle in Philadelphia. He was 55.
Wayman Tisdale recorded an instrumental version for his 2004 album Hang Time that was a hit on American smooth jazz radio stations. (thanks, Beau - Phoenix, AZ)
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Comments (9):

On June 23rd 1979, McFadden and Whitehead performed "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
Two months earlier on April 22nd it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #80; and on July 15th it peaked at #13 (for 2 weeks) and spent 18 weeks on the Top 100...
And on May 27th it reached #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
The duo composed the O'Jays' "Back Stabbers"; and on September 3rd, 1972 it peaked at #1 (for 1 week) on the R&B chart...
Sadly, both gentlemen have passed away; Gene McFadden (1948 - 2006) and John Whitehead (1948 - 2004)...
May they both R.I.P.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
Just wondering if there's any connection in the fact that this song peaked at #13 and it was the only record by McFadden & Whitehead to make the Top 100!!!
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
I had the pleasure of working a little bit with Jerry Cohen in the early 1980's. He carried an electronic keyboard with him that was in a black music case. He had layed it down as you would if you were going to open the case. Using stencils, he carefully painted his name JERRY COHEN on the side of the case. Unfortunatly, he did it from the same side as you would when you open the case. What that means is when he carried the keyboard, his name was upside down. (P.S., no lie, this song came on the radio as I wrote this)
- tom, souderton, PA
This song and the Jones Girls "You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else" were the last two million-sellers on Gamble and Huff's legendary Philadelphia International Records label.
- John, Nashville, TN
this song was also a hit in 1988 for a relatively unknown singer called steve walsh who also had a hit with a cover of the fatback bands 1984 hit 'i found lovin'
- jeff, liverpool, England
This song,a huge disco hit,was also a metaphor for what the authors hoped would be a resurgence of the old civil rights movement.
It was also sampled in Jocko Henderson's rap song,Rhythm Talk from 1982.
- Doug, Oakland, CA
McFadden & Whitehead recorded a modified version of this song for the 1980 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies. They also did a version for the Philadelphia 76ers, who used it as a promotional song during the 1999-2000 season.
- Jack, Philadelphia, PA
McFadden died this year (2006) after suffering from cancer in Philadephia, PA. He was 56-years old. - John, Silver Creek, MS
- John-Martin, Silver Creek, MS
I've heard that the lyrics to this song were written in the back of a limo on the way to the recording studio. Apparently, the duo had put the task off and instead partied the previous night. In a hangover-ridden writing frenzy, either McFadden or Whitehead (or both) completed the lyrics in the car, arrived at the studio and laid the song down. I have no idea if this is true, but, damn, I hope it is.
- Reed Coss, Los Angeles, CA
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