Ain't Too Proud To Beg

Album: Gettin' Ready (1966)
Charted: 21 13
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This was written by Motown writers Norman Whitfield and Eddie Holland. Holland, who was part of the Holland/Dozier/Holland writing team, wrote the lyrics. Like many Motown hits, it's a very emotional song, as the singer is pleading for his lover not to leave, but almost in a demanding way, as it's his last chance. He will do whatever it takes to get his girl back, even if he has to beg.
  • Smokey Robinson was The Temptations' main writer at the time. Motown decided to release his "Get Ready" instead of this song, which drove Whitfield nuts. After "Get Ready" didn't meet expectations, "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" was released as The Temptations next single. From there, Whitfield became the regular producer of the Temptations.
  • Whitfield went on to write other Motown classics, including "Heard It Through The Grapevine" and "(I Know) I'm Losing You." He became the chief songwriter for The Temptations.
  • The "ain't too proud to beg" concept showed up two years earlier in the Four Tops hit "Baby I Need Your Loving":

    Some say it's a sign of weakness
    For a man to beg
    Then weak I'd rather be
    If it means having you to keep

    That one was also co-written by Eddie Holland as part of Holland-Dozier-Holland.
  • Whitfield also produced this song. He had Temptations singer David Ruffin sing slightly higher than his normal range, resulting in the pained vocal that went with the lyrics. Whitfield had Marvin Gaye do the same thing on "Heard It Through The Grapevine."
  • This was a hit for The Rolling Stones when they covered it in 1974, taking it to #17 in America. Other notable covers of this song include Phil Collins, TLC, and the one and only Rick Astley, whom the Internet's never gonna give up.
  • This was very popular among US soldiers who were fighting in Vietnam.
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Comments: 10

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaLOVED that honking sax in the background of this song.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 20th 1966, the Temptations performed "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" on the late Dick Clark's American Bandstand...
    Three months earlier on May 22nd, 1967 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #67; and on July 10th, 1966 it peaked at #13 {for 1 week} and also spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on June 19th, 1966 it reached #1 {for 8 non-consecutive weeks} on Billboard's R&B chart {between its 4th & 5th week at #1 "Let's Go Get Stoned" by Ray Charles was in the top spot}...
    It was the first Temp record produced by Norman Whitfield, and their next release, "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep", would also peak at #1 on the R&B chart {#3 on the Top 100}.
  • Kristin from Bessemer, AlPortions of this song are used in the B-52's 1989 tune "Love Shack".
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScThe bass player you're refering to was James Jamerson
  • Brian from Sydney, CanadaThe Funk Brothers could really play. They played on so many hit records that came from Motown it is staggering! They were a group of talented, confident musicians who were as tight as any band out there. They inspired the best of the best such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Being such great musicians themselves they recognized the beautiful music this unknown 'studio band' was making in Detroit. McCartney often cited the bass in the Motown sound as being his biggest musical eye-opener. He knew that the Motown player (name please??), Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) and himself were alwys doing knew things with the Bass-one in London, one in LA and one in Detroit-cool huh? Great band and made those Motown sounds some of the greatest.
  • Jay from Brooklyn, Ny"Ain't" may be poor grammar, but it is the right word to use. "I am Not Too Proud to Beg" would not have had the same feel or the same heart.
  • Jay from Brooklyn, NyThis is one of the greatest songs even written. It should never be rerecorded because no one could possibly sing it better than David Ruffin.
  • Scott from St. Louis, MoUsed prominently in "The Big Chill."
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiathis song was used in a tv commercial in Australia...think it was for a bathroom product
  • Tom from New York, NyTruly a great song.
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