Norman Whitfield was part of one of the major songwriting backbones of Motown during the 1960’s. It could be argued that while the great team of Holland-Dozier-Holland gave the label its “Northern Soul” sound (by and large), Whitfield and Barrett Strong stepped in during the late 60’s and injected a funkier sound to the groups, especially for The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and Gladys Knight & the Pips. When HDH left Motown over royalty disputes (eventually forming their own successful record company), Whitfield and Strong became Motown’s titans of the pen.
For a tribute, I chose two songs not quite as well known for being part-written by Whitfield, but nonetheless great classic songs that still sound great today. First, Too Many Fish in the Sea by the Marvellettes:
And second, Smilin’ Faces Sometimes by The Undisputed Truth (but first recorded by The Temptations):