Monday, 17 October 2016

Norman Whitfield Musical Legacy Lives On Pt.2

Whilst at Motown, in addition to his success with the Temptations, Norman produced gold singles and albums for Rare Earth, a white rock band. “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, in the version performed by the late Marvin Gaye, was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "historical, artistic and significant" value. In 1986, two years after Gaye's death, the song was re-released in the UK and peaked at number eight on the UK official Pop Singles Chart, thanks to a Levi's commercial. The song also charted successfully in Germany, peaking at number five on the chart. The song also achieved chart success twice on the Irish Singles Chart, reaching number seven on its initial release in 1969 and peaking at number four on its 1986 re-release.

Marvin Gaye's version of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” has since become a landmark in Pop music. In 2004, it ranked at number 80 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
On the commemorative 50th Anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100 issue of Billboard magazine in June 2008, Marvin Gaye's version was ranked as the 65th biggest song on the chart. It was also inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame for "historical, artistic and significant" value.

Before Norman left the Motown organisation, he received several Grammy Awards. "Cloud Nine" won Motown Records its first Grammy Award in1969. He received a second Grammy award for “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone" for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group and he finally received Grammy awards for the instrumental B-side to “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone" with the legendary Motown strings arranger Paul Riser for Best R&B Instrumental Performance and a joint award with co- writer Barrett Strong for Best R&B Song “Psychedelic Soul” the same year at the Grammy Ceremony.

 The legendary Motown strings arranger Paul Riser received a Grammy with Norman for Best R&B Instrumental Performance and joint award with co-writer Barrett Strong for Best R&B Song “Psychedelic Soul” the same year at the Grammy Ceremony.

"Car Wash" soundtrack
After his departure from Motown Records he went on to have tremendous success with a film sound track called “Car Wash” which was his first major project after leaving Motown Records. The album and single were certified gold and platinum by the RIAA (Record Industry Association of America). The single went on to achieve number one both on the Billboard Pop and R&B single chart listings, whilst the album went to number 14 on the Billboard Pop album chart listings. The soundtrack won a Grammy award in 1977 for Album of Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special at the 19th Grammy Award Ceremony. The film cost less than $2 million to make and generated over $20 million at the box office. By the end of the 1970s, it is interesting to note that black soundtracks and films generated over $100 million in estimated
revenue, marketed mainly to black audiences.  


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About Me

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Old Harlow, Essex, United Kingdom
Kevin Tomlin has over 34 years of teaching experience in Jamaica, England and America, including 15 years teaching music history of black origin and visual art in South Florida, U.S.A., through Arts in Education. Tomlin created special training programmes and workshops for music teachers in South Florida schools, using music history as the foundation, to build exciting programmes of study and support materials for education professionals. Since 2000, he’s taught music history, geography, religious education, history, visual arts and performing arts at schools in Hertfordshire and Essex, at both primary and secondary levels. He conducts research and provides consultancy services for multi-media organisations, schools, recording artists, cultural and faith-based groups and entertainment professionals.

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