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Philly hit maker Gene McFadden dead at 56

Jan. 28, 2006 at 6:42 PM

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Philadelphia soul hit-maker Gene McFadden, who co-wrote "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" with his partner John Whitehead, has died at age 56.

McFadden died at his Philadelphia home Friday of liver and lung cancer, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Saturday.

In addition to "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," McFadden and Whitehead were responsible for hits such as the O'Jays' "Backstabbers" and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' "Wake Up Everybody."

Whitehead died in May 2004 from a drive-by shooting that remains unsolved. He was 55.

The duo met in high school and formed a band called the Epsilons, which toured with Otis Redding until his death in 1967, the Inquirer said.

They later had a moderate hit in 1970 with "The Echo" and later changed their name to Talk of the Town.

Producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff recognized McFadden and Whitehead's songwriting talent and hired them at Philadelphia International, where they stayed for 16 years.

A year after their album, "McFadden and Whitehead," came out in 1979, they started working for Gamble and Huff's subsidiary TSOP (the Sound of Philadelphia) and later moved onto Capitol Records.

McFadden is survived by his wife, two daughters and two sons.

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