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Remembering John Whitehead

The late great singer and songwriter, John C. Whitehead passed away in Philadelphia, PA his home town on May 11, 2004. John was born in Philadelphia, the son of Mary E. Whitehead and the late John W. Whitehead, a Christian minister. John was taken from
us tragically and without warning by a senseless act of violence in the "City of Brotherly Love."

Known for his many famous songs, John was predominantly a songwriter but was also a singer par excellence. His inspirational hit song "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" which sold over eight million records was sung with his long time music partner Gene Mc Fadden. It raced to the top of the charts and John was nominated for "Songwriter of the Year" and "Artist of the Year". "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" has remained a classic ever since and has inspired the masses to "Let Nothing Hold Us Back".

Other hit songs for which John was well known included such R&B chart toppers as "Backstabbers" by the O'Jays, "For the Love of Money", "Bad Luck", "I'll Always Love My Mamma", "Wake Up Everybody", sung by Teddy Pendergrass, "Where Are All My Friends", "The More I Get"... and the list goes on.

John Whitehead had 37 gold and platinum albums in his music career and two Grammy Nominations. His newest CD project entitled "Messages" was recently completed and scheduled for release before his untimely death. John's life was cut short by gun shots fired at someone else. Ironically, one of the songs on John's MESSAGES CD, "Stand Tall" commented on the violence in our inner cities:

"Look around and you'll see the situation...
It's looking black, Drugs and guns have over run our city streets...
Tears us all apart,
Now it's time to renew this once great nation,
For our kids who's gonna one day be in need.
Don't you let it go too far...STAND TALL!"

John's premier song on the "Messages" album, "Let Freedom Ring" rings out a message to the whole world:

"We've got no time to hate...
it's time we set things straight...
We're one nation under God."

John was a creative genius who with the stroke of the pen and lightning quick mind could reach up and catch Divine inspiration from above, unscramble the thought vibrations translating them into messages set to music - the Universal Language.

John's favorite expression was, "People who make music together cannot be enemies as long as the music lasts, so let the music play!"

John performed from Atlantic City on PBS (Public Broadcasting Stations) show, "My Music" featuring the many groups of the Sound of Philadelphia. John also appeared not long ago on the Oprah Winfrey Show, prompting Oprah to declare that ""Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" was her all time favorite song."John sang on the VH-1 Channel "McFadden and Whitehead" broadcast special.

John and Rita of Israel were chosen to sing "Let Freedom Ring" at the 30th Anniversary March on Washington organized by the Martin Luther King, Jr. committee honoring the "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

Their "Let Freedom Ring" song music video was played live over C-SPAN at the April 2003 Rally for the Troops sponsored by the Citizens United Foundation and thousands of Patriotic Americans cheered John and Rita's tribute to freedom.

John's warm and upbeat personality, his tremendous sense of humor as well as his dedication to his friends and his love of life and music makes him stand out from all the rest. John's music is loved the whole world over and while he is gone now, his music lives. The beat goes on!

Arnold Beizer
President, Let Freedom Ring, Inc.

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