Barrett Strong – “Money (That’s What I Want)”

Note: This post is the beginning of a new running feature on The Daily Record. In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of Motown, we’ll be walking through the “Motown: Hitsville U.S.A. (1959-1971)” box set track by track.

Money 45

Barrett Strong – “Money (That’s What I Want)”Pop #23, R&B #2

Barrett Strong may not have wanted to be a lead singer, but Motown founder Barry Gordy definitely wanted money. Strong’s sister went to school with Jackie Wilson, whom Gordy had written some songs for in the early ‘50s. Gordy’s song “Lonesome Teardrops” was a big hit for Wilson, but when Gordy realized the real money in the music game was producing and publishing, he started his own label.

Strong said he was never comfortable on the mic, but he was definitely in the zone with songwriting partner Norman Whitfield. The two would go on to pen several hits for The Temptations including “I Wish It Would Rain,” “Cloud Nine,” and “Just My Imagination” and Edwin Starr’s No. 1 anti-war hit “War.” All of these songs made Gordy some serious money. — by Joel Francis


One thought on “Barrett Strong – “Money (That’s What I Want)”

  1. Barrett Strong Jr. was removed from the original copyright illegally. It exists in the copyright office for all to see. Mr. Strong went on to record multiple artists on his own label but ultimately the only artist to truly make it out of his local roster to international fame is “Eliza Neals” the Detroit Diva. Eliza has multiple radio hits including “Sugar Daddy” and “Love Dr. Love” both co-writes with Mr. Strong. He continues to write today and lives in California with his loving family.

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