Friday, September 19, 2008

Ain't Too Proud To Beg


Norman Whitman - 1941 - 2008. 

Wrote pop songs at Motown Records with Barrett Strong. 

Created such hits as "I Heard It Through The Grapevine", "Jut My Imagination", "Papa Was A Rolling Stone", and "Ain't Too Proud To Beg".

The last song has a connection to me. It was one of my favorite songs when I was playing in a band called "The Chapperals" around 1965. Paul, Wally, Tommy, Jimmy, Alan, and I labeled ourselves as the "Number 3 White Soul Band in Richmond, Virginia". We weren't the best but we were tight. 

We played the Motown sound mixed with the British invasion. Every weekend we would practice or play pool parties, birthday parties, coming out parties (that's debutantes for those who did not grow up in the south), and local dances, two Freeman students, three Tucker students, and a TJ bass player. We would travel up to Maryland or down to the Carolina's with huge cars packed with instruments and amps to play in cheap clubs for beer and a few laughs with the local girls. 

The starting tap of the cymbal and the thump of the bass drum by Tommy would start up the "Ain't Too Proud  To Beg" song. The horns and I would jump in as Wally started to sing " I know you're going leave me but I refuse to let you go.."

The Rolling Stones did a nice cover and the "Big Chill" held the spirit, but to this day (and that's a lot of days later) I hear that cymbal tap and start to smile and dance. It's a real toe tapper. 

Thank you Mr. Whitfield. Your music will live on in my soul.