Title: Musician
Birthdate: July 10, 1948
Death Date: May 11, 2004
Plot Location: Section M1, Row 10, Grave 1

Screenshot (2413)

John was born and raised with a love of music. With his high school classmate, Gene, the partnership of McFadden and Whitehead was formed. The two became successful record producers, songwriters and popular R&B recording artists.

In the 1960s the two formed a group called The Epsilons which included Gene’s cousin and a family friend. In the late 60’s the group toured with Otis Redding until his untimely death in 1967. Returning to Philly, they worked as writers and producers for Philadelphia International Records. The label, which earned 175 gold and platinum albums in the 70’s, included artists Teddy Pendergrass, the O’Jays, Billy Paul, and Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes.

After years of success behind the scenes the duo finally released their self-titled debut album in 1979 . Their song, “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” from that album reached number one on the R&B charts. In 1988 Whitehead released a solo album entitled “I Need Money Bad” after spending two years in prison for tax evasion. Tragically, John was killed when two gunmen opened fire on him and a family friend as they worked on his car outside his West Oak Lane home. His murder remains unsolved.

Because of their Philadelphia roots, “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” became a theme song for the local sports teams including the Eagles, Phillies, and 76ers. The song was also played at the 2008 Democratic National Convention when Barack Obama accepted the nomination for President of the United States. Over the years, the song has been featured in movies, a TV commercial and covered by multiple artists.



Japanese maple tree in front of a monument at Mount Moriah Cemetery

Support the Friends of Mount Moriah

Help us in our mission to restore and maintain the beautiful Mount Moriah Cemetery by donating to our cause or volunteering at one of our clean-up events.