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3 Things You Didn’t Know about Motown #1 1971 Hit ‘Smiling Faces’ of Norman Whitfield

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Norman Whitfield originally recorded a version of “Smiling Faces” with the Temptations. Whitfield rearranged, produced, and composed the song for Undisputed Truth. The layering of female lead and male lead vocals led the transition of this song.

Undisputed Truth lead singer Joe “Pep” Harris was a member of the Ohio Untouchables when he first joined Motown Records to become a member of the Undisputed Truth. When the Undisputed Truth charted with the #1 Hit song ‘Smiling Faces,’ Harris was dropped by the Ohio Untouchables. The Ohio Untouchables later that year in 1971 became the Funk super group the Ohio Players.

In 1971 Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On won Grammys in all categories except for Song of the Year, which was awarded to the Undisputed Truth’s “Smiling Faces”.

In recognition of the revolutionary sound, this Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 6PM at Tony V’s Tavern (5756 Cass Ave Detroit MI), Detroit Hip-hop artist Khary WAE Frazier will be joined by Joe “Pep” Harris of The Undisputed Truth for a musical celebration of the radical legacy of Motown. The Undisputed Truth became well known after the 1971 #1 single “Smiling Faces”, produced by Norman Whitfield. Frazier will blend his brand of Hip-hop with the Soul of the city to perform Motown Message: a Revolution in Song. Tickets and information available online at


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