Al Cleveland

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Al Cleveland (born Alfred W. Cleveland, March 11, 1930 - August 14, 1996) was a former American songwriter for the Motown label. Among his most popular co-compositions are 1967's "I Second That Emotion" and 1969's "Baby, Baby Don't Cry" performed by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles[1] and 1971's "What's Going On" performed by Marvin Gaye.[2]

Cleveland was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, to Alfred W. and Dorothy Cleveland. Al has two sisters, Edna Grate and Mamie Jett, as well as one brother, Robert Cleveland. His son Al Cleveland Jr. lives in Las Vegas.

He had a long and distinguished writing career, initially for New York artists on the Wand/Sceptre labels such as Dionne Warwick(e) and Tommy Hunt, as well as Gene Pitney before moving to Motown, where he provided songs for Smokey & The Miracles, the Marvelettes, David Ruffin, the Four Tops and Chuck Jackson before hitting the big time with a co-authorship of Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On?" and "Save the Children."

In later years, he produced Native American music. He died of heart disease in Las Vegas at the age of 66.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marsh, Dave (6 May 1999). The heart of rock & soul: the 1001 greatest singles ever made. Da Capo Press. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-306-80901-9. Retrieved 5 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Thompson, Dave (2001). Funk. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-87930-629-8. Retrieved 5 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Chronicle". Rolling Stone (Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.) (744): 32. October 3, 1996.