Rodger Penzabene

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Rodger Penzabene
Also known asRoger Penzabene
Died(1967-12-31)December 31, 1967 (age 23)
GenresSoul music
Years active1966–1967

Rodger Penzabene (1944 – December 31, 1967), also mistakenly known as Roger Penzabene, was a songwriter for the Motown label. Among his most notable compositions as a lyricist are "Take Me in Your Arms and Love Me" by Gladys Knight & the Pips; "The End of Our Road" by Gladys Knight & the Pips and Marvin Gaye; and a trilogy of hits for The Temptations: "You're My Everything", "I Wish It Would Rain", and "I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)".[1][2]

Penzabene was of Sicilian and Irish descent,his fathers name was John, grandfathers was Casper Penzabene, grandmothers name was Cecelia Murphy. He attended Mumford High School in Detroit, Michigan. He was a childhood friend and neighbor of Cornelius Grant, with whom he wrote "You're My Everything". After Grant became musical director for the Temptations, Penzabene continued to contribute songs for the group, and for other Motown acts.[citation needed]

The mournful songs "I Wish It Would Rain" and "I Could Never Love Another" reportedly drew from Penzabene's real-life pain and suffering. Otis Williams wrote that: "We liked Roger a lot. He was young, nice-looking, but kind of quiet and reserved, and very humble. The inspiration for these great songs was his unhappy personal life."[3]

On New Year's Eve 1967, a week after the release of "I Wish It Would Rain", Penzabene committed suicide by gunshot at the age of 23.[3]


  1. ^ "Roger Penzabene". Discogs. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  2. ^ "The Real Pain of Rodger Penzabene". 2 February 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b Williams, Otis; Bashe, Patricia Romanowski. Temptations. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 118–119. ISBN 9780815412182.