Barrett Strong


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Barrett Strong delivered Motown’s first hit!

There are two sides to Barrett Strong’s career, as an artist that recorded Motown’s first hit Money (That’s What I Want) in 1959. A song that was actually written by the president of Motown, Berry Gordy.

Money was Barrett and Motown’s first hit tune and has since been covered by The Beatles, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Rolling Stones, and most Motown/Soul bands on a seemingly weekly basis.

As important as this was to kick start the label, Barrett’s strongest part of his career came in terms of the lyrics he wrote for other artists.

Perhaps most notably I Heard It Through The Grapevine, War, Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home), and Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.

Most of Barrett’s hits were created alongside producer Norman Whitfield.

When Motown relocated from Detroit to Los Angeles, Barrett stayed behind, and even though he remained active, the glory days were behind him the day he walked away from the Motown factory.

Barrett Strong received a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1973 for Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.


Barrett Strong | Tunes


I Heard It Through The Grapevine

Ebm | Ebm | Bb Ab | Ab6 Ab |
I bet you’re wonderin’ how I knew, ’bout your plans to make me blue.
Ebm | Ebm | Bb Ab | Ab7 |
With some other guy, you knew before, between the two of us guys you know I loved you more.

Go to I Heard It Through The Grapevine chords.


Money (That’s What I Want)

Money (That’s What I Want) is a song written by Motown Record Executive Berry Gordy. First performed by Barrett Strong, it has since been covered by many.

As you learn this, I’ll reveal several ways you could play this song, including how to improvise a solo.

Go to Money (That’s What I Want) chords.