Rose Royce


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The band that was formed for a film!

Norman Whitfield had by the mid-70s grown tired of Berry Gordy’s Motown empire. Perhaps he’d seen what Holland-Dozier-Holland had done with Invictus and Freda Payne in the early 70s and thought to himself: I can do that!

Norman took the band backing up Edwin Starr (who had a Motown hit with the single War, also recorded with The Temptations) and gave them a lead singer in Gwen Dickey, whom Norman renamed Rose Norwalt.

Now, all he needed was a platform and some song ideas for his new creation. When film director Michael Shultz offered Norman to score his new film Car Wash, it all started to fall into place.

Norman set out to develop the band, write the tunes and watch the shooting of the film all at the same time.

The film did well, the band had three hits in Car Wash, I’m Going Down, and I Wanna Get Next To You. Mr. Whitfield even bagged a Grammy Award for the best film score.

Norman’s new label, named after himself, of course, Whitfield, got off to a great start with his creation, and the collective set out to record the follow-up.

This went well too and three more big tunes came in Do Your Dance, Ooh Boy, and Wishing On A Star. 

The third album, released in 1978, had two singles in I’m in Love (And I Love the Feeling) and Love Don’t Live Here Anymore. A few years later Madonna would also have a hit with this song. So did Jimmy Nail and Seal.

By 1980, lead singer Gwen had had enough, perhaps she’d seen other singers go solo and thought to herself: I can do that!

Two years later, the record label Norman had started was shut down, Rose Royce had been his only real success.

Gwen never released any singles that came close to what Norman had written for her.


Rose Royce | Tunes


Carwash

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You might not ever get rich,
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but let me tell ya it’s better than diggin’ a ditch.

Go to Carwash chords.