R&B singer, composer, and producer John Whitehead remains best known for the smash "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," the disco-era classic he recorded with longtime collaborator Gene McFadden. Born July 2, 1948, Whitehead and McFadden were raised in the same impoverished Philadelphia neighborhood. Still in high school, they formed the Epsilons with Whitehead's cousin Ronald Lowry (later a member of Frankie Beverley's Maze) and Allen Beatty in 1966, Otis Redding saw the group perform and hired them as his backing vocalists. The Epsilons also backed Arthur Conley on his classic "Sweet Soul Music," but following Redding's tragic death the group's fortunes waned, and after the 1968 Stax single "The Echo" they dissolved. Whitehead and McFadden returned to Philadelphia, forming Talk of the Town with James Knight and Lloyd Parks. Two singles, "Little Bit of Your Lovin'" and "Don't Be So Mean" appeared on North Bay in 1971; neither was a hit, and Whitehead went to work in the mailroom of the fledgling Philadelphia International Records. He and McFadden also began writing songs, eventually convincing Philadelphia International bosses Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff to listen to their composition "Back Stabbers." Recorded by the O'Jays in 1972, "Back Stabbers" became the label's first gold record, and proved a landmark in the evolution of Philly soul.