BEHIND THE GROOVES: a music blog by Jeff Harris

On this day in music history: March 16, 1971 - “Never Can Say Goodbye” by The Jackson 5 is released. Written by Clifton Davis, it will be the fifth R&B chart topper for the superstar family vocal group. Producer Hal Davis will find the song when he overhears songwriter Clifton Davis (no relation), auditioning the song for potential music publishers. Davis likes the song and offers to record it immediately. It is recorded in June 1970 at Hitsville West in Los Angeles, CA, with the producer quickly assembling the musicians for the session which include David T. Walker, Art Wright (guitars), Joe Sample (keyboards), Bob West (bass), and Gene Pello (drums). The song will actually be shelved for several months by Motown’s A&R department who feels the song is “too mature” for the young group. One day, a frustrated Davis will be overheard by Berry Gordy blasting the song in his office. Gordy will quickly sanction its release upon hearing it. “Never Can Say Goodbye” will spend 3 weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and 3 weeks at #2 on the Hot 100 in May.

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    Coool
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    Jackson 5 - “Never Can Say Goodbye” My favorite J5 song. (SN: Jackie used to be fiiiine.)
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