A Witness

Can I Get a Witness

"Can I Get a Witness?" was a 1963 hit song by Marvin Gaye on the Tamla (Motown) label. Written and produced by Motown songwriting and producing team Holland-Dozier-Holland, the song was built among gospel settings and heralded Gaye's beginnings in the church even if the message was about "love gone bad". The song featured Gaye on piano, playing a boogie pattern, the Funk Brothers in demand, and members of the Four Tops and the Supremes in the background accompanying Gaye. The song became such a big hit in both US and UK shores that British musicians like Dusty Springfield, The Rolling Stones, and Steampacket (which featured a very young Rod Stewart) recorded cover versions of the song. Gaye's version peaked at #22 on the Hot 100 (although the R&B singles chart had a hiatus around this time, it's been reported that the song hit #3 on the R&B chart) and soon became a catchphrase. Lee Michaels' 1971 version reached #39 on the Hot 100; curiously both his and Gaye's versions peaked during Christmas week.


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