Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong wrote "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" in 1966. Whitfield produced the single for Gladys Knight & The Pips in 1967, looking for a funky sound like Aretha Franklin’s in "Respect." Originally written for a male singer, Gladys and Whitfield had to adjust some of the lyrics, and they came up with a version that Berry Gordy reluctantly released. It was released on Motown’s Soul label and little effort was put into promoting the record, so the Pips relied on their connections with disk jockeys across the country to gain airplay for the record. Needless to say, the song was a huge hit, reaching #1 on the R&B chart and #2 on the Hot 100 in 1967. Marvin Gaye’s iconic 1968 release of the song did much better, but both versions are in the Grammy Hall of Fame.