500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

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The Temptations, 'Papa Was a Rollin' Stone'

169. The Temptations, 'Papa Was a Rollin' Stone'

Writers: Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong
Producer: Whitfield
Released: Oct. '72, Gordy
16 weeks; No. 1

At first the Temptations hated this song, especially Dennis Edwards: His father had died on September 3rd, just like the papa in the song. Then "Papa" topped the charts, and it "kind of grew on us," said Temptation Otis Williams.

Appears on: Anthology (Motown)

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