A versatile figure during Motown's "golden years," Willie Hutch penned hits for other artists, as well as issuing albums on his own. Born Willie McKinley Hutchinson during 1946 in Los Angeles, CA, Hutch was raised in Dallas, TX, where he began signing as a teenager (as a member of an outfit called the Ambassadors). It was also during his teenaged years that Hutch began penning his own songs, and in 1964 issued a debut solo single, "Love Has Put Me Down." Soon after, his songwriting talents attracted the attention of the soon to be renowned '60s pop-soul outfit the 5th Dimension, for whom Hutch penned several tracks, as well as earning a co-production credit for the group's 1967 debut full-length Up, Up and Away. In 1970, producer Hal Davis asked Hutch to help finish off a song he desperately needed completed for the Jackson 5, "I'll Be There." Hutch delivered; the band recorded Hutch's version the next day, as it eventually became one of the 5's biggest early hits, and led to Motown head honcho Berry Gordy hiring Hutch to act as a songwriter/producer for other Motown artists on a regular basis.