"Can I Get a Witness" is 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-styled music and heralded Gaye's beginnings in the church with a rhythm and blues/rock and roll setting. The song featured Gaye on piano, playing a boogie pattern, The Funk Brothers, and members of The Supremes in the background accompanying Gaye. The song became a hit in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom, and British musicians Lulu, Dusty Springfield, The Rolling Stones, Sam Brown 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 chart and its title soon became a catchphrase. Lee Michaels' 1971 version reached #39 on the Hot 100; both his and Gaye's versions peaked during Christmas week.
In popular culture
- Gaye's recording is featured in the 1999 biographical film The Hurricane.