Sunday, May 20, 2007

Number 611 - Marvin Gaye

Number 611

Marvin Gaye

"I Heard it Through The Grapevine"

movie soundtrack introduced me to a genre of music from beyond my time. As did for the kids in the the 70s with their 50's rock n roll so did Big Chill for us kids in 1983 with their 60's music. Sure the movie was great, but the music was better and i have often wondered if the Soundtrack made more money than the movie.
A year after i saw this film (yessss & bought the soundtrack of course) was dead, shot by his own father in an argument no less and get this, his father was a Minister. Which always reminds me when parents yell at their kids "I bought you into this world and i will take you out of this world if you don't behave"I guess at 44, Marvin was to old to be sent to his room (he was living with his parents when he died), personally, I'd prefer to be kicked out of home than being shot in the head. Mind you I'm not 44 yet (& no, i don't live at home)
Apr 2 1939 to Apr 1st 1984
Marvin Gaye was born the first son and second eldest of four children to Rev. Marvin Pentz Gay, Sr and Alberta Cooper. His sisters, Jeanne and Zeola, younger brother Frankie and Marvin lived in the segregated section of Washington, D.C.'s Deanwood neighborhood in the northeastern section of the city. As a teen, he caddied at Columbia Country Club just outside of D.C. in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Gaye's father preached in a Seventh-day Adventist Church sect called the House of God, which went by a strict code of conduct and mixed teachings of Orthodox Judaism and Pentecostalism.
After dropping out of
Cardozo High School, Gaye joined the United States Air Force. He was discharged because he refused to follow orders.
After starting his recording career at
Motown Records, he changed his name from Marvin Gay to Marvin Gaye, adding the 'e' to separate himself from his father and in admiration of his idol, Sam Cooke, who also added an 'e' to his last name.
Gaye issued his first solo recording, The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye, in June of 1961, which was the first album issued by the Motown record label besides The Miracles' Hi, We're the Miracles! album. An album of Broadway standards and jazz-rendered show tunes, the record failed to chart and Motown issued three singles by Gaye that also failed to chart. After arguing over direction of his career with Gordy, Gaye eventually agreed to conform to record the more R&B-rooted sounds of his label mates and contemporaries issuing the single, "Stubborn Kind of Fellow" in July of 1962. The record, co-written by Gaye and produced by friend William "Mickey" Stevenson, featuring Martha and the Vandellas (who literally became Gaye's background singers for three of his first hit singles) and which was an autobiographical jab at Gaye's moody behavior, became a top ten hit on the Hot Soul Singles chart and started Gaye's rise. The single would be followed by his first Top 40 singles "Hitch Hike", "Pride & Joy" and "Can I Get a Witness", all of which were charted successes for Gaye in 1963. The success continued with the 1964 singles "You Are a Wonderful One", which featured background work by The Supremes, "Try It Baby", which featured backgrounds from The Temptations, "Baby Don't You Do It" and "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)", which became a signature song of his. His work with Smokey Robinson on the 1966 album, Moods of Marvin Gaye, spawned two consecutive top ten singles in "I'll Be Doggone" and "Ain't That Peculiar", which became another signature song of his.
A number of Gaye's hit singles for Motown were duets with female artists, such as Mary Wells, Kim Weston and Tammi Terrell; the first Gaye/Wells album, 1964's Together, was Gaye's first charting album. Terrell and Gaye in particular had a good rapport and their first album together, 1967's United, birthed the massive hits "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (later covered by Diana Ross and more recently, by former Doobie Brothers singer, Michael McDonald) and "Your Precious Love". Real life couple Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson provided the writing and production for the Gaye/Terrell records; while Gaye and Terrell themselves were not lovers (though rumors persist that they may have been), they convincingly portrayed lovers on record; indeed Gaye sometimes claimed that for the durations of the songs he was in love with her. On October 14, 1967, Terrell collapsed into Gaye's arms onstage while they were performing at the Hampton University homecoming in Virginia (contrary to popular belief, it was not Hampden-Sydney College, also in Virginia). She was later diagnosed with a brain tumor and her health continued to deteriorate.
Terrell's illness put Gaye in a depression; when his song "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (sample (help·info)) became his first #1 hit and the biggest selling single in Motown history to that point with four million copies sold, he refused to acknowledge his success, feeling that it was undeserved. Meanwhile, Gaye's marriage with Anna was crumbling and he continued to feel irrelevant, singing endlessly about love while popular music underwent a revolution and began addressing social and political issues. His work with Norman Whitfield would result in similar success with the singles "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" and "That's the Way Love Is".
Tammi Terrell died of a tumor on March 16, 1970. Devastated by her death, Marvin was so emotional at her funeral that he'd talk to the remains as if she were going to respond. Gaye subsequently went into seclusion, and did not perform in concert for nearly two years. He tried various spirit-lifting diversions, including a short-lived attempt at a football career with the Detroit Lions. He trained hard, but the team's managers turned him down without a tryout. He continued to feel pain, with no form of self-expression. As a result, he entered the studio on June 1, 1970 and recorded the songs "What's Going On", "God is Love", and "Sad Tomorrows" - an early version of "Flying High (In the Friendly Sky)".
After the last 1983 tour ended, he isolated himself by moving into his parents' house. He threatened to commit suicide several times after numerous bitter arguments with his father, Marvin, Sr. On the E! True Hollywood Story about Gaye, singer Little Richard revealed that Gaye had premonitions of his murder in his final years of life. On April 1, 1984, one day before his forty-fifth birthday, Gaye's father shot and killed him after an argument that had started after Marvin's parents argued over misplaced business documents. Marvin, Sr. later was sentenced to six years of probation after pleading guilty to manslaughter. Charges of first-degree murder were dropped after doctors discovered Marvin, Sr. had a brain tumor. Later serving his final years in a retirement home, he died of pneumonia in 1998.
For The Temptations see Number 819 & Number 601
For Diana Ross see Number 716
For Doobie Brothers see Number 776 & Number 868
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number 80 and the Album ranked at Number (3 other albums)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 71.7 out of 108 pts

Marvin Gaye live I Heard it Through the Grapevine
Uploaded by saucers1

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's "HEARD it through the grapevine", not HEAR.

8:02 pm  
Blogger crowbarred said...

oooops thankyou!

8:05 pm  

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