She Is Focused

April 1, 2009

Ode To Marvin

Filed under: Flashback — Felicia @ 9:39 am

Today marks the 25th Anniversary that one of music’s prodigies has been prematurely taken away from us in the physical form. Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr., pka Marvin Gaye, has been a staple in American Pop culture. p13216y8ng0 He’s arguably the most talented artist produced from the Motown hit machine back in the 60’s – 70’s when R&B and Soul were the dominant forms of music at that time. After getting signed by Berry Gordy, Jr (who happened to be the brother of his former wife Anna Gordy) in 1961, Marvin began his career on this same path spawning hits like “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)”, “You’re All I Need to Get By” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”. By the mid-60’s he landed many Top 40 hits for Motown Records.

Marvin began performing duets with the late Tammi Terrell, who tragically lost her life to a brain tumor in the late 60’s which then led to one of Marvin’s biggest hits to date, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” which was allegedly inspired by Terrell.  Shortly thereafter several personal issues began to take hold of the young crooner’s life including his marriage which was starting to fizzle. At this time he released What’s Going On which was one of his most soulful pieces and one of the most politically infused albums to date. From this album came “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”, “Mercy Mercy Me” and the title track “What’s Going On” during a time when the world also seemed to be going through its own turmoil.

Marvin took his career and music at that time to the next plateau putting releasing his sexually driven record Let’s Get It On (who would have thought considering the music that’s released these days). From that album came the hits “Let’s Get It On” and “Sexual Healing” which at the time where subjects of taboo that was rarely spoken or sung so openly.

One of the most interesting stories of his life which rarely ever gets talked about is his divorce from Anna Gordy. What makes it interesting is that due to a divorce settlement, the next record he created, a majority of the royalties had to go to his former wife; so he created Here, My Dear. He didn’t necessarily put on a mediocre album. It actually went on to produce pretty great records as well. However this album really took you into their marriage from beginning to end and where things went wrong.

Shortly thereafter although he continued performing and releasing more music, Marvin suffered many demons in his life including drug use and depression. At one point he moved back home with his mother and father to help get his life in order. His relationship with his father Marvin, Sr. went from bad to worse. On the morning of April 1, 1984, the day before what would have been his 45th birthday, Marvin, Sr. took his son’s life.  

Tomorrow, Marvin would have been 70 years old. He would have went on to release several more albums to a great reception, would have continued to change the face of Soul music and would have went on to receive many more accolades. A great musical genius has been taken away, yet his story through music will most definitely continue to live on; Happy Birthday Marvin, thank you for your contribution in American Pop culture.

– Felicia

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1 Comment »

  1. I dreamt of making babies (lots of babies) to Marvin Gaye. I have all his albums on cassettes. Do you remember cassettes? Yes, I still have them. Another star taken from us way too soon. Let’s get it on 😉

    Comment by candidgyal — April 14, 2009 @ 11:05 am | Reply


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