Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Marvin

On April 2, 1939, Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr., known to the world as Marvin Gaye was born in Washington, D.C. In the 50's, Marvin was part of a "doo-wop" group called The Moonglows formed by Harvey Fuqua in Washington, D.C. Along w/ doing their own music, he and the group also sang background vocals on Chuck Berry & Etta James records. The Moonglows hit record was titled "The Twelve Months of the Year". In 1959, Marvin sang his first lead w/ the group on "Mama Loochie".

After the Moonglows disbanded in 1960, Harvey Fuqua took Marvin to Detroit where he was signed to Anna Records (Gwen Gordy), then later signed to Tamla Records, a subsidiary of Motown Records under Berry Gordy, where he was a session drummer for much of the artists signed to Motown and co-wrote several songs. Marvin and Berry clashed over music for him to record, though Berry's sister Anna (Marvin's girlfriend) helped to convince him to let Marvin record a standard album.

While at Motown, Marvin added an "e" to the last part of his name to imitate his idol Sam Cooke, who did the same thing w/ his last name. Marvin Gaye later went on to record several solo albums under Motown/Tamla, as well as record a few duets w/ Kim Weston and Mary Wells. His most memorable duets were w/ Tammi Terrell, who he recorded 3 albums w/ and produced several hits in the late 60's. Marvin Gaye recorded and released more than 25 albums, which includes duet albums.

1984 was an explosive year for many artists in the music industry. However, on April 1st, one day before his 45th birthday, Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his father. News of his death had the industry and fans in shock and at a standstill. Diana Ross and many others after her have done tributes to Marvin in their music and art.

Today, I pay tribute to the greatest voice, also known as the "Prince of Motown" and the "Prince of Soul"....Mr. Marvin Gaye. Happy Birthday!

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