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Motown|Legend

Marvin Pentz Gaye was born April 2, 1939 in the country’s capital, Washington, D.C.

Marvin Gaye is one of the best musicians to ever live— his double Grammy-winning music with numerous hits to top the billboard charts in the 1960s and 70s is evidence through the better half of the Motown Era– Detroit. Unfortunately, Motown’s move from Detroit to LA lost much of its essence and soul.  I personally think that lose of Marvin’s creativity during the LA- Motown years may have very well been a lost of Motown all together.

 Ebony Magazine named Marvin Gaye as one of the 25 Coolest Brothers of All Time:

 

WHAT MAKES Marvin COOL:  

Marvin moves us. Whenever we hear him, we feel. This complex artist, Marvin Pentz Gaye, sang about “The Ecology” when it wasn’t hip to be green–“Mercy Mercy Me“—and about trigger-happy policin’ when cop brutality didn’t make the news. Now when we get the “Inner City Blues“, we all wanna holler and throw up both our hands. He fearlessly asked us “What’s Going On,” and his defiant declaration still resonates today–War is not the answer. He was vulnerable in love, willing to disclose his desire—“I Want You“—yet only going so far—-I want you to want me too. And when his lady was hesitant, he insisted they not waste time together. “Let’s Get It On,” he urged—-because after all, givin’ yourself to me can never be wrong, if the love is true. Marvin, we still feel you.     —Candi Mariwether

 

Gaye was an amazing singer, producer, composer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist; his creative music could move even the most stagnate of hearts and minds—listening to him today has the same effect. It’s called a “Classic”.

 Shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Marvin was deeply affected as was the rest of the African American community, and started writing and performing songs that dealt more with political and social awareness. One of my all time favorites and one of his biggest hits: “What’s Going On?”: Listen

Mother, mother, there’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother, there’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today, hey
Father, father, we don’t need to escalate
War is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today
Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh what’s going on, what’s going on
Yeah, what’s going on, ah, what’s going on
Ahhh….
Mother, mother, everybody thinks we’re wrong
Ah but who are they to judge us
Simply ‘cos our hair is long
Ah you know we’ver got to find a way
To brind some understanding here today

 Marvin Gaye died on April 1, ironically one day before his birthday and two years before my birth, a tragic death at the hands of his father as he was shot to death in his parent’s Los Angeles home. Marvin was only 44 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muse|Me

 Music in of itself is inspiration; it’s refreshing, it’s invigorating; it’s enlightening. As a little girl, in the fresh scent of the morning air and illuminating sun, I would abscond to a secluded area with a small, portable radio under the shadow of a tree. Although my life was not convoluted and fairly austere, music kept it more interesting, so it became something I met with alacrity. It assuaged the long, summer kissed days.

 Oldies

This stuff is all my parents ever listened to, so I grew up to love  the now very familiar and disparate sounds of “Reasons”| “After the Love Has Gone” by Earth, Wind, & Fire,  “A Love Of Your Own”|“Cloudy” by AWB, “Never too Much”| “Power of Love” by Luther Vandross,  “Boogie Nights” by Heatwave, “Do It Again” by The Staple Singers, “For The Good Times”| “Love & Happiness” by Al Green,  and “Ohh , Child”| “Because I Love You” by Lenny Williams. At barbeques and family gatherings the music would blare “Outstanding! Girl you knock me out!” or “Yearning for Your Love” by Gap Band and we, as kids, would all dance and were met with approbation by the adults.

 Bobby Womack

“Harry Hippie”|

“That’s the Way I Feel About Cha”

                                                                                                               Bobby Womack and Marvin Gaye quickly became two of my all time favorites. They are the embodiments of authenticity; they were connoisseur in their professions. Womack looked into a mundane society and gave veracity in a story. Gaye displayed disabuse for the world in all its injustice in songs like “What’s Going On”| “Mercy Mercy Me”| “Inner City Blues”.  Maybe this was my first, real window and lens into a world that was hurting and still hurts today even as his words echo on an old record or through speakers many years later. He enervated me directly in “Distance Lover” while experiencing fresh, young love in all the numerous ways one is to experience it.

In contrast to most of the discordant music of today, the soul of these artists is evident in their sound- undoubtedly clear, eloquent yet effrontery, honest, and full of life.  It becomes axiomatic to me as I listen 17 years later to their soulful voices and it still fills me with so much love and inspiration…even more…wisdom.

Jazz

Rachelle Ferrell

“I Forgive You”| “I Can Explain”

                 It was years ago! I think I heard her beautiful voice in a movie and wondered who she was and what she was like, all together. Her words and voice were powerful, distinct, and lucid. Who was this woman?! I didn’t know but just last year, I heard the voice again. BET Jazz was hosting a show with yours truly—Rachelle Ferrell—and her voice was just as memorable as before. She defiantly possessed magnanimity and her music and personality portrayed it; her words were like an exigent rush of water that ironically remained calm.

Louis Armstrong is a multi-talented classic. His immediately recognizable raspy yet mellow, deep voice singing “What a Wonderful World” can easily capture anyone; he makes you believe it. Seeing this man play his trumpet with such passion and ease may have been part of what inspired me to pick up a saxophone and later …….my own enduring inspiration, the violin