This is yet another story for Black Music Month, remembering and recalling great artists.
Marvin Gaye was the coolest. His voice unique, sensitive, expressive and reeking of emotion. He produced some of the best music of his era with Motown Records. His masterpiece, “What’s Going On” almost didn’t get released because Barry Gordy thought it was too different to make the charts. It was a musical monologue , one theme, that continued throughout. It was the essence of social conscious music, asking questions that are still pertinent today. Of course, it made musical history and it is still a classic today. "What’s Going On? " and "Let’s Get It On" influenced and defined urban adult contemporary music.
His career started with the doo wop group as The Moonglows and he became known as The Prince of Motown. He started at Motown as a session drummer and eventually ranked as a top solo artist. Rolling Stone Magazine has listed him as one of the greatest singers and artists of all time. His music range is incredible from duets with Mary Wells and Tammy Terrell to his own single voice. His favorite singers included Billy Eckstein, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, whom he modeled in his starting days.
He started singing at age four in his father’s church. He and his father had a battled. They were at odds a lot. His father considered his music sinful. He died at the age of 44 by the hand of his father in a dispute. He died so early and at the height of his creativity. I wonder was his sound today would be.
His life was troubled, his music was great. You can see his life story and recall his beautiful revolutonary music at the Black Ensemble Theater. Call the box office for tickets at 773 769 4451/
This is a story to be told and a play not to be missed. Jackie Taylor’s plays on entertainers are simple marvelous.