Monday, April 02, 2007

Marvin Gaye: Silky Soul Singer

"...We're all sensitive people
With so much to give
Understand me, sugar
Since we got to be here
Let's live
I love you..."
Let's Get It On~Motown 1973

Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. was born on April 2, 1939 in Washington, D.C. Marvin Gaye died on April 1, 1984 after an altercation with his father. The altercation ended when Marvin Sr. pulled out a gun and shot his son twice in the chest. [Time of death: 1:01 pm] Marvin Gaye, an American Music icon and Motown legend. Peace~

Side story:
My uncle, Merrill "Boogie" Owens, [now deceased] nearly wrecked his vehicle when he heard the news on the radio about Marvin Gayes' death. He pulled over to the side of the road that afternoon and sobbed.


Geoffrey Philp said...

Steven, I'll tell you a story.
One evening after coming home from school. I heard my mother, who was a no-nonsense Christian woman, singing "Sexual Healing" while she was vacuuming the house. I don't think she knew I was at the door or that anyone could hear her singing.
I left the door and came back home twenty minutes later so that she wouldn't be embarrassed and could enjoy Marvin to herself.
That was the power of his music.


Stephen A. Bess said...

lol! :)I can almost see it. That's cool. Thanks for sharing that story.

Tafari said...

I remember the day he died, I was in the 3rd grade & my mom was crying in the kitchen. He's been gone for so love but his music lives on like all great art.

One of my favorite line from MG is "but who are they to judge us. Simply because our hair is long." ~ What's going on.


Stephen A. Bess said...

Yeah, I was in high school. I remember when he died, but I don't remember the moment. This was a different story with Phyllis Hyman. I remember the moment.

Shai said...

I remember, I was 13 and I was like dang. I live in Detroit, so you know Motown was all shook up.

Stephen A. Bess said...

Yes, I can imagine. Marvin loved Detroit more than he loved his hometown of DC.

Tafari said...

Ahhhh Phyllis, my girl Afrobella just did a post about her. I too remember her dramatic exit. That night the radio jammed her all night.

Rethabile said...

The man was a damn genius. I watched a report on his life, and now I know for sure that geniuses are made, rather than born. Khotso.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, this is such a sad story. Losing an incredible man and musician. He was gorgeous inside and out. It still saddens me to imagine being shot by one's father and how that must haunt the family, not to mention the larger (family) community. Thanks for this post, Stephen. I've always loved Marvin.

Suzan Abrams, email: said...

...Understand me, sugar...

ooh...I like that! :-)

BronzeBuckaroo said...

I can understand your uncle's reaction. Gaye is a legend now. Then, before he died he was a legend. There will never be another Marvin gaye. Kem sort of reminds me of him though.

Klara said...

I remember hearing of his sad demise!!

MJW said...

I wasn't old enough to have even heard about Marvin Gaye at the time of his demise. But it makes me sad to think about it now. Especially considering how rough those last ten years had been for him in general. He finally had his chance to get past it and move on...but life had one last kick left for him. :-(

Side note to Geoffrey Philp: Great story.

Fabrizio said...

Marvin was great!!!

"...grape fruit..." still soundin' in my mind! ;-D

Anyway, I'm doing a sketch contest on a blog and I desperately need your vote to win! :-D
May you come to my blog and see?
Just 5 minutes...



Stephen A. Bess said...

Yes, Ms. Hyman was a definite lost. I would've loved to see her now.

I believe that too. Thanks for that. Khotso

Yes, it was really felt here in DC because everyone was so proud of him as a native son. It was felt everywhere though. Thank you.

Is Marvin talking to you? :)

I need to sit down and really listen to Kem. He reminded me of Jarreau when I first heard him. Thanks.

Sad indeed. Thanks.

Thanks. David Ritz wrote and excellent book on him called Divided Soul. I love that book. Have you been to the Bagel shop lately? :)

Thanks. Yes, I'll stop over.

Writing on Board said...

O, man, you just brought back a memory. Thanks again, Bess. Marvin Gaye. Yes, yes, yes.

Stephen A. Bess said...

:)I'm sure that it is a pleasant one. Be easy bro.

fizzio brown said...

I was a bit young
When the Marvin saga begun
But what really got me
Was who shot him, you see
I just couldn't understand
What possessed the man?
What little does it take
For one's sanity to break?
At the end of an altercation
We mourned a talented musician.

One love, SB.

Stephen A. Bess said...

Whew! I love the poem! Very nice. Thank you Fizzio. Peace~

Bougie Black Boy said...

I totally did a Bess-motif at my blog. Take a look-see.

Stephen A. Bess said...

I'm on the way Bougie! :)

Anonymous said...

I remember when he was killed...I was about 9 years old. My parents were so upset and I didn't really understand why at the time. But I also didn't grow up in the times that they did either.

Anonymous said...

I love Marvin Gay. The way he died is so unfortunate.

Hey!! Did you know that Wole Soyinka will be speaking and signing books at Bowie State University on 4/4/07??? I'm going to hear him speak! I'm so excited!!! =)

Cynnie said...

Yeah, everyone loved Marvin Gay..
I still get sad at the way he died..what a waste of talent.
And I feel terrible for his father..I dont know the real facts of the whole situation...but to kill your own child..
Life has to be miserable

Brea said...

I was only 3 years old at the time of his death. But I hear his music at nearly every family wedding and cookout. Now that is art.

Stephen A. Bess said...

I would love to see Mr. Soyinka today, but I know I can't. I have plans. :( I wish I'd known earlier. Thanks anyway.

Hello and welcome back. His father was charged, but let out on probation. It was largely due to his age at the time and his claim of self defense. He died a few years back. I think he was in a nursing home. Thanks.

Yes! You know there's always going to be some Marvin at the cookouts and parties. :)

NML/Natalie said...

I was 6 when he was killed and have a vague recollection of hearing about it. His songs bring a smile to my face and remind me of so many family occasions. RIP Marvin.

Stephen A. Bess said...

Isn't amazing how many black families across the globe can say the same. Music is powerful! This is why I dislike much of the stuff they're putting out these days. Thanks! :)

black feline said...

a tragic talented...the one and only Marvin his groove..

Anonymous said...

I wish I'd known earlier too! I had just found out like two days before. Anyway, I ended up not going! I forgot that I had to drive one of my friends to the doctor, who couldn't drive after having a particular procedure done. But oh well...there's always next time!

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