It is a rainy and dreary day here in Texas. The weather mirrors my mood musically today. My music mood is dark and stormy today. Today is the birthday of one my favorite musical artist, Mr. Marvin Gay"e" (He added the "e" to his name in his teen years). Being a lover of Old School Music means not just loving the music but understanding the artists of those times. For the black community the 60's & 70's were troubling times politically, racially and economically but one of the few places where black people excelled was musically. The 60's & 70's brought forth some of the BEST musical artists and hits of not only that time but for ALL time.
Marvin Gaye was one of those UNFORGETTABLE artists. He was an African - American singer, songwriter with a 3 octave vocal range! Unfortunately Marvin Gaye Jr was fatally shot by his father Marvin Gay Sr on April 1, 1984, one day before his 45th Birthday. Marvin had a voice that oozed sexuality and sensuality as evident in musical hits like "Come Get To This" & "Lets Get It On". He also lent his voice to the ongoing struggle of black people of that era as evident in hits like "Mercy, Mercy Me" & "Inner City Blues". But his voice was also an outlet that was more personal. Music was his escape from a troubling, hurtful and hateful life as evident in hits like "If I Should Die Tonight", "Stubborn Kind Of Fellow" & "Here My Dear". Marvin Gaye was a product of child abuse, Religious Zealousness, and hatred from his father.
According to trutv.com:
"Living with father was something like living with a king, a very peculiar, changeable, cruel and all-powerful king," Marvin Gaye told biographer Ritz. "You were supposed to tip-toe around his moods. You were supposed to do anything to win his favor. I never did. Even though winning his love was the ultimate goal of my childhood, I defied him. I hated his attitude... If it wasn't for mother, who was always there to console me and praise my singing, I think I would have been one of those child suicides you read about in the papers."According to Alberta Gay (mother of Marvin jr.) & Jeanne Gay (sister of Marvin jr) (via trutv.com):
Marvin Gaye had the love of his mother but his father and he had a terrible, volatile and hateful relationship.
Alberta Gay said, "My husband never wanted Marvin, and he never liked him. He used to say that he didn't think he was really his child. I told him that was nonsense. He knew Marvin was his. But for some reason he didn't love Marvin and, what worse, he didn't want me to love Marvin either. Marvin wasn't very old before he understood that."
Jeanne Gay said, "From the time he was 7 until he became a teenager, Marvin's life at home consisted of a series of brutal whippings."
His personal demons were further metastasized by drug addiction, porn addiction and paranoia. This formed Marvin Gaye into the troubled soul that we knew and loved. I just finished reading "the Life and Tragic Death of Motown's Marvin Gaye" on trutv.com. I had read most of this story before but it was still a very interesting read. Marvin Gaye is on my phone, mp3 and computer play-list and nothing that I read about his personal life and trials will change that. He would have been 71 years old today had he lived. He was indeed a very troubled soul, a prolific and very talented artist. He is sorely missed...
Rest In Peace, Marvin Pentz Gay Jr (Marvin Gaye) April 2, 1939 - April 1, 1984
Trouble Man - Marvin Gaye
Come Get To This - Marvin Gaye
If I Should Die Tonight - Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye Jr & Marvin Gay Sr - Interview
Still Missed Today...