Once in a while, we take a moment to remember those who came before, and made the way for everyone else. Last night PBS aired an episode of American Masters which featured Marvin Gaye. It was sudden reminder of what an amazing figure he was, and how hard he fell from that pedestal.
Born on April 2nd 1939 into a strict religious family, Marvin Gaye’s inner turmoil between his father’s biblical teachings and his own desires painted his music with a yearning and a torturous need; not just for some sexual want, but for realization and a balance between his two worlds. One moment he was proclaiming “God is Love”, the next he was crooning “Feel All My Love Inside”. He was so much more than just a Motown king.
Towards the end of his life, after drugs and divorces had taken much of what he once had; he returned to his family home. There, after he interceded in a domestic dispute between his parents, Marvin Gaye’s father shot him three times. He died on April 1st, 1984.
Forget “Sexual Healing”. Take a moment to hear the man that could sing in three different octaves, and listen to what his life taught him.
(From the compilation, Romantically Yours, released 1989)
(From Let’s Get It On, released 1973)