Nobody embodied R&B and soul music more than the Prince of Motown, Marvin Gaye. He was one of the most influential artists of the genre. The Prince of Soul as they called him started his music career as part of a quartet, The Marquees. Later the band would change their name to the New Moonglows. The band would perform with popular musicians, even with the great Chuck Berry.
In 1960 the group would disband. This would be a blessing for Gaye, as the President of Motown Records, Berry Gordy would hear his music and reach out to him. Gaye would sign with Motown Records. In 1961 Gaye recorded his first hit, Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide. Gaye’s popularity would continue to increase with appearances on American Bandstand and concerts at the Apollo. Gaye would have continued success through the late 60s. He would team up with other artists for duets. Gaye partnered with Kim Weston for It Takes Two and Tammy Terrel for Aint No Mountain High Enough.
In 1968 Gaye had his first Billboard number one hit with, I Heard it Through the Grapevine. Gaye’s popularity was increasing nationwide. He would go on to sing the National Anthem at a multitude of sporting events, including playoff and all star games.
Marvin wanted to spread a message through his words in his songs. In the 1970s Marvin released songs that dealt with real-life issues going on around the World. Songs like What’s Going On, Inner City Blues, and Mercy Mercy Me spoke to the soul of the Motown community. Marvin would go on to record the songs for the film, Trouble Man.
Marvin’s legacy continues to live on to this day through his music. His words spoke to the soul. His lyrics soothed the heart. He made people happy with his music. He spoke from his soul and gave Motown his all.
Still, to this day every time, I hear a Marvin Gaye song I am taken to a place of happiness. Marvin Gaye was truly a blessing to the music community. His influence and music will forever be immortalized.