Attention BoTBers, today’s battle song feature’s Gayle’s hit song, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” near the end of the post. Feel free to skip to the bottom or read about him in my newest edition of Famous Musicians & Their Musical Kids series.
I only knew Mr. Gayle as a singer but he got his start as an in-house session drummer who was instrumental in shaping the Motown sound of the early 60s first and then later producing, writing, and singing his own mewsic leading to a number of successful hit songs.
Two of his earlier best-selling songs and favorites of mine are “How Sweet It Is (To Be Love By You)” and “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”.
Brian and Eddie Holland (brothers) and Lamont Dozier wrote the first of these songs. This songwriting team helped to shape that Motown sound we love with their lyrics, arrangements, and productions. Here’s Marvin’s 1964 #4 Billboard Hot 100 tune.
Gaye’s next hit single is actually a cover (The Miracles). Both releasing this song on their albums in 1968 but it was Gaye who shot straight to the top of and stayed for seven weeks on the Billboard Pop Singles.
Every time I hear this song, I think of the California Raisins commercials from the mid-80s.
Marvin married twice. In 1963, he married Anna Gordy. Three years later, they adopted Anna’s niece’s (Denise) son, Marvin III born November 16, 1966. The couple worked together on a few of Marvin’s songs (The Originals and several tracks from What’s Going On) together and Anna was his inspiration for his lyrics. He said this about her [Anna]. “I was head over heels in love with Anna. I just wrote what I felt about her, and what she did for me.” The sad truth was their marriage was volatile with accounts of physical violence on both sides and infidelity accusations. They permanently separated in 1972 and three years later Anna filed for divorce.
Marvin Jr. describes himself as a gifted recording artist, producer, and businessman.
I couldn’t find a lot out about Marvin Jr. I know that he’s married after watching some interview vids on YouTube but it’s his Facebook Fan page “About” section I learned he was diagnosed with Diabetes a few years ago and is now waiting for a Kidney transplant. My prayers are with you and yours.
In late 1977 after his divorce finalized Marvin married second wife, Janis Hunter. They had two children, Nona (September 4, 1974) and Frankie Christian (November 16, 1975). Their family started before marriage and two years after unifying as husband and wife, the couple separated and eventually divorced in 1981.
Nona Gaye is best known as an actress in her role as Zee in the last two Matrix movies (Reloaded & Revolution). We saw the first Matrix film years ago and as wildly popular this series was we weren’t impressed. In all fairness we’re now giving these movies a second chance. Anywho, in 1992 Nona recorded her first album Love For The Future a month after her 18th birthday which produced two top 20 hits.
FYI…I noticed in the iTunes store “I’m Overjoyed” for $0.69 cents. That’s a super price!
The year after her début album, People Magazine listed Nona as one the 50 Most Beautiful People which landed her a contract with the Ford Agency becoming a new face for the prestigious Armani fashion line.
Miss Gaye collaborated and dated with the late artist Prince for three years. The mewsical duet produced the single, Love Sign, from Prince’s album 1-800-NEW-FUNK.
It’s funny, DH and I were talking about Prince recently. Both of commenting how there isn’t any of his songs that we can say that we really like but I like this track.
Included in this Prince’s NPG Records compliation Nona produced a solo, A Woman’s Gotta Have It, from this album.
Gaye did backup vocals for We March from Prince’s 1995 The Gold Experience album and in the title track of his 1996 Girl 6 album. She’s stated candidly during this period of having a long-term drug problem but was able to quit the habit in 1996.
In 2001 to raise money for AIDS research, Nona and an all-star ensemble performed her dad’s song, What’s Going On.
I wanted to find a video of father and daughter singing. Wikipedia mentioned that an 8-year Nona introduced her dad on Soul Train but I couldn’t find a clip to share but I did find in 2004, Nona was asked to perform the National Anthem for the NBA Allstar Games in which she did a duet with her late father.
Her biggest career move came when she replaced Aaliyah as Zee, after being killed in a plane accident, forwas cast as the character Zee in the 2003 Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolution films. Prior to this, her had limited acting roles included “Harlem Nights’ (1989) as a patrone and played Belinda Ali in the 2001 film “Ali”. Between 2004 – 2009 her film credits are, “Crash” as Karen, “The Polar Express” voice of Hero Girl, “XXX: State of the Union” as Lola Jackson, “The Gospel” as Charlene Taylor Frank, and “Blood and Bone” as Tamara. The last recording by Nona is an EP Language of Love with Quarter to Three and Midas Lover done in 2008. Unfortunately, I could not find either on YouTube.
Nona is a beautiful person with a beautiful talent for singing and acting. I hope to see or hear more from Marvin’s daughter in the future.
Marvin’s youngest son Frankie Christian required a bit more sluething. I discovered in my Internet research that he goes by “Christian Scott”. But I’m beginning to think that was a trip down a rabbit hole. Things just didn’t add up. Feel free to let me know what you think or if you have intel on Frankie then please share with us in comments.
I think I only vaguely recall the death of Marvin Gaye. On April 1, 1984 the singer’s father, Marvin Gaye, Sr. shot and killed him to death in his bedroom. He was hit once in the heart and second shot at closer range in the shoulder. It’s reported Marvin intervened in a fight between his parents before the shooting. Initially, charged with first-degree murder Gaye, Sr. charges reduced to voluntary manslaughter after a brain tumor diagnoses. The autopsy showed Marvin had drugs in his system at the time of his death. Was Marvin out-of-control because of the drugs? Did the elder Marvin’s illness triggered fear for his life or that of his wife even though they were fighting? I don’t know, I can only speculate and say that all of this could be a factor. The outcome, Gaye, Sr got a suspended six-year sentence and probation. He passed in 1998 while in a nursing home
Marvin’s kids sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for ripping “Got To Give It Up” in the smash hit “Blurred Lines” which finally got settled in 2015 resulting in Thicke & Williams paying $7.3M in retribution.
Honestly, there is a lot this sorta thing that happens intentional and not in the mewsic industry. Thicke’s supposed comment on creating a song to reminence Gaye’s song strongly sounds like copyright infringement. What bothers me is if that was their intent, why not clear it legally before the bomb goes off? I reckon his judgement was impaired. What’s your opinion?
I hope you enjoyed this installement of Famous Musicians and Their Musical Kids. This is Curious as a Cathy sigining off with a few of my favorite Marvin Gaye songs!
Thank you for including me in your Monday, kittens & dawgs! It’s fabulous to see you! Are you ready to groove to some mewsic? Our theme this week is “Your Choice”. We’re not finicky if you have tunes to share then we’re ready to boogie with you and we invite you step on the dance floor with XmasDolly, Stacy, Colette , and little ole me!
This is a weekly hop for mewsic enthusiasts regardless if you follow our weekly theme or not if you have mewsic to share then we’re ready to dance with you. Otherwise, I ask that you DO NOT link non-mewsic posts below to boost traffic to your site. You’re welcome to leave your URL in comments with a brief description inviting me to check it out. Thank you!
I decided to tie in today’s mewsic tribute of Marvin Gayle and his classic hit, “I Heard It Through the Grapevines” (see above for reference) in my Battle of the Bands. I picked two unlikely names (to me) to cover this oldie and I’ll leave it to you to decide who wins the showdown.
Ok, here’s the drill. Voting is open to everyone visiting. There is NO wrong vote, except if you DON’T vote. You can start by telling me in comments which artist you like best and why (optional).
Which artist gets your vote, Fitzgerald or Milsap?
The fun continues with more epic battles underway and I invite you to visit the official manager of BoTB, Stephen for the update list of players.
To stay totally connected and in the loop of things on Curious as a Cathy, I hope you’ll join my email subscription service to get instant notification when I add new posts. Tell your friends to join us on the dance floor each week and I’ll see ya around the cyber-block. Keep those tunes playing and your body swaying!
What mewsic moves you today?