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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Motown Renaissance Man

Today in Music History: December 14, 1968

A traditional and long-established style of music is that which is categorized as 'soul'. Soul music originated in the United States in the 50s combining elements of African-American gospel music, rhythm and blues, and often jazz. This genre of music enveloped an R&B sound that transitioned through the 60s on into the 70s. As one of Motown's renaissance men, the spotlight today shines on one who could do it all from songwriting to producing to session man. Most important he possessed a classic R&B voice that had a gritty edge yet had sweetness to it.

Welcome into the Spotlight...

Marvin Gaye - #1 and #6 in Motown's Top Ten Albums 

Marvin Gaye: 60s & 70s soul singer-songwriter with Motown who produced his own records and often addressed controversial themes

Before the days of Motown, Marvin Gaye sang in his father's church and in a vocal group called the Moonglows. At a young age and throughout his childhood, Gaye found peace in music mastering the piano and drums. He developed a love for R&B and doo-wop that would later set the foundation for his career. His phenomenal musical range spanned three vocal styles. Throughout the 60s, Marvin Gaye would demonstrate his immense range, churning out solo dance hits and romantic duets with hit-makers like Diana Ross and Mary Wells.
Gaye's first certified hit under his own name wouldn't come until 1962, but his early years at Motown were full of behind-the-scenes successes. He was a session drummer for Motown legends such as Little Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Marvelettes and Martha and the Vandellas. Showing his stripes as Motown's renaissance man, Gaye went on to break into the Top 40 for the first time on his own in 1962 with his solo single "Hitch Hike." [Source: bio.com]

Marvin Gaye created beautiful art from a troubled life. At the end of his career, he admitted he no longer made music for pleasure; instead, he said,
"I record so that I can feed people what they need, what they feel. Hopefully, I record so that I can help someone overcome a bad time."
1968 Marvin Gaye scored his first US No.1 single when 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' started a five-week run at the top. It was Marvin's 15th solo hit and also his first UK No.1 single in March 69. Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong in 1966, the single was first recorded by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles as well as Gladys Knight & the Pips.
  • No.1 singles on this day...

    1985 Whitney Houston scored her first UK No.1 single with 'Saving All My Love For You'. The song which was written by Michael Masser and Gerry Goffin, had been a minor hit for Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. in 1978 and was also a US No.1 for Houston.
  • 2003 Ozzy & Kelly Osbourne went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Changes' a remake of a track first sung by Ozzy on the Black Sabbath album Volume IV in 1972. It was the first father and daughter chart topper since Frank & Nancy Sinatra in 1967.
  • No.1 albums on this day...
  • 1991 Michael Jackson started a four-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with his eighth studio album 'Dangerous'. The album has sold over 32 million copies worldwide making it one of the best selling albums of all time. Nine singles were released from the album spanning two years (1991–1993).

  • 1997 Garth Brooks was at No.1 on the US album chart with his seventh studio album, 'Sevens' which became his fourth US No.1 album.
1969 The Jackson Five made their first network television appearance in the US when they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.
1980 Yoko Ono called on fans to observe ten minutes of silence in memory of John Lennon. 30,000 gathered outside St George's Hall in Liverpool, while nearly 100,000 attend a memorial in New York's Central Park.

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...