with Joe Cortese

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: February 26, 2023 – WATCH: one of Marvin Gaye’s final TV performances

Marvin Gaye’s string of R&B hits extends well back into the early 1960s.  As Motown came into its own in the late 60s and 70s, his fame SOARED with songs like “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “What’s Going On,” and “Let’s Get It On.”  (No subtlety there.)

As the next decade came, Gaye released, perhaps, his most iconic song with 1982’s “Sexual Healing.”  Songs like this marked a period of time for amazing soul records, love songs, and ballads that have stood the test of time well into today.

Unknowingly, one of Gaye’s last televised performances was stepping up for the national anthem at the 1983 NBA All Star Game at the Forum in Inglewood, California.  In true Marvin Gaye style, he gave it his own soulful take – embraced by critics and fans likewise.

Just a year after this performance, Gaye would be murdered by his own father after a family dispute.  It marked a period of great sadness for many in Motown’s family, including The Commodores, who released this tribute that has been covered by Bruce Springsteen and others.

So here’s to Marvin, today; a man whose career was cut short before it truly reached it’s apex, yet, a career that gives us so much amazing music to celebrate.

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