Happy Birthday My Dear Mr. Gaye

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Today would've marked the 70th birthday of one of soul music's most beloved voices, Mr. Marvin Gaye. While the singer was tragically killed by the hand of his own father 25 years ago, the spirit of Mr. Gaye's legacy and his music lives on. Hokey as that sounds, it is true, because whenever you hear a Marvin Gaye track playing over a loudspeaker or on the radio, don't you pause and take note? I know I sure do, and I have been engaged with the man and his voice ever since I was a barrette n' pigtails wearing child. As someone who claims to have an old soul, Marvin Gaye has always been one of my all-time favorite artists and alot of the male vocalists of now, have a hard time measuring up to my "Marvin quota". It all began when I used to invade my Dad's vinyl collection, from there I became fixated by the sounds that seeped out of Marvin's 1971 opus, What's Going On. While Marvin has a bevy of work that is essential listening, this album effected me, and it was one of the first albums that entranced me to no end. How each track blended into one, how a simple song about the environment ("Mercy Mercy Me") manages to haunt your soul, oh, and the instrumentation...bliss. Even as young as I was, it was obvious to me that this was music that I could grow up with, that one day this would speak to me, lyrically. Now in my early twenties, this record continues to amaze me and in fact, I have grown with this record, and even today I feel this album is poignant in its political and social messages. The album is what it is: timeless. While this post cannot do justice to Mr. Gaye or even his music, this is just the Audio Diva being real (as usual). So I'll leave it to Teena Marie, whom I think said it best on her tribute track from 1984, the moving, "My Dear Mr. Gaye". The song incorporates the classic sound that Marvin crafted so well and it's just so appropriate at the present. So take the time today, to spin a little Marvin on the ol' iPod/CD player/tape deck to celebrate Mr. Gaye and his music. Now take it away Teena...and once again, Happy Birthday Marvin Gaye.

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