[JPL] Obama's favorite song "What's Going On"

dick lapalm dlpjazz at thegrid.net
Mon Jan 26 16:28:20 EST 2009

Marvin Gaye and I first met in 1958 when he was a 19-year-old member of 
the Washington DC
doo-wop group, The Marquees.  He was an enormous Nat Cole fan, and we 
remained extremely
close friends until that dreadful Sunday of April 1, 1984.  What a loss!!

Regarding What's Going On, Marvin  recorded the song the first week of 
June 1970, and wanted
to release it immediately.  Berry Gordy, a master at picking hits, 
refused and called it "the worst
record I ever heard".  Marvin was so angry, he threatened to leave the 
company.  Gordy relented,
and the single was released in mid-January 1971.  It charted #1 R&B, #2 
Pop, and remained on the
charts for four months.  The album, What's Going On, which included 
"Inner City Blues" and
"Mercy Mercy Me", became the highlight of Marvin's career, and his 
best-known work.

In addition to Quincy Jones, other artists who've recorded the song 
include Ella Fitzgerald, Michael
McDonald, Herbie Mann, Donny Hathaway, Take Six, Chaka Khan, Les McCann, 
Weather Report,
Joe Cocker, Richie Havens, Everette Harp, Frank Potenza, and Cyndi Lauper.

Warm regards,

Dick LaPalm

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