[JPL] Obama's favorite song "What's Going On"
doug at moodysmood.com
Mon Jan 26 18:26:49 EST 2009
Thanks Dick, great memories - got me thinking - Did you ever see Marvin
perform with the Marquees? I think they only had one single (on Okeh) and
then Marvin started working with Harvey and the Moonglows before he joined
Motown. Did you have anything to do with getting him to Chess?
Fort Bragg, California
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
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
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,
Joe Cocker, Richie Havens, Everette Harp, Frank Potenza, and Cyndi Lauper.
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