Tag Archives: Marvin Gaye

Almost on the BBC

bbc-radioI had written this blog post on March 28 about the Adagio, attributed to Albinoini, which also appeared in my Times Union blog the same day. On the latter, I received this comment on April 4 at 7:30 a.m.:

Dear Roger,
I’m making a programme for BBC Radio 4, Soul Music about Albinoni’s Adagio. This series looks at those pieces of music that never fail to move us.
I would love to know more about your choir mom.
Please would you be kind enough to email me with your number so we might have a chat.
With many thanks
Lucy

ALSO, I had written this blog post on April 2 about Marvin Gaye, which again appeared in that day’s TU, and generated THIS comment, also on April 4, at 9:02 a.m.: Continue reading Almost on the BBC

May Rambling #2: New Zealand music

America.duck
Descendants of Solomon Northup, who recounted his story in a memoir, 12 Years A Slave.

The Real Origins of the Religious Right. “They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record’s clear: It was segregation.”

Dustbury points to an article about how the ineptitude of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and its predecessors, go back nearly a century.

The Worst Argument Ever Made Against Gay Marriage.

Amy Biancolli’s book: To plunge is to live. Also, her parents in love.

Judy Sanders, former local news reporter and photographer, is dying of ovarian cancer. Confronting the long goodbye from Paul Grondahl, and a piece by her former colleague, Ken Screven.

Diane Cameron’s blog Love in the Time of Cancer has been going on since 2008, but I just discovered it.

Getting kicked out of the prom.

New York Erratic asked: “Have you ever dated anyone who turned out to be gay?” Continue reading May Rambling #2: New Zealand music

Marvin Gaye, 1939-1984

MarvinGayeThe absurd death of Marvin Gaye, at the hands of his father, a day shy of his 45th birthday, always saddens me in early April. He would have been 75 today, but instead was killed 30 years ago yesterday.

Here are twenty-one songs, all linked here, some multiple times, and with different spellings. My list is more or less in preference order, though I’m sure I left off something obvious. The citations refer to its Billboard pop charts zenith, and the year:

21. The Star-Spangled Banner – a controversial version performed at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game
20. Yesterday – WAY too many covers of this Beatles song, yet this is one I like
19. Let’s Get It On (1, 1973) Continue reading Marvin Gaye, 1939-1984

From Which "Grapevine" Did You Hear It?

I love good cover versions of songs. Came across a rather fine list from Popdose. And I so agree with the opening statement: “It’s generally agreed upon that if you don’t have any new flavor to add to the original, you shouldn’t bother doing a cover.”

Certainly can’t argue with the top two, “Respect” by Aretha Franklin*, originally performed by Otis Redding*; and “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix*, originally done by Bob Dylan*. Both of the original artists have acknowledged the transformative nature of these covers. A previous list I saw contained songs that I had never heard of in the Top 10, which I discovered were less than six years old; seems to me these songs need to stand the test of time

But I have one nit to pick over this list, and it’s around the song “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” As noted here and elsewhere, the song by Motown staff writers Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong was first recorded by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles* on August 6, 1966. And Marvin Gaye* recorded his version on April 10, 1967. But Berry Gordy, the head of Motown, hated the song & vetoed the releases by both artists. Continue reading From Which "Grapevine" Did You Hear It?

E is for Ecology

Seriously, I have no energy to ‘debate’ the fact that global warming is occurring, and people are causing it. “The glaciers are melting and are a contributor to sea-level rise,” and “many communities won’t be able to adapt to rapid climate change.” The radical flooding in some parts of the planet and droughts in others are just a couple reflections of the phenomenon.

The deniers, dangerously to my mind, downplay and distort the evidence of climate change, demand policies that allow industries to continue polluting, and attempt to undercut existing pollution standards.
Continue reading E is for Ecology

A Solstice Tradition Continues: Ask Roger ANYTHING!


It is once again time for the operator of this blog to hand over the keys, so to speak, when you ask him anything you want. And he HAS to answer. Now he may answer with obfuscation, but he cannot outright lie.

Here are some examples:
What is my favorite song performed by one artist, made more popular by a subsequent artist, but the version I prefer is by the former? (Got that?)

The answer: I Heard It Through the Grapevine, a big, #2 hit for Gladys Knight and the Pips, only to be trumped by Marvin Gaye’s much slower, much more successful, take. In part, I felt badly for the Pips when they would go on the road and people would ask them, “Why are you doing that Marvin Gaye song?”, which had to be irritating to GK&P, enough so that they left Motown at their first opportunity. Moreover, the resurection of Gaye’s version during the Big Chill movie’s popularity made it become actually irritating to me for a time. Continue reading A Solstice Tradition Continues: Ask Roger ANYTHING!