May 21: American Masters – Marvin Gaye What’s Going On (documentary)
Marvin Gaye released What’s going on May 21, 1971, we present a great documentary about the album.
Marvin Gaye is one of the great and enduring figures of soul music, but his life was one of sexual confusion, bittersweet success and ultimately death by the hand of his own father.
Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. (April 2, 1939 — April 1, 1984), better known by his stage name Marvin Gaye, was an American singer-songwriter and musician with a four-octave vocal range. Starting as a member of the doo-wop group The Moonglows in the late fifties, he ventured into a solo career after the group disbanded in 1960 signing with the Tamla Records subsidiary of Motown Records. After starting off as a session drummer, Gaye ranked as the label’s top-selling solo artist during the sixties.
Because of solo hits such as “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)”, “Ain’t That Peculiar”, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and his duet singles with singers such as Mary Wells and Tammi Terrell, he was crowned “The Prince of Motown” and “The Prince of Soul”.
His work in the early and mid-1970s, including the albums What’s Going On, Let’s Get It On, and I Want You, helped influence the quiet storm, urban adult contemporary, and slow jam genres. After a self-imposed European exile in the early eighties, Gaye returned on the 1982 Grammy-Award winning hit, “Sexual Healing” and the Midnight Love album before his death. Gaye was shot dead by his father on April 1, 1984. He was posthumously inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
In 2008, the American music magazine Rolling Stone ranked Gaye at number 6 on its list of The Greatest Singers of All Time, and ranked at number 18 on 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
This fine documentary is directed by Samuel D. Pollard, also an editor and producer, known for 25th Hour (2002), 4 Little Girls(1997) and When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006). Including interviews with the singer’s family, friends and musical colleagues.
What’s Going On (2008):