In my earlier years I was a huge fan of Motown Music. There weren’t too many that were part of the Motown group that I didn’t like. Marvin Gaye was a part of Motown. He was considered the Prince of Motown and yes I was a fan of his music. Some of his biggest hits includes “You’re a Wonderful One”, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, and “What’s Going On?”

Although he was a huge success in his music career Marvin found himself in the drug world and became addicted to cocaine, which caused a lot of problems in his life and career.

Marvin and his mother were really close and apparently his father was very jealous of their relationship. As a child his father was very strict on the kids. Marvin suffered from routine whippings since he was the age of 7. He had a hard time accepting the fact that his father, who was a preacher, was a cross dresser. This tormented Marvin throughout his childhood. He didn’t understand it. He started turning to his love for his music as a salvation and eventually his voice was his ticket to get out of his father’s home. His father wasn’t so happy with that but his mother always supported his choice.

In 1967 Marvin and Tammy Terrell became a singing duo when they recorded “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”  and they quickly rose to the top five hit ballad with “Your Precious Love” Although there were rumors that Gaye and Terrell were romantically involved this simply was not true. They did indeed love each other but what they had together was more of a brother-sister relationship. They grew very close to one another.

When Terrell became ill and it caused her to have to cease her recordings it put Marvin into a depression. He even attempted to commit suicide but fortunately was stopped by Berry Gordy’s father. On March 16, 1970, Terrell died of a brain tumor which had Marvin so emotional that at her funeral he talked to he as though he expected her to respond back. After her death Marvin swore he would no longer record duets with any other female performer nor was he ever going to perform on stage again because Terrell’s collapse had spooked him.

Five years before his death Marvin Gaye went into hiding in Hawaii where he lived inside a Van. He was running from the tax man. During this time he was at war with his wife, Janis Hunter, and the tax man.

Gaye was a no-show for a concert in Great Britain which left Princess Margaret waiting for hours at the Royal Gala Charity Show. He did eventually show up though but unfortunately not until the audience was leaving.  After this he went to Belgium and was hiding out there once again. While in Belgium he started using the drugs less and was beginning to get back in shape both physically and emotionally.

After a U.S tour in March 1984 he was worried that someone was going to kill him. He went into isolation once again but this time he went to his parent’s home. Gaye had threatened to commit suicide several time after some bitter arguments with his father.

On April 1, 1984, his father had been drinking and got angry when he couldn’t find some document papers and after Marvin had a lot of unpaid taxes and two divorces he lost all of his properties and since Marvin had purchased his parent’s home for them, his father was worried that they would lose their home as well. As he raised his voice to Marvin’s mother, Marvin stepped in to defend her. Apparently Marvin stood up to his father and ended up physically fighting with him which was the first time Marvin ever struck his father. His father walked out the room humiliated but only to return with a gun in his hand. He stood there and aimed at Marvin shooting him twice, once in the shoulder and the other in his chest Leaving Marvin’s mother screaming, the man turned around and went into his bedroom. They called 911 but the paramedics refused to come into the house until they confiscated the gun used. Marvin’s sister in law found the gun under his father’s pillow. Marvin’s brother was holding him in his arms when the paramedics came in.

He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital which was at 1:01 pm on April 1, 1984. Marvin’s 45th birthday would have been the very next day. Marvin Gaye Sr. plead guilty to volunteer manslaughter and was given a 5 year suspended sentence. He was originally charged with first degree murder which was dropped once it was revealed that Marvin Sr had been beaten by his son before he killed him. Even though the doctors had found that Marvin Sr had a brain tumor they still declared him fit to stand trial. . He spent time in a retirement home where he died of pneumonia in 1998.

This video was very interesting to me. As I said before I was a fan of Marvin Gaye’s but I honestly didn’t know most of this part of his life. I think everyone that watches it would find it as interesting as I did.  This DVD will hit the streets on August 24, 2010 but to get your copy of Marvin Gaye – Final 24: His Final Hours to pre-order it. Just click on the Amazon icon above.

We have created a partial list of the series.

Jan Barrett

Be Sociable, Share!