Motown classic songs by classic artists will live forever. Do you know what Motown’s greatest hit of all time was? It was written in 1966 and first released in September of 1967.
Here is Gladys Knight and her Pips singing, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.”
Motown had a habit of having artists rerecord songs in search of a hit. Marvin Gaye recorded “..Grapevine” for an album and DJs across the country liked it so they played it on the radio. Finally Barry Gordy released Gaye’s version as a single and the result was that Marvin’s version went to the top of the Billboard Pop Singles chart for seven weeks from December 1968 to January 1969.
In San Francisco, our local PBS station is KQED. The station is airing “Motown 25,” a special presentation of the 25th anniversary of Motown and a celebration for founder Barry Gordy. This presentation is a part of a nation-wide pledge drive for public television. The show originally aired on May 16, 1983, on NBC, and the DVD was created by My Music producer T.J. Lubinsky to bring support to public television.
This DVD of the two hour show has just been released, and yes, you can have that DVD if you pledge a certain amount to your local PBS station. If you can stand to watch the show with the pledge breaks, you will see Michael Jackson and his brothers performing as the Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye singing, “What’s Going On” and a very brief reunion of The Supremes leading the whole group of performers in, “Someday We’ll Be Together” from 1969.
Marvin Gaye died on April 1, 1984. His father, Marvin Gay Senior, shot and killed him at their home in Los Angeles. Marvin never got along with his father and even added an “e” to his last name to distance himself from his father. Marvin was 44 years old.