Tag: Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye and Gregory Hines to be Honored with U.S. Postal Stamps in 2019

Gregory Hines and Marvin Gaye 2019 Commemorative Stamps (images via usps.com)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

The United States Postal Service announced yesterday commemorative stamps honoring singing and dancing legends Marvin Gaye and Gregory Hines will be issued in 2019.

Though the specific release dates have yet to be revealed, Gaye’s stamp will be part of the Postal Service’s Music Icons series, which in the past has featured Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix and Sarah Vaughan, and many other superlative talents.

Gaye, best known for early Motown hits with Tami Terrell such as “How Sweet It Is” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” as well has his groundbreaking What’s Going On album has a stamp design features a portrait inspired by historic photographs. The stamp pane is designed to resemble a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. (A pane is the unit into which a full press sheet is divided before sale at post offices.) One side of the pane includes the stamps, brief text about Gaye’s legacy, and the image of a sliver of a record seeming to peek out the top of the sleeve.

Another portrait of Gaye, also inspired by historic photographs, appears on the reverse along with the Music Icons series logo. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp pane with original art by Kadir Nelson.

Hines’ stamp will be the 42nd stamp in the Black Heritage series, which in the past has honored historian Carter G. Woodson, civil rights activist Dorothy Height, and tennis champion Althea Gibson, among others. Noyes designed this stamp as well, which features a 1988 photograph of Hines by Jack Mitchell.

Hines is best known for his unique style of tap dancing injected new artistry and excitement into tap dancing with his unique style. A versatile performer who danced, acted and sang on Broadway, on television and in movies such as “Tap,” “White Knights,” and “Waiting To Exhale,” Hines developed the entertainment traditions of tap into an art form for a younger generation and is credited with renewing interest in tap during the 1990s.

In related postal news, a bill naming the post office at 3585 S. Vermont Ave. in South Los Angeles, CA the Marvin Gaye Post Office was signed into law this July.

Jamie Foxx to Produce Limited TV Series on Marvin Gaye with Suzanne de Passe

Jamie Foxx / Marvin Gaye (photo via rollingstone.com)

article by Ryan Reed via rollingstone.com

Jamie Foxx will chronicle Marvin Gaye’s triumphant, tragic life story in a planned limited series about the soul icon. The actor is executive producing the project alongside Passe Jones Entertainment’s Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones, who will shop the series to various linear and digital outlets, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“I’ve been a huge fan my whole life. His brilliance in music is unparalleled,” Foxx said in a statement. “Marvin Gaye’s story has always fascinated me.”

Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr., who signed Gaye to the legendary Detroit label in 1961, offered his official blessing to the series: “Marvin was the truest artist I have ever known,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “I am confident that this is the right team to bring his story to the audience in an authentic and compelling way.”

At Motown, Gaye found success with his romantic musical persona, partnering with duet partners like Mary Wells and Tammi Terrell. But he explored social issues and sexual subject matter on later LPs, including 1971 masterpiece What’s Going On and 1973’s Let’s Get It On, respectively. After a commercial decline later in the decade, he found a resurgence with 1982’s Midnight Love and hit single “Sexual Healing.” But his story ended tragically in 1984, when he was fatally shot at age 44 by his father in Los Angeles.

While numerous actors, musicians and filmmakers have attempted to produce Gaye biopics over the years, Foxx’s is the first authorized by the late singer’s family. “This project will be a powerful and definitive telling of Marvin Gaye’s life story,” said Gaye’s son, Marvin Gaye III, who will also executive produce the project.

To read more, go to: Marvin Gaye’s Family Approves Jamie Foxx-Produced Series – Rolling Stone

Smokey Robinson to Executive Produced Animated Children’s Series Based on Motown Music for Netflix

Smokey Robinson performs at A Capitol Fourth concert at the U.S. Capitol, West Lawn, on July 4, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Smokey Robinson (photo via eurweb.com)

article via eurweb.com

Netflix has picked up an original animated children’s series that will feature contemporary artists performing hit songs from the Motown catalog that will serve as inspiration for each episode.

From writer/director Josh Wakely (“Beat Bugs”), the as-yet-untitled project will feature Motown icon Smokey Robinson as its executive music producer.

The series will include 52 classic Motown hits, including those made famous by all-time greats like Robinson, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Lionel Richie, The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and many more.

Per Netflix:

The series revolves around a lovable, funny and slightly shy eight-year-old boy named Ben, who discovers he has the extraordinary ability to bring street-art to life. Ben and his family live in the imaginary city of Motown, based on Detroit and its rich musical heritage. Inspired by the words and melodies of Motown’s classic songs, Ben and his friends Angie and Mickey, along with an amazing cast of enchanting street art characters, discover that creativity is magic as they revive vibrancy to their city and learn life lessons.

Marvin Gaye Documentary “Marvin, What’s Going On?” Set to Film This Year

Marvin Gaye Documentary Movie ‘Marvin, What’s
COURTESY OF JIM BRITT/THE MICHAEL ORE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

According to Variety.com, the life and art of legendary musician Marvin Gaye is being developed int a feature documentary by Noah Media Group and Greenlight called, “Marvin, What’s Going On?” The film will center on Gaye’s creation of his seminal 1971 album “What’s Going On” and marks the first time that his children — Nona Gaye, Marvin Gaye III and Frankie Gaye — along with his former wife, Janis Gaye, have supported and contributed to such a project.

The documentary is slated to go into production this year and is intended to be “the defining portrait of this visionary artist and his impeccable album,” according to a statement from the film’s producers.

The album, which was recorded at the zenith of Detroit’s Motown era, was heavily influenced by the troubling Vietnam War and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Gaye produced an album that “challenged America and the world to self-reflect, going on to inspire a generation of artists and music lovers,” the producers said. “The relevance of [his] masterpiece…is as strong as ever.”

The project will be filmed in Detroit, Los Angeles and Washington, and will feature exclusive interviews with several top Motown artists and never-before-seen archive footage unearthed by Gaye’s children and former wife. The film is set to be released in 2017.

In a joint statement, Gaye’s children commented: “We would like to express our excitement about the upcoming documentary feature film about our father and the creation of his amazing ‘What’s Going On’ album. We are proud that his relevance remains intact, and we look forward to being a part of this cinematic journey.

“Our father was complex, but we are confident that with Noah Media Group’s attention to detail and their dedication to the truth, the positive, inspirational and aspirational aspects of his life will be handled and shared with the world in a way never seen before.

“We look forward to participating and sharing what we can through friends, family, photos, footage and priceless stories that only those who knew our father up close and personal would know, as well as his contemporaries, purists and fans who have studied him and his art over decades.

“’What’s Going On?’…something many of us find ourselves asking today, 45 years later. Peace.”

Marvin Gaye, Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards and Others to be Inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame

Marvin Gaye (l); Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards (r)
Marvin Gaye (l); Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards (r)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to billboard.com, the late Marvin Gaye and Chic principles Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards (who died in 1996) are among the artists chosen to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 9 in New York City.  Joining them will be Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, and 1960s hitmaker Chip Taylor.

The new inductees wrote such iconic songs as “What’s Going On,” “Mercy Mercy Me,” “Le Freak,” “Good Times,” “Wild Thing,” “American Girl,” “Everyday I Write The Book,” and many, many more.

“The 2016 roster of Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees is a beautiful mosaic of the best of late 20th Century popular music. With creators of Rock & Roll, Soul/R&B, Country and Funk/Dance represented, we are looking forward to an unforgettable and extremely exciting event and evening at the Marriott Marquis on June 9th,” said co-chairs Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, who are serving their first year in that role.

The hall’s 47th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner will take place at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Gaye and Edwards will be inducted posthumously.

“Vampire Diaries” Actress Kat Graham To Star in Tammi Terrell Biopic

Kat Graham Tammi Terrell 2-shot
(Getty Images/Motown Records)

 The woman who teamed with Marvin Gaye on a string of 1960s Motown hits before dying of a brain tumor at age 24 is getting her own biopic. Tammi Terrell will be played by The Vampire Diaries star Kat Graham, who also is working her debut album with producer BabyfaceMaryam Myika Day wrote the untitled project, which marks Graham’s feature debut and is being produced by Robert Teitel, Rose Ganguzza and Hilary Shor. Shooting is set for next year.

The film follows the brief but memorable career of Terrell, who started out as a backup singer in the James Brown Revue before scoring a few minor pop hits as a solo act. But she struck gold after being paired with hit-making singer Gaye in early 1967, a teaming that produced such Motown classics as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Your Precious Love” and “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing.” In October 1967, Terrell collapsed onstage while performing with Gaye, and doctors diagnosed her with a brain tumor. She continued to record with Gaye and scored a few more solo hits before dying in 1970.

“I immediately connected to Tammi and her story in many ways and have felt the incredible need to tell it,” Graham said. “Tammi Terrell defined passion and soul itself. … Getting lost in the music enabled her to override life’s punishments — for when she sang, she could use the hurt to create greatness and give the world hope that maybe they could overcome their pain as well.”

article by Erik Pedersen via deadline.com

Comedian and Activist Dick Gregory to be Honored with Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

dick gregory (walk of fame)The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has announced that comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory will be honored with the 2,542nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, February 2, 2015.

The star in the category of Live Theatre/Performance will be dedicated at 1650 Vine Street near Hollywood & Vine.

“We are proud to honor Dick Gregory with a star on the Walk of Fame during Black History month. He has given so much to the world with his wisdom through his work in entertainment,” stated Leron Gubler, President of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and emcee of the ceremonies.

The star ceremony will be streamed live exclusively on www.walkoffame.com

The day after the ceremony the celebration will continue with the Dick Gregory & Friends All Star Tribute and Toast on Tuesday, February 3, at 8:00 p.m. at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre, 1615 N. Vine Street in Hollywood.

Richard Claxton Gregory aka Dick Gregory is a comedian, civil rights activist, author, recording artist, actor, philosopher and anti-drug crusader. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Gregory, 82, began his career as a comedian while serving in the military in the mid-1950s. He was drafted in 1954 while attending Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. After being discharged in 1956, with a desire to perform comedy professionally, he moved to Chicago.

Gregory attributes the launch of his career to Hugh Hefner, who watched him perform at Herman Roberts Show Bar. Hefner hired Gregory to work at the Chicago Playboy Club as a replacement for comedian Professor Irwin Corey.

By 1962, Gregory had become a nationally-known headline performer, selling out nightclubs, making numerous national television appearances, and recording popular comedy albums. Gregory, whose style was detached, ironic, and satirical, gained the attention of audiences with his political and controversial stand up acts. By being both outspoken and provocative, he became a household name and opened many doors for Black entertainers.

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R.I.P. Composer, Pianist and Jazz Crusader Joe Sample

Joe Sample at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2011. His last solo album, “Children of the Sun,” is to be released this fall. (Credit: Jean-Christophe Bott/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

Joe Sample, who became a jazz star in the 1960s as the pianist with the Jazz Crusaders and an even bigger star a decade later when he began playing electric keyboards and the group simplified its name to the Crusaders, died on Friday in Houston. He was 75.

The cause was mesothelioma, said his manager, Patrick Rains.

The Jazz Crusaders, who played the muscular, bluesy variation on bebop known as hard bop, had their roots in Houston, where Mr. Sample, the tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder and the drummer Nesbert Hooper (better known by the self-explanatory first name Stix) began performing together as the Swingsters while in high school.

Mr. Sample met the trombonist Wayne Henderson at Texas Southern University and added him, the bassist Henry Wilson and the flutist Hubert Laws — who would soon achieve considerable fame on his own — to the group, which changed its name to the Modern Jazz Sextet.

The band worked in the Houston area for several years but did not have much success until Mr. Sample, Mr. Felder, Mr. Hooper and Mr. Henderson moved to Los Angeles and changed their name to the Jazz Crusaders, a reference to the drummer Art Blakey’s seminal hard-bop ensemble, the Jazz Messengers. Their first album, “Freedom Sound,” released on the Pacific Jazz label in 1961, sold well, and they recorded prolifically for the rest of the decade, with all four members contributing compositions, while performing to enthusiastic audiences and critical praise.

In the early 1970s, as the audience for jazz declined, the band underwent yet another name change, this one signifying a change in musical direction. Augmenting their sound with electric guitar and electric bass, with Mr. Sample playing mostly electric keyboards, the Jazz Crusaders became the Crusaders. Their first album under that name, “Crusaders 1,” featuring four compositions by Mr. Sample, was released on the Blue Thumb label in 1972.

Continue reading “R.I.P. Composer, Pianist and Jazz Crusader Joe Sample”

Marvin Gaye-Inspired Stage Play to Hit Theaters Tonight

Marvin Gaye performing on stage (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)

Marvin Gaye performing on stage (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)

The story of the late, legendary Motown artist Marvin Gaye will be coming to a stage near you, thanks to the efforts of his sister Zeola “Sweetsie” Gaye.  My Brother Marvin is said to provide behind-the-scenes insights in the life of the “Let’s Get It On” singer.  “Through the years, I became taken aback and disappointed with everything that had been written, said and published about my family, especially my brother Marvin that wasn’t accurate,” Zeola Gaye said in a press release.  The cast for the show includes Lynn Whitfield in the role of Gaye’s mother and Keith Washington as the singer himself.

“In the play, I simply wanted to set the record straight. I wanted to leave a true account about Marvin the man and our family. People need to know what really happened and Marvin would want his fans to really know what happened. We are finally bringing the truth the world needs and must know,” Zeola added in her press release.  The show will be on tour throughout several major American cities including Houston, Baltimore and Motown’s birthplace of Detroit starting today (February 15) and concludes in the spring.  Click here to buy tickets.

article via thegrio.com

GBN Quote Of The Day

“If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.”

–Marvin Gaye, singer/songwriter, musician & Motown legend

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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