Thursday, April 2, 2009

Abraham, Martin, John, & Marvin

I'm hoping the great readers of my blog are familiar with the musical legend that is Marvin Gaye. The Prince of Soul/Motown would have been 70 years old today, and his influence still reaches far beyond today's soul vocalists and R&B sensations to almost every element of urban music.

Everyone loves his collection of hit singles - I mean, I remember listening to "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" on a Best of Motown '68 tape back when I was a young'n - so I wanted to dig up an often-overlooked song from his collection that just happens to be my personal favorite.

In 1970, Marvin sang his own version of Dion's 1968 song "Abraham, Martin & John," a tribute to three essential figures of American history that stood for freedom and independence. The song appeared on That's the Way Love Is as an introduction to his style of social commentary and a precursor to the singer's magnum opus What's Goin On.

The reason I connect with the song is two reasons: the lyrics and Marvin's emotion when he recorded it. Also, the repetition of "He freed a lot of people/ But it seems the good die young/ I just looked around/ And he was gone" is eerily prophetic when it comes to his life and tragic death.

"Abraham, Martin & John" is truly one song that gives me chills, it is an essential part of today's celebration of Marvin Gaye's legacy, Enjoy!

[I'm at work so if anyone wants a download link, Tweet me or e-mail me and I'll be more that happy to share later tonight.

Check out the lyrics here]