Hi everyone. Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing. But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?
(Image found online. Original source unknown.)
I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.
Time for another mid-week Motown break. As much as Marvin Gaye gained popularity on his own, he also found it as part of a duo. He recorded one album of duets with Mary Wells (1964’s “Together”) and another with Kim Weston (1966’s “Take Two” which included the top 20 hit, “It Takes Two”). But when both women left the label after the release of these albums due to business reasons, Gaye found his most successful pairing with Tammi Terrell. She was 20 years old when she signed with Motown in 1965, after two years as a member of James Brown’s Revue. Her pairing with Gaye was magic right from the start. They had three hits in 1967: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “Your Precious Love” and today’s song.
But it was also in October of the same year that Terrell would collapse onstage in Gaye’s arms due to the discovery of a malignant brain tumor shortly thereafter. She fought the illness through eight unsuccessful surgeries over the next two and a half years but sadly lost her fight to it on March 16, 1970 at age 24. According to many friends and several Motown history biographers, Gaye never recovered from losing her. Shortly after her death his fight with depression and addiction began. He also entered the studio to write and record a more introspective album. It became his career defining “What’s Going On” album released May 21, 1971.
In 1983 I was lucky enough to see Gaye in concert at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. He performed today’s song by himself in a slower tempo while pictures of him & Terrell flashed on a giant screen behind him. It was one of the most poignant moments I have ever witnessed at a concert. A year later, almost 14 years exactly after he lost his dear friend, Gaye died, too. It is no secret that too many of the performers at Motown had such sad endings to their stories. It breaks my heart that today’s two singers, the ones I adore most of all from that label, had their stories end the same way. I believe people who bring the world so much happiness with their music should find it themselves. My heart tells me they have it together now.
“If I could build my whole world around you
I’d make your eyes the morning sun
I’d put so much love where there is sorrow
I’d put joy where there’s never been none“.
Tammi Terrell & Marvin Gaye circa 1967. (Image found online. Original source unknown.)
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell: “If I Could Build My Whole World Around You” (1967, written by Harvey Fuqua, Johnny Bristol and Vernon Bullock).
I do not own the rights to anything. I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.