Find out everything you ever wanted to know about Marvin Gaye before you see the play “My Brother Marvin”.
As one of the pioneers of Motown, singer-songwriter and producer Marvin Gaye helped shape the sound of R & B music and is considered one of the greatest artists of all time.
Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. was born on April 2, 1939 in Washington D.C. to Marvin Gay, Sr., a preacher, and Alberta Gay, a housewife and schoolteacher. The middle child of three children, Marvin Gaye’s childhood can be characterized by developing an early love of music in the face of an abusive relationship with his father. Marvin Gaye’s introduction to music began by singing in his father’s church choir when he was only three years old. He expanded his musical abilities by learning how to play the piano and drums. To escape the repeated beatings he endured at the hands of his father, Marvin Gaye dropped out of high school and enlisted in the Air Force.
Never losing his love of music, he began singing in doo-wop groups when he was honorably discharged from the Air Force. He joined a local Washington D.C. band, and their song, “Wyatt Earp”, recorded with Okeh Records, led to an invitation to join Harvey Fuqua’s group, The Moonglows, in 1958. The group moved to Chicago and began recording for Chess Records. Marvin Gaye then caught the attention of Barry Gordy Jr. during a Motown Christmas party where Gaye played the piano. Gordy signed him to Motown Records in 1961. Read Bio