A couple of summers ago, I spent lots of time working on a review of Michael Eric Dyson's Mercy, Mercy Me: The Art, Love and Demons of Marvin Gaye. I bought more Gaye bios than was reasonable and immersed myself in them--and in his music. I talked to my Dad for some of his memories and insights about Marvin Gaye, and logged lots of coffee shop hours on this manuscript.
I wrote this manuscript on speculation for a critical review journal. Although it was never published, I enjoyed writing it. I enjoy spending time with different subjects, learning as much as I can, then trying to bring all those parts together in an article. So now, I'm posting it here. I figure it'll give you something to chew on while I finish working on gospelgal.com. In the meantime, right on.
Gaye, like many R&B/soul singers, had gospel roots. I know of at least two gospel artists who've produced enjoyable versions of his songs: Ray Bady's Mission K.O.B. (Keep On Believin') album includes a summer-cruisable interpretation of "Mercy, Mercy Me," and Sara Renner brings back a Marvin Gaye-Tammi Terrell classic, "You're All I Need to Get By" on her 2004 album Elements of the Journey.
Know about other gospel-related covers of Gaye's work? Tell me about them.
Before Tower Records closed, I got a super-cheap copy of Jason Miles' What's Going On? Songs of Marvin Gaye. It's a nice tribute.