Tuesday, December 14, 2010
A Gaye old time
How was Motown Record Corporation doing on this day back in 1968? Pretty damn fine, as a glance at the Billboard Top 5 will attest:
1. I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Marvin Gaye
2. Love Child, Diana Ross & the Supremes
3. For Once in My Life, Stevie Wonder
4. Abraham, Martin and John, Dion
5. Who's Making Love, Johnnie Taylor
It was an unprecendented 1-2-3 trifecta for Motown, led by Gaye's first of three career No. 1 pop hits. (He had 13 R&B chart-toppers.) "Grapevine," written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, was recorded first by Gaye but Motown's Berry Gordy declined to release it, and in stepped Gladys Knight & the Pips with a record that reached No.2 in 1967.
Gaye's "Grapevine" spent seven weeks atop the pop chart, finally ceding its position on Feb.1 to "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James & the Shondells. Oh, and Gaye's other No. 1 pop songs were "Let's Get It On" and "Got to Give it Up, Pt. 1."
As much as we like Gaye's fabulous original version of "Grapevine," we decided to share an a capella performance you might not have heard.