My Wednesday nights are usually reserved for T.op Chef on the B.ravo network – I love that show.
Last night, I took a detour. I was flipping through the channels and PBS was doing a piece on M.arvin Gaye. I couldn’t resist watching – singing and humming along to classics like “Stubborn Kind of Fella,” “How Sweet It Is,” and of course his wonderful duets with Tammi Terrell “You’re All I Need To Get By,” and “Your Precious Love.” It’s been a while since I’d listened to any of Marvin’s music, and I was happy to take a musical birdwalk. I was also reminded of his tortured existence, and the documentary mentioned that he may have provoked his father to shoot and kill him, one day before his 45th birthday.
As enjoyable as I found the piece on Marvin, the real joy was to follow. The next episode spotlighted none other than “The Queen of Soul” herself – Ms. A.retha Franklin! Oh, I had a wonderful time last night, wailing along to some of my favorites from Ms. Franklin including “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man,” “Chain of Fools,” and “Natural Woman.” That woman can sing! I don’t know of anyone else who emotes as much as she does and wraps her audience in whatever she’s feeling at the moment – be it heartache, joy, or getting her groove on a la “Rock Steady.”
Of course, the documentary spoke of Ms. Franklin’s past, and I was reminded of her colorful past as well – two children before she was 17, her various marriages, affairs, and her notorious diva-tude! Perhaps one has to be “colorful” to be a true musical genius. As I think of those I consider to be musical geniuses – M.arvin Gaye, A.retha Franklin, N.ina Simone, Prince – there is definitely some weight to that theory.
Anyhoo, I’m spending my work day listening to my new radio station on P.andora – A.retha Franklin of course! So far I’ve been treated to songs by the Queen herself, M.arvin Gaye, R.ay Charles, N.ina Simone and N.atalie Cole. Today, the lack of breadth and depth on the current musical scene won’t bother me so much – I’ll be enjoying some true golden oldies!
One of my favorites for your listening and viewing pleasure: “Don’t Play That Song For Me.”