Today in Music: 5/21/19

TODAY IN MUSIC: On May 21, 1971, Marvin Gaye released his 11th studio album What’s Going On. Considered a landmark of popular music, What’s Going On is a concept album told from the point of view of a Vietnam veteran returning home to witness suffering, injustice and hatred. Gaye’s idea to create an album focused on social issues was wholly rejected by Motown’s Berry Gordy. Mr. Gordy only changed his mind after Motown sales executive Barney Ales, released 100,000 copies of the song “What’s Going On” (without Berry Gordy”s knowledge) and the song quickly became a hit. The song would become Motown’s fastest-selling single and Gordy allowed Gaye complete creative control of the full album project with the agreement that Gaye could deliver the finished album to the label within 30 days. Hailed as a classic of 1970s soul, What’s Going On was unlike anything Motown had ever released but became an immediate critical and commercial success. The album was also notable as being the first to credit Motown’s in-house session musicians, the Funk Brothers. Four singles were released from What’s Going On: “What’s Going On”, “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)”, “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”, and “Save the Children”. #whatsgoingon #marvingaye #conceptalbum #vietnamvet #socialissues #motown #berrygordy #barneyales #1970s #70ssoul #randb #iconic #funkbrothers #mercymercyme #innercityblues #makemewannaholler #savethechildren #iconicalbums #tonyatlarge #eclectimaniacradioshow #todayinmusic #musichistory

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