The Music Snob
Your guide to D.C.'s live music scene

The Marvin Gaye Way

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Duke Ellington got his quarter. Now Marvin Gaye's got his Way.

    On the 25th anniversary of his death at the hands of his father, the D.C. native and music legend had a street named after him.

    Friends and family members gathered Wednesday afternoon to witness the renaming of the 5200 block of Foot Street in Northeast as Marvin Gaye Way. Gaye grew up just a few blocks away and spent most of his childhood in the neighborhood.

    Gaye's music carried a message that touched the lives of people across the world, Councilwoman Yvette Alexander said.

    The renaming follows the changing of Watts Branch Park to Marvin Gaye Park.

    I'd have them change "Ward 7" to "Ward Marvin Gaye." He was that good.

    Gaye began singing at church at age 3, then after a stint in the Air Force, sang with several street-corner doo wop groups, including the Rainbows.

    When Harvey Fuqua recruited the Rainbows to be his new backing Moonglows, Gaye got out of D.C. and made it to Chicago, almost listening distance from Motown, where he became a household name.

    A string of hits in the '60s -- including several brilliant duets, Gaye was a heluva partner -- but his Motown-defining recording of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" was an even bigger breakthrough, and after a couple more legendary hits, he recorded the landmark albums "What's Going On" and "Let's Get It On" in the early '70s.

    Rarely has a single artist been responsible for so much essential music.