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Marvin Gaye – What's going on?

Marvin Gaye was one of the greatest and more unique voices at Motown.

I heard on NPR that Motown arranger David Van De Pitte died recently.  Now, I love music but I can’t tell where one writer’s sound stops and the arranger begins. Van De Pitte was credited with creating some of Motown’s biggest hits.

From the Detroit News:

David Van De Pitte, the arranger who helped Marvin Gaye take jazz, soul and the rumblings of the counter-culture and turn it into the genius of “What’s Going On,” died on Aug. 9 of cancer. The arranger, composer and music director, a longtime Metro Detroiter, was 68.

He is survived by Carolyn Barnett-Goldstein, his partner of 26 years, two daughters by a previous marriage, a brother and a sister.

The work of an arranger isn’t always understood by the general public; they often take a creative but unfinished idea and translate it into musical language, spelling out what each musician is supposed to play.

While early Motown music was simpler, by the time Van De Pitte arrived arrangements were complex and that unseen structure of the Motown sound was part of its appeal.

When an arranger tweaks and advances the music, it’s considered co-writing, and Van De Pitte did that on “What’s Going On.” He was nominated for a Grammy for best arranger for the album in 1971. (more… )

By |2009-09-11T21:08:51-04:00September 11th, 2009|Music|Comments Off on Marvin Gaye – What's going on?

Obama – We need more families

On father’s day, Barack Obama went home to Chicago and spoke at the Church of God. Obama delivered a message to Black fathers. We need more to step to the plate. This is music to my ears. Fathers – Black, White, Brown – need to be there for their children. This is critically important to a child’s development.


From WaPo:

Saying that too many black fathers are “missing from too many lives and too many homes,” Obama said these men “have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.”

Speaking at Chicago’s Apostolic Church of God, with his wife and two daughters in the audience, Obama said that more police on the street and job training programs are essential for a safe and sound society, “But we also need families to raise our children.”

“I say this knowing that I have been an imperfect father — knowing that I have made mistakes and will continue to make more; wishing that I could be home for my girls and my wife more than I am right now,” said Obama, as his daughters Sasha and Malia sat with his wife, Michelle Obama. “I say this, knowing all of these things, because even as we are imperfect, even as we face difficult circumstances, there are still certain lessons we must strive to live and learn as fathers — whether we are black or white; rich or poor; from the South Side or the wealthiest suburb.” (more…)

By |2008-06-15T22:44:56-04:00June 15th, 2008|Domestic Issues, Election 2008|Comments Off on Obama – We need more families
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