What’s Going On?: A Tribute To My Friend Marvin Gaye
By Harold Bell
“Mother, mother there are too many of you crying, brother, brother there are far too many of you dying. We got to find a way to bring some loving here today, war is not the answer—Whats’ Going On”
Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield were far ahead of their times when it came to message music as it related to the plight of America’s down-trodden. The word genius does not do either justice.
Marvin’s masterpiece album “What’s Going On” did more to expose racism and social injustice in America than any march, demonstration or documentary. Curtis Mayfield’s music messages were equally as important.
Oscar Brown Jr., Gil Scott Heron, Curtis and Marvin were the “Original Rappers.”
I met Marvin in the early 50s at Mount Airy Baptist Church in NW Washington, D. C. My Great-Grand-Father the Rev. Alfred Johnson Tyler laid the first brick and helped to build the church in 1893. My Great-Uncle the Rev. Earl Tyler and Marvin’s father were friends.