The date that would have been the 80th birthday of definitive soul superstar Marvin Gaye, 2 April 2019, is being marked by today’s launch by Apple Music’s Beats 1 of a two-hour ‘Marvin Gaye Birthday Mix,’ by the Brooklyn hip-hop producer DJ Spinna. You can tune in to the mix here.
Included as part of this celebration of one of the greatest soul catalogues in recording history is the premiere of a new M+M mix of ‘Funk Me’ by club DJ overlord and remixer John Morales. The track, which captures the artist at his most sensual, originated on Gaye’s 1981 Motown album In Our Lifetime.
The birthday mix arrives on the same day as the dedication ceremony for the new Marvin Gaye postage stamp. This is the latest in the Music Icon series from the US Postal Service, which has previously honoured such fellow musical giants as Elvis Presley, John Lennon and Sarah Vaughan.
The new activity around Gaye’s huge contribution to music history in general, and Motown Records in particular, is part of Motown 60, a year of releases, events and more to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary. Last Friday (29) saw the appearance, in 2LP gatefold vinyl and digital editions, of You’re The Man, Gaye’s never-issued 1972 Motown album.
The album features all of the artist’s solo and non-soundtrack recordings from that year, which were not released at the time. Fiften of its 17 tracks are making their first appearance on vinyl, and the set includes new mixes by SaLaAM ReMi of ‘Symphony,’ ‘My Last Chance’ and ‘I’d Give My Life For You.’
Among other Motown 60 events, 13 April marks the opening of the new exhibition Motown: The Sound of Young America at the LBJ Presidential Library, at the University of Texas in Austin. It’s curated by the Grammy Museum, with support from the Motown Museum in Detroit.
Explore our Marvin Gaye Artist Page.