♫ It Takes Two ♫

After the events of the evening (the aforementioned cat fight), I was pretty sure there could be no music post tonight, but then … dear David mentioned this song by the wonderful Marvin Gaye, and I knew I had my song for the night!  Thank you, David!

It Takes Two is a hit single recorded in late 1965 by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston for Motown’s Tamla label.

Produced by Weston’s then-husband, longtime Gaye collaborator William “Mickey” Stevenson, and co-written by Stevenson and Sylvia Moy, It Takes Two centered on a romantic lyric that depicted many things in life (dreams, love, wishes, etc.) being better with two people instead of one. The single became Gaye’s most successful duet single to date, later outperformed by Gaye’s duets with Tammi Terrell.

According to Kim Weston …

“Marvin and I went into the studio together to record the album Take Two. We didn’t pick the tracks, they were picked by Mickey Stevenson, my then-husband, and our producer, but ‘It Takes Two’ had been written by him and Sylvia Moy especially for us and it really worked. Being in the studio with Marvin, I saw a new side to him. I’d traveled and shared bills with him so we knew how each other worked. In the studio he was really encouraging. He added little ad libs, intonations here and there and suggested things for the arrangements. I saw the genius shine out of him but also the frustration. You could hear it in his voice. He wanted more control.  It was a shock when they released the song as a single. I’d already left Motown and gone to MGM. I don’t think Motown knew I was going to leave and I was upset that this came out after I’d gone. I regret never having the chance to sing it live with Marvin. I felt my duets with Marvin really paved the way for what he did with Tammi Terrell next. Our songs influenced theirs, and if I’d stayed at the label I think I’d have been singing those songs with him instead.”

Though Gaye had already racked up a number of hits in the US, this was his first Top 40 hit in the UK. The song reached #14 in the U.S. and #16 in the UK … the Canadians apparently didn’t like it, for it didn’t chart there.  

In 1990, the song was covered by Rod Steward and Tina Turner, where it was a Top Ten throughout Europe.

It Takes Two
Kim Weston and Marvin Gaye

One can have a dream, baby
Two can make a dream so real
One can talk about being in love
Two can see how it really feels

One can wish upon a star
Two can make a wish come true, yeah
One can stand alone in the dark
Two can make a light shine through

It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby,
Me and you
You know it takes two

It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby
Make a dream come true
It just takes two

One can have a broken heart
Living in misery
Two can really ease the pain
Like a perfect remedy
One can be alone in a bar,
Like an island he’s all alone
Two can make just any place
Seem just like bein’ at home

It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby
Me and you
It just takes two
It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby,
To make a dream come true
It just take two

Just takes two
Just takes two

One can go out to a movie
Looking for a special treat
Two can make that single movie
Something really kind of sweet
And one can take a walk in the moonlight
Thinking that’s it’s really nice
But two lovers walking hand in hand
Is like adding just a pinch of spice

It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby
Me and you
Just takes two
It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby
To make a dream come true

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Sylvia Moy / William Stevenson
It Takes Two lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) ♫

I read a mention of Marvin Gaye this evening, and that’s about all it takes to get one or another of Marvin’s fantastic tunes rattling around in my head.  This isn’t actually the one that was rattling around in my head … that was I Heard it Through the Grapevine, but since I’ve already played that one twice here, and once already this year, I searched my brain, such as it is, for another and came up with this one.

As is the case with so many great Motown tunes, this one was written by the songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland.  It was inspired by the trademark line of Jackie Gleason, “How sweet it is!” as it was said on The Jackie Gleason Show. Gleason was one of the biggest TV stars of the time.

Lamont Dozier said the lyric was “wishful thinking.” He was …

“… sitting at the piano, fantasizing about how good it would be if the woman I had eyes for was madly in love with me. But the truth is she never gave me a second look. So I created this fantasy world where I was the object of all her affections, a bit of fiction that eventually came true due to my persistence and showering her with affection.”

This was the second of Gaye’s 13 Top-10 hits. His first was 1963’s Pride and Joy, which peaked at #10.  How Sweet It Is reached #6 in the U.S., but only #49 in the UK, and did not chart in Canada.

Eddie Holland came up with the title and hook for this song. The rest of it took a while to put together, and by the time Gaye recorded it, he had to read from lyric sheets because he had not had time to memorize them.  In 2001, ESPN took some heat in the press when they used this song as background music in a Father’s Day tribute featuring athletes and their fathers or kids. Gaye had been shot by his father in 1984.

James Taylor released his version of How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) as the lead single from his album Gorilla (1975). Taylor’s 1975 single has been the most successful remake of the song to date, hitting number one on the Easy Listening chart and number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.  Now, while I am a huge fan of James Taylor, sorry but this song belongs to Marvin Gaye in my book.

How Sweet It Is
Marvin Gaye

How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you

I needed the shelter of someone’s arms
There you were
I needed someone to understand my ups and downs
There you were
With sweet love and devotion
Deeply touching my emotion
I want to stop and thank you, baby
I wanna stop and thank you, baby
Yes, I do

How sweet it is to be loved by you
Feels so fine
How sweet it is to be loved by you

I close my eyes at night
Wondering where would I be without you in my life
Everything I did was just a bore
Everywhere I went, seems I’d been there before
But you brighten up for me all of my days
With a love so sweet, so many ways
I wanna stop, thank you, baby
I just wanna stop and thank you, baby
Whoa, yes

How sweet it is to be loved by you
It’s just like sugar sometimes
How sweet it is to be loved by you
Whoa, yeah

You were better to me than I was to myself
For me, there’s you and there ain’t nobody else
I wanna stop and thank you, baby
I just wanna stop and thank you, baby
Oh yes

How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you
Oh now, how sweet it is to be loved by you
It’s like jelly baby
Oh, yeah
How sweet it is to be loved by you
Just like honey to the bees, baby
Yeah, now

How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Joey Cooper / Harry Tobias

♫ Dancing In The Street ♫

All evening I have had this song in my head.  I was sure I hadn’t played it here, and made a note of it so that I wouldn’t forget this brilliant idea (me?  forget?  surely I jest!)  Only to discover that yes, I played this one in July 2019.  Well, guess what?  You’re getting a redux, for I am exhausted and when I asked my brain to choose another song, it gave me the finger, grumbled, and went back to sleep.  So, Martha and the Vandellas it is, even if I did already play it!


I hope you’re in the mood for a bit of something upbeat tonight, for I am greatly in need of what I think of as ‘happy music’, which often leads me to Motown, and tonight is no exception.

This song was written by Motown songwriters Marvin Gaye, Ivy Jo Hunter, and William “Mickey” Stevenson. It became the biggest hit and trademark song for Martha & the Vandellas.  According to the song’s co-writer Mickey Stevenson, the idea for dancing came to him while riding with Marvin Gaye through Detroit. During the summer, the city would open up fire hydrants and let the water out in the streets so they could play in the water to cool off. They appeared to be dancing in the water.  I actually remember one city I lived in as a child doing that … opening the fire hydrants on hot summer days!

Martha Reeves was the leader of the group.  Back in the early days, she was trying to get her foot in the door at Motown, but they wouldn’t even give her an audition, so she applied for and got a job as secretary.  Part of her secretarial duties was singing lyrics to new songs onto tapes so backup singers could learn the words. This led to fill-in work as a backup singer, where she impressed Motown executives with her voice.  She convinced them to hire her friends, Annette Sterling and Rosalind Ashford, and thus was born Martha and the Vandellas!  After backing up Marvin Gaye on some of his songs, Motown gave them songs to sing on their own, including the hit Heat Wave.

Martha Reeves told the story behind this song …

“Marvin Gaye had recorded ‘Dancing in the Street” when I first heard it, and he had put a real smooth vocal on there, sort of like (jazzy singing) ‘Calling all around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat baby?’ and for some reason, Marvin said, “let’s try this song on Martha.” I was in the office and they let me hear the song, but I couldn’t quite feel it that way. I had been to Rio De Janeiro, I had travelled to New Orleans during Carnival time, so I just knew it had to be somewhere about dancing in the street. I said, ‘Can I sing it the way that I feel it?’ And they said, ‘Go ahead.’

So, I sang it (singing on the beat) ‘calling all around the world are you ready for a brand-new beat,’ and, they loved it. There was all kinds of congratulatory hand slaps and ‘hey man, we got a hit in that window up there,’ and the engineer, Lawrence Horn, looked and said, ‘I didn’t turn the machine on.’

I had to sing it again. So, the second time I sang it, there’s a little bit of anger there because I had to repeat it. It was a straight performance and that’s why it sounds live. I think that’s the secret of the success of the hit – the fact that I had to do it again, and I did it without a mistake or without any interruption, and the feeling was just right on that song.”

The song took on a different meaning when riots in inner-city America led to many young black demonstrators citing the song as a civil rights anthem to social change which also led to some radio stations taking the song off its play list because certain black advocates such as H. Rap Brown began playing the song while organizing demonstrations.

The British press aggravated Reeves one time when someone put a microphone in her face and asked her if she was a militant leader. The British journalist wanted to know if Reeves agreed, as many people had claimed, that Dancing in the Street was a call to riot. To Reeves, the query was patently absurd. ‘My Lord, it was a party song,’ she remarked.

Like many a Motown hit, this song has been covered by many, including The Mamas and The Papas, Val Halen, Grateful Dead, David Bowie & Mick Jagger as a duet, and many more.  But to me, Martha and the Vandellas own this one.

Dancing in the Street
Martha and the Vandellas

Calling out around the world,
Are you ready for a brand new beat?
Summer’s here and the time is right
For dancing in the street.
They’re dancing in Chicago,
Down in New Orleans,
In New York City.

All we need is music, sweet music.
There’ll be music everywhere.
There’ll be swinging and swaying and records playing,
Dancing in the street.
Oh, it doesn’t matter what you wear,
Just as long as you are there.
So come on, every guy, grab a girl.
Everywhere around the world
They’ll be dancing.
They’re dancing in the street.

It’s an invitation across the nation,
A chance for folks to meet.
There’ll be laughing, singing, and music swinging,
Dancing in the street.
Philadelphia, P.A.
Baltimore and D.C. now.
Can’t forget the Motor City.

All we need is music, sweet music.
There’ll be music everywhere.
There’ll be swinging and swaying and records playing,
Dancing in the street.
Oh, it doesn’t matter what you wear,
Just as long as you are there.
So come on, every guy, grab a girl.
Everywhere around the world
They’re dancing.
They’re dancing in the street.

Way down in L.A. ev’ry day,
They’re dancing in the street.
(Dancing in the street.)
Let’s form a big, strong line, get in time,
We’re dancing in the street.
(Dancing in the street.)
Across the ocean blue, me and you,
We’re dancing in the street.

Songwriters: Marvin Gaye / William Stevenson / Ivy Hunter
Dancing in the Street lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Carlin America Inc

♫ True ♫

Yesterday a friend mentioned the band Spandau Ballet — a group who I haven’t thought of in probably 30 years, but immediately when I saw the name mentioned, this song, True, came pouring into my head.  Until tonight, I didn’t know the lyrics or the backstory, but I always loved the song.

True was composed by group leader Gary Kemp, who wrote the song at his parents’ house while living there. It is a song that in part pays tribute to the Motown artist Marvin Gaye, who is mentioned in the lyrics, and the sound he helped to establish. According to Kemp …

“I think I wanted to write a song that was a bit like a Marvin Gaye, Al Green song, a blue-eyed soul song. It was at a time when it was me concentrating on melody first rather than the sort of riff and the groove. ‘True’ became a song about writing a love song. Why ‘Why do I find it hard to write the next line? I want the truth to be said?’ Because I didn’t want to write it down—because there’s nothing more embarrassing.”

The song was partly about Kemp’s platonic relationship (and unrequited love) with Altered Images singer Clare Grogan …

“I was infatuated with Clare Grogan. I met her on Top of the Pops and, at one point, travelled up to Scotland to have tea with her and her mum and dad. Although my feelings were unrequited and the relationship was platonic, it was enough to trigger a song.”

Some phrases in the lyrics were adapted from the novel Lolita, a copy of which Clare Grogan had given Gary Kemp.

“The lyrics are full of coded messages to Clare.  I’m still berated for the line ‘Take your seaside arms’ but it’s straight out of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, which she had given me as a present – although in the book, it’s ‘seaside limbs.’ The line ‘With a thrill in my head and a pill on my tongue’ is also a bastardisation of Nabokov.”

Kemp did an interview with The Guardian back in 2014 that you might find interesting:  Spandau Ballet: We wanted to design the next decade’s pop culture

Released in 1983, this is the only song by the British group to make the top ten in the U.S.  It hit #1 in Canada, Ireland and the UK, and #4 in the U.S.

True
Spandau Ballet

So true, funny how it seems
Always in time, but never in line for dreams
Head over heels when toe to toe
This is the sound of my soul
This is the sound

I bought a ticket to the world
But now I’ve come back again
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
I want the truth to be said

I, I-I-I, I
I know this much is true
I, I-I-I, I
I know this much is true

With a thrill in my head and a pill on my tongue
Dissolve the nerves that have just begun
Listening to Marvin (all night long)
This is the sound of my soul
This is the sound

Always slipping from my hands
Sand’s a time of its own
Take your seaside arms and write the next line
I want the truth to be known

I, I-I-I, I
I know this much is true
I, I-I-I, I
Ooh, I know this much is true, I know this much is true

I bought a ticket to the world
But now I’ve come back again
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
I want the truth to be, I want the truth to be said

I, I-I-I, I
I know this much is true
I, I-I-I, I
Ooh, I know this much is true, I know this much is true

This much is true

This much is true
This much is true
This much is true
This much is true
This much is true
This much is true

I, I-I-I, I, I
Know this much is true
I, I-I-I, I, I
Know this much is true
This much is true
This much is true
I know, I know, I know this much is true

This much is true
This much is true
This much is true (I, I-I-I, I, I)
This much is true
I know this much is true

This much is true (I, I-I-I, I, I)
This much is true
Know this much is true
This much is true (I, I-I-I, I, I)
This much is true
Know this much is true
I know, I know, I know this much is true

This much is true (I, I-I-I, I, I)
This much is true
I know this much is true
This much is true

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Gary Kemp
True lyrics © Reformation Publishing Co Ltd

♫ Nightshift ♫ (Redux)

Yes, yes … I played this one just over a year ago … September 2019.  But, I had a request of sorts for it, and as I listened to it again, I really wanted to play it again!  I do love this one, so please bear with me …


This song, released in 1985, is a tribute to singers Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson, who both died in 1984. Gaye was a Motown star known for love songs like Let’s Get It On and Sexual Healing. Wilson was an R&B singer known for his stirring performances and hits like Lonely Teardrops. Wilson was 49 when he died; Gaye was 44. Both are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The songwriter Franne Golde was brought in to help with the lyrics. She had recently seen the 1982 movie Night Shift (starring Henry Winkler and Michael Keaton; directed by Ron Howard), which gave her the idea for the title.  This is the Commodores’ only hit since Lionel Richie left the band in 1982. J.D. Nicholas, a former backup singer for Diana Ross, was brought in to replace Richie.  When this song was performed on Motown Returns to the Apollo in the early ’80s, more verses were added to honor other Motown legends who had passed on.

Nightshift
Commodores

Marvin, he was a friend of mine
And he could sing a song
His heart in every line
Marvin sang of the joy and pain
He opened up our minds
And I still can hear him say
Aw talk to me so you can see
What’s going on
Say you will sing your songs
Forevermore (evermore)

Gonna be some sweet sounds
Coming down on the nightshift
I bet you’re singing proud
Oh I bet you’ll pull a crowd
Gonna be a long night
It’s gonna be all right
On the nightshift
Oh you found another home
I know you’re not alone
On the nightshift

You found another home
I know you’re not alone
On the nightshift

Jackie (Jackie), hey what’you doing now
It seems like yesterday
When we were working out
Jackie (Jackie, oh) you set
The world on fire
You came and gifted us
Your love it lifted us
Higher and higher
Keep it up and
We’ll be there
At your side
Oh say you will sing
Your songs forevermore (evermore)

Gonna be some sweet sounds
Coming down on the nightshift
I bet you’re singing proud
Oh I bet you’ll pull a crowd
Gonna be a long night
It’s gonna be all right
On the nightshift
Oh you found another home
I know you’re not alone
On the nightshift

Gonna be some sweet sounds
Coming down on the nightshift
I bet you’re singing proud
Oh I bet you’ll pull a crowd
Gonna be a long night
It’s gonna be all right
On the nightshift
Oh you found another home
I know you’re not alone
On the nightshift

Gonna miss your sweet voice
That soulful voice
On the nightshift
We all remember you
Ooh the songs are coming through
At the end of a long day
It’s gonna be okay
On the nightshift
You found another home
I know you’re not alone
On the nightshift

Songwriters: Franne Golde / Dennis Lambert / Walter Orange
Nightshift – Single Version lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Reservoir Media Management Inc, BMG Rights Management

♫ Sexual Healing ♫ (Redux)

I had several songs on my mental playlist for tonight’s music (this morning’s, for you), but it turned out I had played every single one of them within the past year!  I must have a rather limited repertoire these days.  So, this one is a redux, but I haven’t played it since November 2018, so almost two years.  And, it’s worth hearing again, at least I think it is.

A bit of background:

In the winter of 1981, Marvin Gaye had relocated to Ostend, Belgium, following the end of a European tour amid financial difficulties with the Internal Revenue Service and the end of his second marriage. Struggling with depression and cocaine addiction, Gaye had agreed to move to Ostend on the advice of longtime resident Freddy Cousaert. While in Ostend, Gaye began to curb his drug use and recover from his depression, partaking in Ostend’s beaches. Gaye also began cutting ties with his longtime recording label, Motown, following the release of In Our Lifetime, an album the musician did not declare to be finished. He declared that he would never record with the label ever again after he accused the label of betraying his creativity.

Sexual Healing reached number one on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart, where it stayed for a record ten weeks before being replaced by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s duet, “The Girl Is Mine”. The success was similar on the Hot 100 where it peaked at number three. This peak at number three made Gaye the second artist in the history of the Hot 100 chart (after Aretha Franklin) to have a hit song peak at each position from one to ten on the chart.

When Gaye left Belgium and toured to support the Midnight Love album, he started using drugs again and became mentally unstable. He moved in with his parents and was shot and killed by his father after an argument on April 1, 1984 – the day before his 45th birthday, which I have mentioned before.

Now sit back and like you some Marvin Gaye, okay?

Sexual Healing
Marvin Gaye

Oh, baby now let’s get down tonight
Ooh baby, let’s get down tonight

Baby
Baby let’s get down tonight
Ooh

Baby, I’m hot just like an oven
Ooh
Baby now let’s get down tonight

Baby, I’m hot just like an oven
I need some lovin’
And baby, I can’t hold it much longer
It’s getting stronger and stronger

And when I get that feeling
I want sexual healing
Sexual healing, oh baby
Makes me feel so fine

Helps to relieve my mind
Sexual healing baby, is good for me
Sexual healing is something that’s good for me

Baby, I’m hot just like an oven
I need some lovin’
And baby, I can’t hold it much longer
It’s getting stronger and stronger

Baby, I got sick this mornin’
A sea was stormin’ inside of me
Baby, I think I’m capsizin’
The waves are risin’ and risin’

And when I get that feeling
I want sexual healing
Sexual healing is good for me
Makes me feel so fine, it’s such a rush
Helps to relieve the mind, and it’s good for us

Sexual healing, baby, it’s good for me
Sexual healing is something that’s good for me

You’re my medicine, open up and let me in
Darling, you’re so great, I can’t wait for you to operate
You’re my medicine, open up and let me in
Darling, you’re so great, I can’t wait for you to operate

Baby, open up and let me in
It’s getting stronger and stronger
Baby, open up and let me in
I can’t wait for you to operate
I can’t wait for you to operate, baby
I can’t wait for you to operate
Baby, open up and let me in
I can’t for you to operate

Songwriters: David Ritz / Marvin Gaye / Odell Brown
Sexual Healing lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ What’s Going On ♫ (Redux)

Yes, another redux, but … frankly, in light of our circumstances today, there are few songs that fit the times better than this one by Marvin Gaye.  “For only love can conquer hate.”  Enough said …


There’s a lot of history to this song … more than I can cover in a brief blurb here.  The inspiration for the song came from Renaldo “Obie” Benson, a member of the Four Tops, after he and the group’s tour bus arrived at Berkeley on May 15, 1969. While there, Benson witnessed police brutality and violence in the city’s People’s Park during a protest held by anti-war activists in what was hailed later as “Bloody Thursday”.

Upset by what he had seen, he discussed what he witnessed to friend and songwriter Al Cleveland, who in turn wrote and composed a song to reflect Benson’s concerns. Benson wanted to give the song to his group but the other Four Tops turned down the request, saying it was a protest song.

“I said ‘no man, it’s a love song, about love and understanding. I’m not protesting, I want to know what’s going on.'”

In 1970, Benson presented the untitled song to Marvin Gaye, who added a new melody and revised the song to his liking, adding in his own lyrics. Benson later said Gaye tweaked and enriched the song, “added some things that were more ghetto, more natural, which made it seem like a story than a song… we measured him for the suit and he tailored the hell out of it.”

Motown founder Berry Gordy was against Gaye doing the song, saying …

“Motown was about music for all people—white and black, blue and green, cops and the robbers. I was reluctant to have our music alienate anyone. This was a big risk for his image.”

By some accounts there was a bitter quarrel between Gaye and Gordy over the song, but Gordy denies it.

Two bits of trivia about Marvin Gaye that I did not know until tonight:

  • He was married to Berry Gordy’s sister, Anna, from 1963 until their divorce in 1977
  • Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his own father on 01 April 1984, after breaking up a fight between his parents.  Gaye was one day shy of his 45th birthday.  His father was given a suspended sentence and probation.

And now … What’s Going On …

What’s Going On
Marvin Gaye

Mother, mother
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today, eheh

Father, father
We don’t need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today, oh oh oh

Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what’s going on
What’s going on
Yeah, what’s going on
Ah, what’s going on

In the mean time
Right on, baby
Right on brother
Right on babe

Mother, mother, everybody thinks we’re wrong
Oh, but who are they to judge us
Simply ’cause our hair is long
Oh, you know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today
Oh oh oh

Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
C’mon talk to me
So you can see
What’s going on
Yeah, what’s going on
Tell me what’s going on
I’ll tell you what’s going on, ooh ooo ooo ooo
Right on baby
Right on baby

Songwriters: Alfred W Cleveland / Marvin P Gaye / Renaldo Benson
What’s Going On lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Ain’t Too Proud To Beg ♫

Sometimes there is just nothing that will do but the Motown Sound.

This was written by Motown writers Norman Whitfield and Eddie Holland. Holland, who was part of the Holland/Dozier/Holland writing team, wrote the lyrics.  Smokey Robinson was The Temptations’ main writer at the time. Motown decided to release his Get Ready instead of this song, which drove Whitfield nuts. After Get Ready didn’t meet expectations, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg was released as The Temptations next single. From there, Whitfield became the regular producer of the Temptations.

Whitfield went on to write other Motown classics, including Heard It Through The Grapevine and (I Know) I’m Losing You. He became the chief songwriter for The Temptations.

Whitfield also produced this song. He had Temptations singer David Ruffin sing slightly higher than his normal range, resulting in the pained vocal that went with the lyrics. Whitfield had Marvin Gaye do the same thing on Heard It Through The Grapevine.  This was a hit for The Rolling Stones when they covered it in 1974, taking it to #17 in America. Other notable covers of this song include Phil Collins.  Who knew?  🤷‍♀️  I love Phil Collins, but this song, in my book, belongs to The Temptations.

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg
The Temptations

I know you wanna leave me,
But I refuse to let you go,
If I have to beg, plead for your sympathy,
I don’t mind ’cause you mean that much to me.

Ain’t too proud to beg and you know it,
Please don’t leave me girl,
Don’t you go,
Ain’t too proud to plead, baby, baby,
Please don’t leave me, girl,
Don’t you go.

Now I’ve heard a cryin’ man
Is half a man with no sense of pride,
But if I have to cry to keep you,
I don’t mind weepin’ if it’ll keep you by my side.

Ain’t too proud to beg and you know it,
Please don’t leave me girl,
Don’t you go,
Ain’t too proud to plead, baby, baby,
Please don’t leave me, girl,
Don’t you go.

If I have to sleep on your doorstep all night and day
Just to keep you from walking away,
Let your friends laugh, even this I can stand,
’cause I wanna keep you any way I can.

Ain’t too proud to beg and you know it,
Please don’t leave me girl,
Don’t you go,
Ain’t too proud to plead, baby, baby,
Please don’t leave me, girl,
Don’t you go.

Now I’ve got a love so deep in the pit of my heart,
And each day it grows more and more,
I’m not ashamed to call and plead to you, baby,
If pleading keeps you from walking out that door.

Ain’t too proud to beg and you know it,
Please don’t leave me girl,
Don’t you go,
Ain’t too proud to plead, baby, baby,
Please don’t leave me, girl,
Don’t you go.

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Norman Whitfield / Edward Jr. Holland
Ain’t Too Proud to Beg lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ I Heard It Through The Grapevine ♫

Marvin Gaye.  Motown.  Sigh … they just don’t make it like that anymore, my friends.

This song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966.  Strong first came up with the idea and asked the famous Motown songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland to work on it with them, but the team refused to credit another writer, so Whitfield and Strong it was.

The first recording of the song to be released was produced by Whitfield for Gladys Knight & the Pips and released as a single in September 1967 when it went to number two in the Billboard chart.  Smokey Robinson and the Miracles were the first to record the song, but theirs wouldn’t be released for

The Marvin Gaye version was placed on his 1968 album In the Groove, where it gained the attention of radio disc jockeys, and Motown founder Berry Gordy finally agreed to its release as a single in October 1968, when it went to the top of the Billboard Pop Singles chart for seven weeks from December 1968 to January 1969 and became for a time the biggest hit single on the Motown label.

I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Marvin Gaye

Ooh, I bet you’re wonderin’ how I knew
‘Bout your plans to make me blue
With some other guy you knew before
Between the two of us guys you know I love you more
It took me by surprise I must say
When I found out yesterday
Don’tcha know that I

Heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine
Oh I heard it through the grapevine
Oh I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey yeah
(Heard it through the grapevine)
(Not much longer would you be my baby, ooh, ooh, ooh)

I know a man ain’t supposed to cry
But these tears I can’t hold inside
Losin’ you would end my life you see
‘Cause you mean that much to me
You could have told me yourself
That you love someone else
Instead I

Heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine
Oh I heard it through the grapevine
And I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey yeah
(Heard it through the grapevine)
(Not much longer would you be my baby, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)

People say believe half of what you see, son
And none of what you hear
But I can’t help bein’ confused
If it’s true please tell me dear
Do you plan to let me go
For the other guy you loved before?
Don’tcha know I

Heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine
Baby I heard it through the grapevine
Ooh I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey yeah
(Heard it through the grapevine)
(Not much longer would you be my baby, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

Honey, honey, I know
That you’re lettin’ me go
Said, I heard it through the grapevine
Heard it through the grapevine

Songwriters: Barrett Strong / Norman Whitfield
I Heard It Through the Grapevine (American Tour Live) lyrics © Stone Agate Music, Emi Music Publishing France, Jobete Music Co Inc, Stone Agate Music Corp

♫ Nightshift ♫

This song, released in 1985, is a tribute to singers Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson, who both died in 1984. Gaye was a Motown star known for love songs like Let’s Get It On and Sexual Healing. Wilson was an R&B singer known for his stirring performances and hits like Lonely Teardrops. Wilson was 49 when he died; Gaye was 44. Both are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The songwriter Franne Golde was brought in to help with the lyrics. She had recently seen the 1982 movie Night Shift (starring Henry Winkler and Michael Keaton; directed by Ron Howard), which gave her the idea for the title.  This is the Commodores’ only hit since Lionel Richie left the band in 1982. J.D. Nicholas, a former backup singer for Diana Ross, was brought in to replace Richie.  When this song was performed on Motown Returns to the Apollo in the early ’80s, more verses were added to honor other Motown legends who had passed on.

Nightshift
Commodores

Marvin, he was a friend of mine
And he could sing a song
His heart in every line
Marvin sang of the joy and pain
He opened up our minds
And I still can hear him say
Aw talk to me so you can see
What’s going on
Say you will sing your songs
Forevermore (evermore)

Gonna be some sweet sounds
Coming down on the nightshift
I bet you’re singing proud
Oh I bet you’ll pull a crowd
Gonna be a long night
It’s gonna be all right
On the nightshift
Oh you found another home
I know you’re not alone
On the nightshift

You found another home
I know you’re not alone
On the nightshift

Jackie (Jackie), hey what’you doing now
It seems like yesterday
When we were working out
Jackie (Jackie, oh) you set
The world on fire
You came and gifted us
Your love it lifted us
Higher and higher
Keep it up and
We’ll be there
At your side
Oh say you will sing
Your songs forevermore (evermore)

Gonna be some sweet sounds
Coming down on the nightshift
I bet you’re singing proud
Oh I bet you’ll pull a crowd
Gonna be a long night
It’s gonna be all right
On the nightshift
Oh you found another home
I know you’re not alone
On the nightshift

Gonna be some sweet sounds
Coming down on the nightshift
I bet you’re singing proud
Oh I bet you’ll pull a crowd
Gonna be a long night
It’s gonna be all right
On the nightshift
Oh you found another home
I know you’re not alone
On the nightshift

Gonna miss your sweet voice
That soulful voice
On the nightshift
We all remember you
Ooh the songs are coming through
At the end of a long day
It’s gonna be okay
On the nightshift
You found another home
I know you’re not alone
On the nightshift

Songwriters: Franne Golde / Dennis Lambert / Walter Orange
Nightshift – Single Version lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Reservoir Media Management Inc, BMG Rights Management