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Richard Pryor

3 Things you Didn’t Know about Marvin Gaye’s ‘Whats Going On’

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The What’s Going On album was released in 1971, but shelved by Motown records and Berry Gordy for months in fear of poor record sales. As Marvin Gaye grew anxious to release the album, he would often perform song after song at Detroit’s historic Baker’s Lounge, the world’s oldest operating jazz club.

The simplicity and humility of Marvin Gaye’s state of mind while making What’s Going On impacted the world. The album cover was shot in the backyard of his home off Outer Dr. & Livernois on a rainy fall day.

Comedian Richard Pryor attributes Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On album as the catalyst to his more honest and unapologetic brand of comedy, exploring race, sex, and American society. Prior to the release of What’s Going On, Pryor’s comedy followed the styling of Bill Cosby. Upon Pryor’s purchase of the album, he listened to the album six plays through in totality, which led to Pryor becoming recognized by many as the greatest comedian ever.

In recognition of the revolutionary sound, this Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 6PM at Tony V’s Tavern (5756 Cass Ave Detroit MI), Detroit Hip-hop artist Khary WAE Frazier will be joined by Joe “Pep” Harris of The Undisputed Truth for a musical celebration of the radical legacy of Motown. The Undisputed Truth became well known after the 1971 #1 single “Smiling Faces”, produced by Norman Whitfield. Frazier will blend his brand of Hip-hop with the Soul of the city to perform Motown Message: a Revolution in Song. Tickets and information available online at


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