Music During the Vietnam War Essay

Music During the Vietnam War Essay

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The Vietnam War didn't only affect the people at war, the people at home, the government, but it also affected the music industry during the 1960's. There were numerous of songs written and sung during this time period that reflected the chaos that America was experiencing. Marvin Gaye, Johnnie Wright, and Edwin Starr were just three of the many musicians that chose to express their displeasure with current politics, but of all the songs written, these men produced some of the most memorable.
Marvin Gaye was one of the most successful popular Black artist, singer, and songwriter. Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. (no “e” to the last name yet) was born on April 2, 1939 to a poor alcoholic minister and a loving mother. He was raised religiously, strict, and often beat. Gaye's favorite performers and entertainers were the famous James Brown and Jackie Wilson. During school hours, Gaye would skip classes and watch the famous stars perform at the Howard Theater in Washington D.C. Those skipped hours didn't pay off, the soon to be popular soul artist dropped out in 1957. Gaye joined the Air Force and soon found out it wasn't for him. He eventually joined a group called the “Marquees.” Through this group he met the eminent Berry Gordy Jr. which is the CEO of Hitsville, U.S.A., also known as Motown (McCarthy).
Gaye had been back-up vocals for many Motown artists before he signed his own contract with Motown as a solo artist (McCarthy). During this time, Gaye added an “e” to the end of his last name as a demonstration of independence from his abusive father. Gaye's career went up and never came down until he became addicted to drugs. He abused cocaine and had an affair with a sixteen year old in 1971 and that led to a traumatic divo...


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... May 2011.

Groen, Frank. “Marvin Gaye-What’s Going On.” Timepieces. Accessed 21 April 2011.

“Johnny Wright.” Rocky 52. 7 September 2010. Accessed 8 May 2011.

“Marvin Gaye.” The History of Rock 'N' Roll. 15 October 2009. Accessed 31 April 2011.

McCarthy, Timothy P. “Marvin Penze Gaye.” Gale Cenage Learning. 2010. Accessed 29 April 2011.

“The Groovy 1960's.” Kyrene School District No. 28. Accessed 6 May 2011.

Trueman, Chris. “Birmingham 1963.” History Learning Site. 2011. Accessed 8 May 2011.

“What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye.” Songfacts. Accessed 19 April 2011.

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