Marvin Gaye, 1971 (Photo by Gems/Redferns)
Marvin Gaye died 30 years ago, leaving behind an extensive catalog that is as moving and beloved today as it was during his lifetime. His name is synonymous with classics like "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" and his signature hit, "What's Going On." Gaye's voice helped to shape and define the sound of Motown, and his artistic sensibilities pushed the boundaries of what popular music could achieve. His album What's Going On, inspired by violence he witnessed at an anti-war rally, was Gaye's first million-selling album, propelled on the strength of songs like "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" that served up starkly honest depictions of the plight of urban America. We remember Marvin Gaye's remarkable life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2013: Jack Pardee, U.S. professional football player and coach who was a two time All-Pro linebacker and then became a head coach with the Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins and Houston Oilers, dies at 76.
Pardee played three seasons at Texas A&M University and was the 14th overall pick in the 1957 NFL draft by Los Angeles. He played for the Rams from 1957-64, sat out a year to deal with melanoma, and played seven more seasons. He finished his playing career with the Washington Redskins in 1973 and coached the team from 1978-80. Read more
2013: Karen Muir, South African competitive swimmer who set 15 world records in the backstroke but never competed in the Olympics because of the boycott of South Africa during her prime, dies at 60.
2013: William Ginsburg, U.S. lawyer known best for representing Monica Lewinsky during the White House scandal involving then-President Bill Clinton, dies at 70.
Ginsburg was a medical malpractice attorney and a friend of the Lewinsky family when he agreed to represent her in 1998. Lewinsky, a White House intern, was facing accusations that she lied under oath about having sex with President Clinton. She avoided prosecution but testified before a grand jury. Clinton was impeached for allegedly lying about his relations with Lewinsky but was acquitted. Read more
2010: John Forsyth, U.S. actor whose successful career included playing the lead role on the sitcom Bachelor Father, Charlie on Charlie's Angels and Blake Carrington on Dynasty, dies at 92.
In 1976 Forsythe took on a role that would become one of the best-known characters of 1970s television … even though he never appeared on screen. When Forsythe played Charlie Townsend, his voice was all we ever knew of the millionaire private detective, but it was enough to make the series a hit. (The lovely Angels – Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith and more – didn't hurt, either.) Read more
2009: Lou Perryman, U.S. actor who appeared in The Blues Brothers and Poltergeist, dies at 67.
2007: Herb Carneal, U.S. sportscaster who was the radio play-by-play announcer for the Minnesota Twins from 1962 until 2006, dies at 83.
With his fluid, understated style and Southern drawl, Carneal became synonymous with broadcasts on WCCO-AM and affiliates on the team's radio network throughout the Upper Midwest. "He is the absolute consummate pro of broadcasting," his longtime partner, John Gordon, said in an interview. "He works very hard. He does all of his homework. He's never been a guy that's been real flashy. He just kind of slips into the seat and says, 'Hi, everybody.'" Read more
2005: Jack Keller, U.S. songwriter whose work spanned six decades and whose songs were recorded and performed by artists including Frank Sinatra, Loretta Lynn, Ray Charles and the Beatles, dies at 68.
2004: Carrie Snodgress, U.S. actress known best for Diary of a Mad Housewife and Blue Sky, dies at 58.
2004: Paul Atkinson, English guitarist for the influential rock band the Zombies, who later became a music executive and discovered and signed Elton John and ABBA, dies at 58.
2001: Jo-Jo Moore, U.S. Major League Baseball outfielder who played his entire career with the New York Giants and was a six-time All-Star, dies at 92.
1999: Jesse Stone, U.S. rhythm-and-blues musician and songwriter who was an influence in the development of rock 'n' roll and wrote the song "Shake, Rattle and Roll," dies at 97.
1998: Gene Evans, U.S. actor who had roles in the movies Walking Tall and Operation Petticoat, dies at 75.
1993: Alan Kulwicki, U.S. NASCAR driver who won the 1992 Winston Cup Championship, dies at 38.
1992: Nigel Preston, English drummer for the band the Cult from 1983 until 1985, dies at 32.
1991: Martha Graham, U.S. dancer and choreographer who is one of the most influential dancers in history, dies at 96.
1988: Jim Jordan, U.S. actor who starred in the hugely successful radio comedy Fibber McGee and Molly with his wife, Marian Jordan, dies at 91.
1984: Marvin Gaye, U.S. singer who had numerous hits during his career including "What's Going On," "Let's Get It On" and "Sexual Healing," is shot and killed by his father at 44.
The first Motown album to wholly credit a single artist for its production, What's Going On was an instant critical and commercial success, receiving universal praise and yielding three hit singles. More to the point, it lent the R&B genre credibility as an art form in a time when it was losing relevance, expanding its territory beyond catchy love songs sung by glamorous girl groups with tambourines. Today, What's Going On is hailed as one of the all-time greats, with Rolling Stone magazine naming it in 2004 as the sixth best album ever recorded. Read more
1979: Barbara Luddy, U.S. actress who was the voice of Lady in the Disney film Lady and The Tramp, dies at 70.
1946: Noah Beery Sr., U.S. actor who appeared in close to 200 movies, dies at 64.
1917: Scott Joplin, U.S. composer and pianist who is considered the "Father of Ragtime" and who wrote the popular "Maple Leaf Rag," dies at 49.
1914: Rube Waddell, U.S. Hall of Fame pitcher who notched nearly 200 wins and had more than 2,000 strikeouts in his career, dies at 37.