This week in music: 1969 Marvin Gaye

This week in music: 1969 Marvin Gaye

(KFVS) - Let's take a little stroll down our musical memory lane. This morning we revisit the first week of January 1969.

Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 had Glen Campbell at number five with Wichita Lineman. Campbell's record company wanted a song with a location in the title for a follow-up to By the Time I Get to Phoenix.  Songwriter Jimmy Webb gave them Wichita Lineman which was inspired by a trip through Oklahoma where Webb drove past a seemingly endless line of telephone poles.

At number four was Young-Holt Unlimited with the instrumental single Soulful Strut. The song was originally recorded with vocals by Barbara Acklin.  But the record company removed her voice and replaced it with a piano.  The song is credited to Eldee Young and Red Holt which made up Young-Hold Unlimited. But it's believed neither Young or Hold played any instruments on the track, which was the work of session musicians.

Two Motown super groups teamed up for the song in the number three spot. I'm Gonna Make You Love Me was performed by The Supremes and The Temptations. Diana Ross and Eddie Kendricks shared the lead vocals.

Stevie Wonder was at number two with For Once In My Life. Early versions of the song by other artists were ballads. But Wonder's uptempo version became the most successful.

And in the top spot was one of the biggest hits of the 1960's as well as all time.  Marvin Gaye's I Heard It Through the Grapevine spent seven weeks at number one. Billboard ranks it as the 65th biggest single of all time.  In the 1980's,  the song was used in a couple of TV commercials. The first was for Levi's 501 Jeans in 1985.  And of course who can forget the California Raisins ad from 1986.

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