Sunday, June 7, 2009

NBA Finals: Marvin Gaye sings the National Anthem in 1983

Since game 2 of the NBA finals is being played tonight in Los Angeles, I have posted this You Tube video of Marvin Gaye singing the national anthem at the NBA all-star game in 1983.

This rendition is remembered fondly in part because of its unique arrangement, which incongruously echoed the sound of his then-current hit "Sexual Healing" in a surprisingly effective way. It is also remembered because just a year later Marvin Gaye was gunned down in his home by his own father.

If you watch this video, you will see that the crowd is initially uncertain about whether it likes this very different version of the Star Spangled Banner. But as the song goes along, the crowd begins clapping in unison with the rhythm, a seemingly collective, instantaneous recognition that they are watching a very special performance.

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