Saturday, May 25, 2024

Harvey Fuqua, the Man Behind Motown, Dies at 80

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I am heartbroken to report that Harvey Fuqua has died of a heart attack at age 80.

A splendid person, a real gentleman, and just a good guy, Harvey was the man behind Motown. He was first the leader of the Moonglows in the 1950s, and wrote the hit “Sincerely.” But then he went to work for Berry Gordy at Motown.

Fuqua’s jobs were myriad–writing, producing, and teaching the Motown acts how to behave in public. His best pal was Marvin Gaye, whose records he produced. Both he and Marvin wound up marrying Gordy’s sisters, respectively, Gwen and Anna. Harvey also worked on dozens of other Motown hits, including many with Johnny Bristol including his classic “Hang On In There Baby.”

Harvey’s place in R&B history cannot be overstated. The fact that it took so long to get him into the Rock and Roll Hall of (Shame) Fame is a…shame. But he was a trustee of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in its heyday. A big man, with a rolling gate, and penchant for golf, he didn’t pull punches.

A few years ago I was in the ticketing office of the R&B Foundation’s Pioneer Awards with him. Someone called from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame demanding tickets–and good ones– to the Pioneer Awards. Said Harvey: “Let them sit in the back, where they put us for their show.”

And that’s what happened.

Harvey, you will be missed, missed, missed. God speed. I mean it, “Sincerely.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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