American Masters

Marvin Gaye: What's Going On

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A great, enduring figure of American music, Marvin Gaye combined gospel, rhythm and blues, soul and jazz to create his own intimate style -- reflecting his "path of the heart" and, essentially, giving us his autobiography in lyrics and sound. He was a glamorous, sometime flamboyant, performer, a Motown star who challenged and changed the face of popular music with records such as "What's Going On" in 1971 -- full of honesty, vulnerability and integrity. Yet, his life was tainted by the bizarre -- full of torment, constant battling of demons and, ultimately, death at the hand of his own father -- a preacher and a cross-dresser, who seemed to have "a grudge against his son" from the day he was born. The program includes extensive performance footage and insight from Mary Wilson, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight and Mos Def, among many others.

More Episodes

  • Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth. Full Film
  • Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
  • Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love
  • Billie Jean King
  • James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket
  • Mel Brooks: Make a Noise
  • Philip Roth: Unmasked
  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll
  • Film: Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance
  • Inventing David Geffen
  • The Day Carl Sandburg Died
  • Johnny Carson: King of Late Night
  • Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel
  • Cab Calloway: Sketches
  • Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune
  • Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter
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  • John Muir in the New World
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  • Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides
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  • Cachao: Uno Mas
  • Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself


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