David Ritz (born December 2, 1943 in New York City) is an American author. He has written novels, biographies, magazine articles, and over a hundred liner notes for artists such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Nat King Cole. He has coauthored 36 autobiographies, including some celebrities’ autobiographies.
“Happy Song: Soul Music in the Ghetto,” Ritz’s first critical essay, was published in Salmagundi (1970). Dozens of other articles have followed, including “History of the Jews of Dallas,” D Magazine (1974); “Kids’ Stuff: Jackson Pollock, Jimmie Vaughan and the Architecture of Las Vegas,” Art Connoisseur (1998); “Show and Tell,” introduction to Rolling Stone’s Tattoo Nation (2002); the forward to Lady Sings the Blues, the 50th anniversary edition of the autobiography of Billie Holiday (2006); and “The Last Days of Brother Ray,” included in Da Capo's Best Music Writing of 2005.
Ritz’s first collaboration was Brother Ray (1978), the autobiography of Ray Charles. Ritz has said that his initial intention was to write a biography until becoming intrigued by the idea of rendering the book entirely in Charles' voice. "That's when I discovered I had a gift for channeling voice", Ritz told the L.A. Times' Patrick Goldstein in 2012. "That discovery changed the course of my literary life."
Other autobiographies co-written by Ritz include:
Ritz has also written an inspirational book. Messengers, a portrait of African-American gospel singers and ministers, was published in 2006.
Ritz’s fiction ranges from sports fantasies--The Man Who Brought the Dodgers Back To Brooklyn (1981)-- to jazz fantasies--Blue Notes Under a Green Felt Hat (1989) and Barbells and Saxophones (1989).
Ritz collaborated with Mable John on three Christian novels: Sanctified (2006), Stay Out of the Kitchen (2007) and Love Tornado (2008). He has also collaborated with rapper T.I. on two novels— Power and Beauty (2011) and Trouble and Triumph (2012).
The Platinum-selling song "Sexual Healing" was written in Ostend, Belgium in April 1982 and is credited as a collaboration between Marvin Gaye, Odell Brown, and Ritz.Ritz was not originally credited as songwriter, and his contribution to the song has been debated, with many sources claiming that he contributed only the title. Ritz sued Marvin Gaye for songwriting credit; Ritz received credit only after settling with Marvin Gaye's estate after the singer's death. Ritz claims that the lawsuit was settled because he had interview tapes with Marvin Gaye in which Gaye says, "These are great lyrics you wrote."
David Ritz also co-wrote three songs including the title track from Guy King's 2016 album "Truth".
Ritz graduated from the University of Texas in Austin, Phi Beta Kappa (1966) and received a Masters of Arts from the State University of New York at Buffalo (1970) where he studied with literary critic Leslie Fiedler.[ citation needed ]
He has been married to Roberta Michele Ritz since 1968. They have two children, twins Alison and Jessica, born 1974.
Marvin Gaye was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, first as an in-house session player and later as a solo artist with a string of hits, earning him the nicknames "Prince of Motown" and "Prince of Soul".
Easy is an album recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, and released by Motown Records on September 16, 1969 under the Tamla Records label. One song on the album, "Good Lovin' Ain't Easy To Come By", was a hit single and remains popular to this day. Terrell had been ill, suffering from complications caused by a brain tumor, since the fall of 1967. Marvin Gaye later claimed that as a result, most of the female vocals on this album were performed by Valerie Simpson, who served as co-songwriter and co-producer for the LP with her boyfriend and future husband Nickolas Ashford.
Let's Get It On is the thirteenth studio album by American singer, songwriter, and producer Marvin Gaye. It was released on August 28, 1973, by the Motown Records subsidiary label Tamla.
Here, My Dear is the fifteenth studio album by music artist Marvin Gaye, released on December 15, 1978, on Motown-subsidiary label Tamla Records. Recording sessions for the album took place between 1977 and 1978 at Gaye's personal studios, Marvin Gaye Studios, in Los Angeles, California. The album was notable for its subject matter focusing largely on Gaye's acrimonious divorce from first wife, Anna Gordy Gaye.
Ashley Kahn is an American music historian, journalist, and producer.
"Sexual Healing" is a song recorded by American singer Marvin Gaye from his album Midnight Love (1982). It was his first single since his exit from his long-term record label Motown earlier in the year, following the release of the In Our Lifetime (1981) album the previous year. It is listed at number 233 on Rolling Stone's list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
"I Want You" is a song written by songwriters Leon Ware and Arthur "T-Boy" Ross and performed by singer Marvin Gaye. It was released as a single in 1976 on his fourteenth studio album of the same name on the Tamla label. The song introduced a change in musical styles for Gaye, who before then had been recording songs with a funk edge. Songs such as this gave him a disco audience thanks to Ware, who produced the song alongside Gaye.
I Want You is the fourteenth studio album by American soul singer and songwriter Marvin Gaye. It was released on March 16, 1976, by the Motown Records-subsidiary label Tamla.
Midnight Love is the seventeenth studio album by Marvin Gaye. He signed with the label Columbia in March 1982 following his exit from Motown. The final album to be released before his death, it ultimately became the most successful album of Gaye's entire career.
United is a studio album by soul musicians Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, released August 29, 1967 on the Motown-subsidiary label Tamla Records. Harvey Fuqua and Johnny Bristol produced all of the tracks on the album, with the exception of "You Got What It Takes" and "Oh How I'd Miss You". Fuqua and Bristol produced "Hold Me Oh My Darling" and "Two Can Have a Party" as Tammi Terrell solo tracks in 1965 and 1966, and had Gaye overdub his vocals to them in order to create duet versions of the songs.
The Rhythm and Blues Foundation is an independent American nonprofit organization dedicated to the historical and cultural preservation of rhythm and blues music.
Vulnerable is the third posthumous album by Marvin Gaye. Recorded in sessions throughout 1977, the album was a decade in the making, first being worked on in 1968 during sessions in New York with Bobby Scott. Reworked by Gaye a decade later, the album was originally going to be released in 1979 under the title, The Ballads, but was shelved. Two decades later, Motown released it under the title Vulnerable, including seven songs from the sessions and three alternate cuts.
"Good Lovin' Ain't Easy to Come By" is a duet released in 1969 on the Tamla label by renowned singers Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.
"Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide" is the debuting single for singer Marvin Gaye, released as Tamla 54041, in May 1961. It was also the first release off Gaye's debut album, The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye, in which most of the material was the singer's failed attempt at making an 'adult' record compared to Motown's younger R&B sound.
Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye is a 1985 biography of American soul singer Marvin Gaye. The biography was written by music reviewer David Ritz including conversations he had with the singer, who put the biography together shortly after Gaye's death at the hands of his father Marvin Gay, Sr. in 1984.
Marvin Gaye was an American musician who gained worldwide fame for his work with Motown Records. He was fatally shot by his father, Marvin Gay Sr., on April 1, 1984, at their house in the West Adams district of Los Angeles, California. Gaye was shot twice following an altercation with his father after he intervened in an argument between his parents. The wounds were fatal and he was pronounced dead on arrival at the California Hospital Medical Center. Gaye's death inspired several musical tributes over the years including recollections of the incidents leading to his death. Gaye was given a burial plot at Forest Lawn Cemetery and was later cremated and his ashes spread around the Pacific Ocean.
Alberta Cooper Gay was an American domestic worker, schoolteacher and the mother of American recording artist Marvin Gaye. Born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, she married Gaye's father, minister Marvin Gay, Sr., after relocating to Washington, D.C., in her early twenties. She was the only other person present at the murder of her son committed by his father.
Freddy Cousaert was a Belgian DJ, club owner and concert promoter, who was influential in developing an audience for authentic rhythm and blues music in Europe, and, in particular, for his role in the career of Marvin Gaye.
Marvin Pentz Gay Sr. was an American Pentecostal minister. He was the father of Marvin Gaye and gained notoriety after shooting and killing him on April 1, 1984, following an argument at their home.
Anna Ruby Gaye was an American businesswoman, composer and songwriter. An elder sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy, she became a record executive in the mid-to-late 1950s distributing records released on Checker and Gone Records before forming the Anna label with Billy Davis and sister Gwen. Gordy later became known as a songwriter for several hits including the Originals' "Baby, I'm for Real", and at least two songs on Marvin Gaye's What's Going On album. The first wife of Gaye, their turbulent marriage later served as inspiration for Gaye's album, Here, My Dear.
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