Two Marvin Gaye Biopics in the Works

June 6, 2008 3:05 PM ET

Another Marvin Gaye biopic is now in the works. Director F. Gary Gray will direct Marvin, which will be competing against the James Gandolfini-produced Sexual Healing, starring Law & Order's Jesse L. Martin as Gaye. One difference between the two films is their soundtracks: Marvin managed to secure the rights to Gaye's Motown output. Sexual Healing only has permission to use Gaye's post-Motown recordings, and will focus on Gaye's declining years, his life in Europe and his untimely death. Marvin has not cast the role of Gaye yet.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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