I'll Be Doggone

Album: Moods of Marvin Gaye (1965)
Charted: 8

Songfacts®:

  • "I'll Be Doggone" represents three firsts for Marvin Gaye: It was his first million-selling record, his first chart-topping R&B single and his first song to be co-written by Smokey Robinson and his fellow Miracles bandmates, Pete Moore and Marv Tarplin. Along with the Andantes, the Miracles provided backing vocals to the song. Robinson also penned Gaye's second R&B hit, "Ain't That Peculiar."
  • Gaye is known for his smoldering love songs, but this one takes a different approach, as it finds him warning his girl that if he ever finds out she is cheating, he will leave her. The clever wordplay - "I wouldn't be doggone, I'd be long gone" - is typical of Smokey Robinson's songwriting.
  • On the Motown roster, Marvin Gaye was far more than a singer - he was also a songwriter and drummer. Early on, Gaye wrote his own songs, including "Pride and Joy" and "Stubborn Kind Of Fellow," and had an interest in recording standards (he wanted to become "the black Frank Sinatra").

    Mickey Stevenson, who was head of A&R at Motown, convinced Gaye to go in another direction as a singer, recording more R&B material. Robinson wrote this song specifically for Gaye, but Marvin put his own spin on it. Said Smokey, "When I showed him the song, he began to sing it like I had never imagined it being sung."
  • Members of the Motown house band who played on this track were:

    Earl Van Dyke - keyboards
    James Jamerson - bass
    Robert White - guitar
    Eddie Willis - guitar
    Joe Messina - guitar
    Benny Benjamin - drums

Comments: 3

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaSadly only one of those who played on this recording is still alive, Mr. Joe Messina
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaLOVED JAMES' BASS just grabbed my ears right away. Still my fav song of Marvin's. What a sad life he lead though even with all his fame.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 14th 1965, "I'll Be Doggone" by Marvin Gaye entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #80; and eight weeks later May 9th, 1965 it peaked #8 {for 1 week} and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on May 16th, 1965 it reached #1 {for 1 week} on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1962 and 1983 he had thirty-seven Top 100 records; thirteen made the Top 10 with three reaching #1; "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" for 7 weeks in 1968, "Let's Get It On" for 2 weeks in 1973, and "Got to Give It Up - Part One" for 1 week in 1977...
    He just missed having a fourth #1 record when "What's Going On" peaked at #2 {for 3 weeks} in 1971...
    Plus he made the Top 100 eighteen more times in duets; eleven times with Tammi Terrell, three times with Diana Ross, and two times each with Mary Wells and Kim Weston...
    Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. passed away on April 1st, 1984; the day before his 45th birthday.
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