By Joy Childs
[At press time, it was reported that Harvey Fuqua, one of the key architects of the Motown Empire, had died in Detroit. We will have more information in next week’s issue.]
His name may not be as well known as Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson, but to many of a certain age, his name is one that will sound very familiar. And it should: Harvey Fuqua was a member of a very exclusive club, i.e., the founders of the sound of Black America known as Motown.
Fuqua’s musical roles ran the gamut from being a founding member of the doo-wopping Moonglows in the 1950s to his headlining days as Harvey and the Moonglow’s, a group that included the nascent singing career of Marvin Gaye. Fuqua also produced Gaye and Tammi Terrell duets and, as head of artist development for the label, he brought the Spinners and Johnny Bristol to Motown.
Later he played major production roles in the careers of New Birth, Sylvester and Two Tons o’ Fun. For a while, he even served as Smokey Robinson’s road manager.
Harvey Fuqua’s name, though, has been indelibly stamped on the American musical psyche since 1982 when he reunited with Gaye to produce the singer’s “Midnight Love” album, which included the masterjam “Sexual Healing.”