DETROIT — Singer, songwriter and record producer Harvey Fuqua, an early mentor of Marvin Gaye, has died. Fuqua was 80.
Ron Brewington of the Motown Alumni Association says Fuqua died of a heart attack Tuesday at a Detroit hospital.
Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed caught the act in 1952. Mr. Freed, who is often credited with coining the term rock ‘n’ roll, pushed the group to change its name to the Moonglows, a play on Mr. Freed’s radio name, Moondog. He recorded the band for his label, Champagne, and a Chicago label, Chance, before getting the Moonglows a contract with the larger Chess records.
The group’s first single was the 1954 hit “Sincerely.” The group disbanded and Mr. Fuqua hired a D.C. group, the Marquees, to perform as Harvey and the Moonglows. The group included a then-unknown Marvin Gaye. It had the 1958 hit “Ten Commandments of Love.” They also performed on Mr. Freed’s touring rock ‘n’ roll revues and in the movies “Rock, Rock, Rock” (1956) and “Mister Rock and Roll” (1957).
Mr. Fuqua sang lead vocals on “Please Send Me Someone to Love” (1957) and on the group’s biggest hit, “The Ten Commandments of Love” (1957).
By the 1960s, Mr. Fuqua focused more on promoting new talent. He moved to Detroit, where he met Motown Records owner Berry Gordy. With Mr. Gordy’s backing, he and Mr. Gordy’s sister, Gwen, started the Tri-Phi and Harvey record labels. Mr. Fuqua and Gwen Gordy were married. A complete list of survivors could not be determined.