BLACK VOICES

How Marvin Gaye's NFL Tryout Changed His Career

Lem Barney had just finished a round of golf at Detroit's Palmer Park Golf Course in the summer of 1968. Palmer, one of four prominent courses in the area, attracted many of the city's black celebrities, including Joe Louis, Smokey Robinson and The Temptations.

Barney had heard Marvin Gaye, one of his favorite artists, lived nearby. With time to kill before heading back to training camp for afternoon practice, he figured why not? Gaye sang the score to Barney's high school and college years at Jackson State University. The second year defensive back introduced himself to Palmer's clubhouse employees, who quickly obliged with his request for Gaye's address.

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