ADVERTISEMENT

Stevie Wonder

Published on

Stevie Wonder
Photo: David Warner Ellis/Redferns/Getty Images

On 16th Oct 1976, Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life, went to No.1 on the US album chart, featuring the tracks ‘Sir Duke’, ‘I Wish’, ‘Pastime Paradise’ and ‘Isn’t She Lovely’. An ambitious double LP with a 4-song bonus EP, Songs in the Key of Life became among the best-selling and most critically acclaimed albums of his career. It was Wonder’s third US No.1 and became the second best-selling album of 1977 in the U.S., only behind Fleetwood Mac’s blockbuster Rumours.

Many musicians have remarked on its influence on their own work. Elton John said, “Let me put it this way: wherever I go in the world, I always take a copy of Songs in the Key of Life. For me, it’s the best album ever made, and I’m always left in awe after I listen to it.” Michael Jackson stated Songs in the Key of Life is his favourite Stevie Wonder album and George Michael cited the album as his favourite album of all time.

They called him the 12-year old genius, and although Wonder has grown older, the term ‘genius’ still applies.

Blind from birth and raised in inner-city Detroit, he was a skilled musician by age eight. His first instrument was a harmonica given to him by his uncle, he would later be given a set of toy drums (have you seen him play the drums? He’s amazing), and then Stevie mastered the piano.

Wonder joined Motown in 1961, (aged 11) and was renamed Little Stevie Wonder by Berry Gordy, Jr., the president of Motown Records.

The child prodigy scored his first US #1 single, “Fingertips” (the second #1 for the Motown label), two years later in 1963, the track was taken from a live recording of a Motor Town Revue performance, (and featured a young Marvin Gaye on drums).

Apart from scoring his own hits during the 60’s, “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)”, “My Cherie Amour”, Stevie lent his songwriting genius to his Motown label mates, including “Tears of a Clown”, a #1 hit for Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.

When still only in his mid-20s, Wonder appeared to have mastered virtually every idiom of African-American popular music and to have synthesized them all into a language of his own. His command of the new generation of electronic keyboard instruments made him a pioneer and an inspiration to rock musicians developing into one of the most creative musical figures of the late 20th century.

Wonder has recorded more than thirty US top ten hits and received twenty-two Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist. Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a holiday in the United States.

Important Dates In The Life Of Stevie Wonder:

On this day in music
4 Jan 2024
The biggest-selling vinyl album of 2023 by a British act was Rolling Stones' Hackney Diamonds. Released in October 2023, it became the Stones’ 14th No.1 album and enjoyed a second week at the top as 2023’s Official Christmas No. 1 album. The first album of original material by the Rolling Stones since 2005's A Bigger Bang, Hackney Diamonds reached No.1 in 20 countries and features guest contributions from Elton John, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman.
12 Oct 2021
Irish musician, composer, and record producer Paddy Moloney died suddenly at a hospital in Dublin at the age of 83. He co-founded and led the Irish musical group the Chieftains, playing on all of their 44 albums. Moloney aslo did session work for Mike Oldfield, Mick Jagger, Gary Moore, Paul McCartney, Sting, Don Henley and Stevie Wonder.
11 Aug 2021
American guitarist, Roy Gaines died a day before his 84th birthday. He was a backing musician in sessions with the Everly Brothers, the Supremes, Bobby Darin, Stevie Wonder, and Gladys Knight. Gaines co-wrote the song ‘No Use Crying’, which was recorded by both George Jones and Ray Charles.
28 Mar 2021
British jazz bassist, record producer Malcolm Cecil died age 84. He was a founding member of a leading UK jazz quintet of the late 1950s, the Jazz Couriers and later joined Cyril Davies and Alexis Korner to form the original line-up of Blues Incorporated. Cecil subsequently collaborated with Robert Margouleff to form the duo Tonto's Expanding Head Band, which led to them collaborating on and co-producing several of Stevie Wonder's Grammy-winning albums of the early 1970s.
18 Apr 2020
Paul McCartney, Elton John, Taylor Swift, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder and several other stars performed from their homes on the One World: Together At Home concert during the coronavirus pandemic. The event organized by Global Citizen of New York City and curated by singer Lady Gaga was in support of the World Health Organization.
11 Apr 2019
One person was shot dead and three others injured in a drive-by shooting during Nipsey Hussle's funeral procession in Los Angeles. Thousands of fans and scores of big name stars including Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, Beyoncé and Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent had gathered at the Staples Centre to pay tribute to the murdered 33-year-old rapper.
20 Aug 2018
American soul musician Eddie Willis died from complications of polio at the age of 82. Willis played electric guitar and occasional electric sitar for Motown's in-house studio band, The Funk Brothers, during the 1960s and early 1970s. He performed many hits including ‘Please Mr. Postman’ by The Marvelettes, ‘The Way You Do the Things You Do’ by The Temptations, ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’ by The Supremes, and ‘I Was Made to Love Her’ by Stevie Wonder.
5 Oct 2015
Stevie Wonder's divorce from fashion designer Kai Millard was finalised after several years in court. The pair were married in 2001, but split in 2009 and Stevie filed for divorce in 2012.
15 May 2015
R&B and jazz singer Ortheia Barnes-Kennerly died from heart failure in the US Virgin Islands, where she was visiting for a performance, she was 70 years old. Ortheia spent much of her career touring with and opening for some of Motown's biggest acts, including Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Gladys Knight.
2 Apr 2013
A grand piano used in the Motown Records studios was fully restored and put on display at a museum dedicated to the legendary record label in Detroit. Sir Paul McCartney helped fund the restoration of the 1877 Steinway, which was originally in Motown's Studio B.and was used to create hits for names including Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Edwin Starr.
3 Aug 2012
Stevie Wonder representatives confirmed that the singer had filed for divorce, ending his 10-year marriage to Kai Millard Morris. The legal proceedings were initiated under his given name, Stevland Morris. Stevie's first marriage to Syreeta Wright ended in 1972.
16 Jul 2012
Hungarian-American bassist, Bob Babbitt died aged 74, from brain cancer. He is most famous for his work as a member of Motown Records' studio band, the Funk Brothers, from 1966 to 1972. Babbitt's most notable bass performances include 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours' by Stevie Wonder, 'War' by Edwin Starr, 'The Tears of a Clown' by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, 'Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)' and 'Inner City Blues' by Marvin Gaye, 'Band Of Gold' by Freda Payne, 'Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)', and 'Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)' by The Temptations.
18 Feb 2012
Whitney Houston had an invitation-only memorial at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. Among those who performed at the funeral were Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and R. Kelly. Kevin Costner read a moving and personal Eulogy.
7 Jul 2009
Michael Jackson's family and fans said farewell to the pop superstar at an emotional memorial service. The singer's coffin was placed in front of the stage during the event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles after an earlier private funeral. Jackson's daughter Paris, 11, fought back tears to describe him as "the best father you could ever imagine". Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey paid tribute before the family joined a sombre finale on stage. Motown boss Berry Gordy, who signed the Jackson Five, ended his tribute with the words: "Michael, thank you for the joy, thank you for the love. You will live in my heart forever."
24 Mar 2009
Motown drummer Uriel Jones, died aged 74 after suffering complications from a heart attack. Jones played on many Motown classics including 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine' by Marvin Gaye, ‘Cloud Nine’ by the Temptations, ‘I Second That Emotion’ by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and ‘For Once In My Life’ by Stevie Wonder.
25 Feb 2009
President Obama honoured Stevie Wonder his musical hero, with America's highest award for pop music, the Library of Congress' Gershwin prize at a ceremony at the White House. The president said the Motown legend had been the soundtrack to his youth and he doubted that his wife would have married him if he hadn't been a fan. Wonder's song 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered' had been the theme song during Obama's presidential campaign.
28 Feb 2008
Drummer Buddy Miles, who played with Jimi Hendrix in his last regular group, Band of Gypsys, died aged 60 at his home in Austin, Texas after struggling with a long-term illness. Born George Allen Miles in Omaha, Nebraska, Buddy's nickname was a tribute to his idol, jazz drummer Buddy Rich. Rich also played with The Delfonics, The Ink Spots, Wilson Pickett, Electric Flag, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Muddy Waters and Barry White. In the 1980s, he achieved a certain amount of notoriety in the US as the vocalist on the celebrated claymation California Raisins commercials.
6 Jul 2004
American R&B, soul singer-songwriter Syreeta Wright died after a two-year battle with bone cancer aged 58. Teamed up with Billy Preston on the 1980, No.1 US hit ‘With You I'm Born Again.’ Once worked as a secretary at Motown Records and married Stevie Wonder in 1970.
2 Feb 2002
The Phonographic Performance Ltd launched performersmoney.com for artists to check if they were owed any of the £10 million ($17 million) in unclaimed money. It showed that Michael Jackson was owed over £100,000 ($170,000) for 'Say, Say, Say', Stevie Wonder had money owing for 'Ebony And Ivory' and Ray Davies of The Kinks was owed a six-figure fee for 'You Really Got Me'. Director Dominic McGonigal said "If anyone has seen Rick Astley please let him know, he is still earning money for his hits."
28 Jan 2000
Saxophonist and bandleader Thomas 'Beans' Bowles died of prostate cancer aged 73. Played on many Motown sessions including Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On', Martha and the Vandellas' 'Heat Wave' and The Supremes 'Baby Love' and wrote the melody on Stevie Wonder's 'Fingertips Pt. 2.'
3 Feb 1999
American soul singer Gwen Guthrie died of cancer aged 48. She sang backing vocals for Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Madonna and wrote songs for Sister Sledge and Roberta Flack. She scored the 1986 R&B No.1 'Ain't Nothin' Goin' on But the Rent'.
28 Oct 1995
Coolio featuring L.V. scored his first UK No.1 single with 'Gangsta's Paradise'. The song sampled the chorus of the 1976 Stevie Wonder song 'Pastime Paradise' and featured in the 1995 movie Dangerous Minds (starring Michelle Pfeiffer).
9 Sep 1995
Coolio featuring L.V. scored his first US No.1 single with 'Gangsta's Paradise'. The song sampled the chorus of the 1976 Stevie Wonder song 'Pastime Paradise' and featured in the 1995 movie Dangerous Minds (starring Michelle Pfeiffer). Coolio was awarded a Grammy Award for the song.
18 Jul 1992
Bobby Brown married Whitney Houston at her New Jersey estate who was dressed in a $40,000 Marc Bouwer wedding gown. Those in attendance included Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Natalie Cole, Patti LaBelle and Freddie Jackson. After years of making tabloid headlines, she would file for divorce in September, 2006.
31 Aug 1990
Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Wonder sang 'Amazing Grace' at a memorial service held for guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan who had been killed in a helicopter crash 4 days earlier.
18 Jan 1989
At just 38 years old, Stevie Wonder became the youngest living person to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At a ceremony held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, other inductees include The Rolling Stones, The Temptations, Otis Redding and Dion DiMucci.
11 Jun 1988
Nelson Mandellas 70th birthday tribute took place at Wembley Stadium, London, featuring Whitney Houston, Phil Collins, Dire Straits, Stevie Wonder, Tracy Chapman, George Michael, Eric Clapton, UB40, The Eurythmics and Simple Minds. The event was broadcast live on BBC 2 to 40 different countries with an estimated audience of 1 billion.
19 Apr 1986
George Michael was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'A Different Corner', the singers second solo No.1. Michael became the first solo act in the history of the UK chart to reach No.1 with his first two releases. The song was also credited with being the second No.1 (after 'I Just Called To Say I Love You' by Stevie Wonder), which was written, sung, played, arranged and produced by the same person.
31 Jul 1985
The Eurythmics had the No.1 position on the UK singles chart with 'There Must Be An Angel, (Playing With My Heart). The song which was the Eurythmics' first (and to date only) No.1 single features a harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder.
27 Jul 1985
The Eurythmics were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)', the duo's only UK No.1 single. The song featured a harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder.
27 Apr 1985
USA For Africa started a three-week run at No.1 on the US chart with 'We Are The World'. The US artists' answer to Band Aid had an all-star cast including Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon plus the composer's of the track, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
20 Apr 1985
The charity record 'We Are The World' by USA For Africa was at No.1 on the UK singles chart. The US artists' answer to Band Aid had an all-star cast including Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon plus the composer's of the track, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
26 Mar 1985
Radio stations in South Africa banned all of Stevie Wonder's records after he dedicated the Oscar he had won the night before at The Academy Awards to Nelson Mandela.
23 Feb 1985
Stevie Wonder was arrested during an antiapartheid demonstration outside the South African Embassy in Washington; he was released after being questioned by police.
28 Jan 1985
The recording took place for We Are The World the US equivalent of Band Aid at A&M Studios in Hollywood. Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie the all star cast included Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Daryl Hall, John Oates, Cyndi Lauper, Steve Perry and Bob Geldof.
10 Nov 1984
Former Rufus singer Chaka Khan was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'I Feel For You.' Written by Prince, the song featured Stevie Wonder on harmonica and the Rap was by Grandmaster Melle Mel. The repetition of Khan's name by rapper Melle Mel at the beginning of the song was originally a mistake made by producer Arif Mardin, who then decided to keep it.
13 Oct 1984
Stevie Wonder started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'I Just Called To Say I Love You', his 7th US No.1, also No.1 in the UK.
8 Sep 1984
Stevie Wonder had his first UK No.1 with 'I Just Called To Say I Love You'. Taken from the film 'The Woman In Red', it was 18 years after Wonder's chart debut in 1966. The song stayed at No.1 for six weeks.
11 Aug 1984
Ray Parker JR. started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with the theme from the film 'Ghostbusters'. Parker who had been a session guitarist for Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye was accused of plagiarizing the melody from Huey Lewis and the News song 'I Want a New Drug', resulting in Lewis suing Parker, the pair settled out of court in 1985.
26 May 1984
Former backing singer with Stevie Wonder, Deniece Williams started a 2 week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Let's Hear It For The Boy', taken from the film 'Footlose', a No.2 hit in the UK.
5 Apr 1984
Marvin Gaye's funeral took place at The Forest Lawn Cemetery, Los Angeles; Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy and other Motown singers, writers and producers, attended the service.
14 Jan 1984
Paul McCartney was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Pipes Of Peace.' With this release McCartney made chart history by becoming the first artist to have a No.1 in a group, (The Beatles), in a duo, (with Stevie Wonder) in a trio, (with Wings) and as a solo artist.
10 Sep 1983
Former Stevie Wonder guitarist Michael Sembello, started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Maniac'. The track was featured in the film 'Flashdance'. A No.43 hit in the UK.
2 Aug 1983
James Jamerson died of complications stemming from cirrhosis of the liver, heart failure and pneumonia in Los Angeles, he was 47 years old. As one of The Funk Brothers he was the uncredited bassist on most of Motown Records' hits in the 1960s and early 1970s including songs by Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops and The Supremes. He eventually performed on nearly 30 No.1 pop hits.
7 May 1983
Stevie Wonder made his only appearance on the US show Saturday Night Live, where he was the host and musical guest. He played a Stevie Wonder impersonator in a skit with Eddie Murphy and stars in a camera commercial spoof with the tagline, "so simple, even Stevie Wonder can use it."
25 Mar 1983
Motown Records celebrated its 25 anniversary with a concert in Pasadena, featuring; The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Jr. Walker, The Commodores, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and The Jackson 5.
6 Jun 1982
Tom Petty, Crosby Stills & Nash, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks and Jackson Browne all appeared at The Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California to a crowd of 85,000 fans at the six hour Peace Sunday, We Have A Dream antinuclear concert. Dylan was joined onstage with Joan Baez and duetted with her on Blowin’ In The Wind and With God On Our Side. The show was partly broadcast on ABC TV’s Entertainment Tonight program on the same day.
15 May 1982
Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney started a seven week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Ebony And Ivory'. The song gave McCartney his 24th US No.1 as a songwriter. The title was inspired by McCartney hearing Spike Milligan say "black notes, white notes, and you need to play the two to make harmony folks!". It was later named as the tenth worst song of all time by Blender magazine and in 2007 was named the worst duet in history by BBC 6 Music listeners.
8 May 1982
Paul McCartney scored his fifth UK No.1 album with 'Tug Of War'. The album featured the duet with Stevie Wonder 'Ebony & Ivory', which was inspired by McCartney hearing comedian Spike Milligan say "black notes, white notes, and you need to play the two to make harmony, folks!", (the ebony (black) and ivory (white) keys on a piano).
25 Apr 1982
Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Ebony And Ivory.' This was McCartney's 24th No.1 hit single as a songwriter. The title was inspired by McCartney hearing Spike Milligan say "black notes, white notes, and you need to play the two to make harmony folks!". It was later named as the tenth worst song of all time by Blender magazine and in 2007 was named the worst duet in history by BBC 6 Music listeners.
20 Jun 1981
Stars on 45 went to No.1 on the US singles chart, a medley of Beatles songs set to a disco beat. It was the start of a flood of 'Stars On' hits including Stars on Stevie Wonder, punk songs, Status Quo and Chas & Dave.
12 Jul 1979
American singer songwriter Minnie Riperton died of cancer aged 31. The Stevie Wonder produced 'Loving You' gave Minnie a US No.1 single in 1975. She worked at Chess records singing backup for various artists such as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. She also sang lead for the experimental rock/soul group Rotary Connection, from 1967 to 1971. Also a member of Wonderlove in 1973, a backup group for Stevie Wonder.
21 Jan 1978
The soundtrack album Saturday Night Fever started a 24-week run at No.1 on the US album charts and stayed on the chart for 120 weeks until March 1980. It went on to sell over 40 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling soundtrack albums of all time. Three singles from the album contributed by the Bee Gees 'How Deep Is Your Love', 'Stayin' Alive' and 'Night Fever'. The Bee Gees' involvement in the film did not begin until post-production. John Travolta stated, "The Bee Gees weren't even involved in the movie in the beginning. I was dancing to Stevie Wonder and Boz Scaggs.
21 May 1977
Stevie Wonder started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with his tribute to Duke Ellington, 'Sir Duke', his sixth US No.1, it made No.2 in the UK.
20 Feb 1977
Winners at this years Grammy Awards included Stevie Wonder for Best album with 'Songs In The Key Of Life', and Best Vocal performance for 'I Wish.' Best album went to Chicago for 'Chicago X' and Best new artist went to the Starland Vocal Band.
16 Oct 1976
Stevie Wonder's 'Songs In The Key Of Life', went to No.1 on the US album chart, (the working title was Let's See Life the Way It Is). Featuring the tracks 'Sir Duke', 'I Wish', 'Pastime Paradise' and 'Isn't She Lovely', it was Wonder's third US No.1 and became the best-selling and most critically acclaimed album of Wonder's career.
28 Sep 1976
Stevie Wonder released his eighteenth studio album Songs in the Key of Life, an ambitious double LP with a four-song bonus EP. It debuted at No.1 on the Billboard Chart on October 8, 1976, becoming only the third album in history to achieve that feat and the first by an American artist.
28 Feb 1976
Paul Simon's 'Still Crazy After All These Years' was named Best Pop Vocal Performance and Album Of The Year at the 18th annual Grammy Awards. In his acceptance speech, Simon told the audience "I'd like to thank Stevie Wonder for not releasing an album this year."
5 Oct 1975
Stevie Wonder appeared at the Wonder Dream Concert in Kingston, Jamaica, a Jamaican Institute for the Blind benefit concert. Along with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, the three original Wailers, performing together for the last time.
5 Apr 1975
Minnie Riperton went to No.1 on the US singles chart with the Stevie Wonder produced song 'Loving You' (a No.2 hit in the UK). It was the singers only US chart hit. Riperton died of cancer on 12th July 1979.
2 Nov 1974
Stevie Wonder went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'You Haven't Done Nothin', the singers fourth US No.1. The track featured The Jackson Five on backing vocals.
14 Sep 1974
Stevie Wonder started a two-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with 'Fulfillingness First Finale' his second US No.1. The album received three Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, in 1974.
2 Mar 1974
At this year's Grammys Stevie Wonder won four awards: Album of the year for 'Innervisions', Best R&B song and Best vocal for ‘Superstition’ and Pop vocal performance for ‘You Are The Sunshine Of My Life’.
6 Aug 1973
Stevie Wonder was seriously injured when the car he was riding in crashed into a truck on I-85 near Winston-Salem, North Carolina leaving him in a coma for four days. The accident also left him without any sense of smell.
3 Aug 1973
Stevie Wonder released his 16th studio album Innervisions. Wonder played all or virtually all instruments on six of the album's nine tracks, singles from the album were, 'Higher Ground' and 'Living for the City' and 'He's Misstra Know-It-All'.
19 May 1973
Stevie Wonder went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'You Are The Sunshine Of My Life'. His third US No.1, won Wonder a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. This song was the second single released from the album 'Talking Book'.
27 Jan 1973
'Superstition' the lead single from Stevie Wonder's Talking Book album became his second No.1 single in the US, 10 years after his first No.1 hit. Jeff Beck created the original drum beat while in the studio with Wonder. After writing the song, Wonder offered it to Beck to record, but at the insistence of Berry Gordy, Wonder himself recorded it first. Beck was instead offered 'Cause We've Ended As Lovers', which he recorded on his Blow by Blow album in 1975.
28 Oct 1972
Stevie Wonder released his 15th studio album Talking Book. The album's first track, 'You Are the Sunshine of My Life', hit No.1 on the Billboard charts, and earned Wonder his first Grammy Award. The album featured a guest appearance of Jeff Beck on the track 'Superstition'.
30 Aug 1972
John Lennon and Yoko Ono played Madison Square Gardens to raise money for the Willowbrook State School. Stevie Wonder, Sha Na Na and Roberta Flack also appeared at the event. Lennon personally bought $60,000 worth of tickets which were given to volunteer fund-raisers. Several of the performances were later included on Lennon's, Live in New York City album.
13 May 1971
On his twenty-first birthday Stevie Wonder received all his childhood earnings. Despite having earned $30 million so far, he received only $1 million.
12 Dec 1970
Smokey Robinson and the Miracles started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Tears Of A Clown'. It was the group's 26th Top 40 hit and first No.1, and also a No.1 hit in the UK. The song was written by Stevie Wonder in 1966, and his producer Hank Cosby, Smokey Robinson wrote the lyrics.
12 Sep 1970
Smokey Robinson and The Miracles were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'The Tears Of A Clown', their first UK No.1. Stevie Wonder (who was discovered by Miracles member Ronnie White), and his producer Hank Cosby wrote the music for the song.
26 Aug 1970
A party was held to celebrate the official opening of 'Electric Ladyland' studios in New York City, New York. Artists who went on to record at the studio include: Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, AC/DC, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa and  Guns N' Roses.
22 Sep 1969
A new weekly TV show 'The Music Scene' aired on ABC in the US for the first time. Stevie Wonder, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Tom Jones, Cass Elliot, James Brown, Janis Joplin and Sly and the Family Stone were all booked to appear on the show.
20 Apr 1969
Session drummer Benny Benjamin died. One of 'The Funk Brothers' he played on many Tamla Motown hits including, The Four Tops, Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes and Stevie Wonder. The film 'Standing In The Shadows Of Motown' released in 2003 features his work. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 and was named the eleventh best drummer of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2016.
6 Oct 1967
The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded a session for the UK BBC radio show 'Top Gear.' Stevie Wonder who was also appearing on the show jammed with Hendrix.
7 May 1967
Pink Floyd appeared at The Mojo Club, Tollbar, Sheffield, England, opened and owned by Peter Stringfellow. Acts who have also appeared at the club include Stevie Wonder, John Lee Hooker, Rod Stewart, Ike and Tina Turner, The Who, Small Faces and Jimi Hendrix.
20 Mar 1965
The first of a twice-nightly UK package tour kicked of at London's Finsbury Park Astoria featuring Stevie Wonder, The Miracles, Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes and The Temptations.
18 Mar 1965
The groundbreaking Motortown Revue landed at the Finsbury Park Astoria, London, England on the first night of a package tour that took them around the UK visiting 21 theatres for two shows a night, plus a live TV special. Topping the bill was Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Supremes, Martha & The Vandellas, and 14 year-old Little Stevie Wonder all backed by the legendary Funk Brothers.
25 Dec 1964
The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Miracles, Stevie Wonder and The Marvelettes all appeared at The Fox Theatre, Brooklyn, New York.
1 Aug 1964
Billboard Magazine reported that the harmonica was making a comeback in a big way thanks to its use by Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Bob Dylan.
26 Dec 1963
Stevie Wonder arrived in the UK for appearances on the TV shows 'Ready Steady Go!' and 'Thank Your Lucky Stars.'
24 Aug 1963
Stevie Wonder became the first artist ever to score a US No.1 album and single in the same week. Wonder was at No.1 on the album chart with 'Little Stevie Wonder / The 12 Year Old Genius' and had the No.1 single 'Fingertips part 2'. This was also the first ever live recording to make No.1.
10 Aug 1963
13 year-old Little Stevie Wonder started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Fingertips part II', making him the youngest singer to top the charts.
22 Jun 1963
13-year old Stevie Wonder first entered the US singles chart as Little Stevie Wonder with 'Fingertips Parts One and Two.' 'Fingertips' which featured a young Marvin Gaye on drums was the first live, non-studio recording to reach No.1 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in the United States since Johnny Standley's 1952 comic monologue 'It's in the Book'.
23 Oct 1962
12 year old Little Stevie Wonder recorded his first single for Motown Records, 'Thank You For Loving Me All The Way' backed by the Funk Brothers.
16 Oct 1962
The first night of a two month Motown Records package tour started in Washington DC, featuring Marvin Gaye The Supremes, Mary Wells, The Miracles and 12 year old Stevie Wonder.
16 Aug 1962
Little Stevie Wonder (aged 12), released his first single, 'I Call It Pretty Music, (But The Old People Call It The Blues)', the single featured Marvin Gaye on drums.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

uDiscover Music - Back To Top
uDiscover Music - Back To Top