Wednesday, May 13, 8950

Stevie Wonder (b. 1950)

Stevland Hardaway Judkins (b. May 13, 1950), name later changed to Stevland Hardaway Morris, known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and activist.

Blind from shortly after birth, Wonder signed with Motown Records' Tamla label at the age of eleven, and continues to perform and record for Motown.


Living for the City is a 1973 hit single by Stevie Wonder for the Tamla (Motown) label, from his Innervisions album. Reaching #8 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart and #1 on the R&B chart, the record is driven by a slow bass synth groove (provided by the enormous TONTO modular synthesiser) that manages to exude a certain amount of tension, an appropriate soundscape for the angry social commentary of the song.

Some of Wonder's best known works include singles such as Superstition, Sir Duke, I Wish, and I Just Called to Say I Love You. Well known albums also include Talking Book, Innervisions, and Songs in the Key of Life.

He has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits.

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.


Sir Duke is a song composed and performed by Stevie Wonder, from his 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life. Released as a single in 1977, the track topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Black Singles charts, and reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart, his biggest hit there at the time.

The song was written in tribute to Duke Ellington, the influential jazz legend who had died in 1974. The lyrics also refer to Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

The artists, apart from Stevie Wonder, who perform on the original version were: Raymond Pounds (drums), Nathan Watts (bass), Mike Sembello (lead guitar), Ben Bridges (rhythm guitar), Hank Redd (alto saxophone), Trevor Laurence (tenor saxophone), Raymond Maldonado (trumpet), and Steve Madaio (trumpet).

Wonder re-recorded the song for the 1995 live album Natural Wonder.

[8950 Mothersbaugh / 8950 Wonder / 8948 Paice]