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Stevie Wonder’s birthday

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Born May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, MI, Steveland Judkins Hardaway aka Stevie Wonder turns 54 today. Happy birthday!

The “8th wonder of the world” (as promoters used to describe him) had his first #1 hit with “Fingertips (Part 2)” in 1963 at the age of 12.

He continued writing and performing big hits and high art for the next twenty years. The hits have slowed down, but it’s always a good day to whip out Talking Book. He could have retired there, but we’d have missed out on Songs in the Key of Life, and “Sir Duke.”

We’d have also missed out on a big favorite of mine from Characters. “Skeletons” was only a modest hit, but it’s definitely in my Stevie top 10. That rubbery bass line kicks much ass, and he really taps into some hard emotions there.

Happy birthday, Stevie, and thanks for all the great work.

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  • Evan

    and also i like Neil Diamond who is also better than Stevie Wonder but thats my opinion

  • hello Franc what do you think about Cat Stevens

  • Franc

    Hi Evan,

    One of the best live concerts I’ve ever experienced was Elton John in Boston about 20 years ago.

    His theatrical performance that night of “Funeral For a Friend” was outstanding.

    As much as I love Elton’s stuff… Stevie’s music just resonates with my soul like no one else.

    Like you say… it’s all good. 🙂

  • Cat Stevens is also better then Stevie Wonder

  • Well Franc, that might partly be modesty. But Elton talking about “musicianship” sounds like just one part – the fancy playing. I’d probably give Stevie the nod over Elton just a little bit there too – though Elton has had some particularly outstanding backing players. Listen closely to Rock of the Westies sometime.

    On the other hand, I’d probably at least marginally give Elton the edge over Stevie as a composer. Not that the author of “Superstition” and “I Believe” is any slouch, but Elton wrote “Your Song” and “I Feel Like a Bullet.” And for the hard rockin’ funk, I’ll put “Grow Some Funk of Your Own” head to head with even prime Stevie.

    It’s all good.

  • Franc

    Elton himself admits Stevie is better:

    “Stevie Wonder can eat me for breakfast as far as musicmanship is concerned” – Elton John

  • Shane

    Dude, lay off the meth…Stevie is the best!!!

  • Elton John is better then Stevie Wonder