Stevie Wonder is a much-beloved American Icon and an indisputable genius not only of R&B but popular music in general…… We salute him as our WBLS Artist Profile.
Stevie Wonder was born Steveland Hardaway Judkins in Saginaw, MI, on May 13, 1950. A premature infant, he was put on oxygen treatment in an incubator; likely it was an excess of oxygen that exacerbated a visual condition known as retinopathy causing his blindness. This condition obvious didn’t deter him and what he eventually went on to accomplish.
In 1954, his family moved to Detroit, where young Stevie began singing in his church’s choir. From then he blossomed into a genuine prodigy, learning piano, drums, and harmonica all by the age of nine. By 1961- Stevie was discovered by Ronnie White of “The Miracles” who helped arrange an audition with Berry Gordy at Motown. Gordy immediately signed him, changing his name to Lil’ Stevie Wonder.
He released his first two albums in 1962: “A tribute to Uncle Ray” inspired by his idol, Mr. Ray Charles and “The Jazz soul of little Stevie”, an orchestral jazz album spotlighting his instrumental skills on piano, harmonica, and percussion. His big break came in 1963 with the live album, “The 12 year old genius” which featured a harmonica instrumental “Fingertips”. Edited for release as a single, “Fingertips Pt 2” rocketed to the top of both the Pop and R&B charts. This album began Motown’s first chart topping LP.
Needless to say, Stevie Wonder has accomplished what most musical talents only dream of. Prestigious awards and many accolades surround him.
Here is a peak into the incomparable, Mr. Stevie Wonder’s discography of music.
Jazz Soul of little Stevie (1962)
Tribute to Uncle Ray (1962)
12 year old genius (1963)
With a song in my heart (1963)
Workout Stevie, Work out (1963)
Stevie at the beach (1964)
Stevie Wonder (1965)
Down to earth (1966)
I was made to love her (1967)
Some day at Christmas (1967)
Eivets Rednow….Alfie (1968)
For once in my life (1968)
My Cherie Amor (1969)
Live at the talk of the town (1970)
Signed, Sealed and Delivered (1970)
Stevie Wonder live (1970)
Where I’m coming from (1971)
Music of my mind (1972)
Talking book (1972)
Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974)
Songs in the key of life (1976)
Journey through the secret life of plants (1979)
Hotter than July (1980)
Woman in red (1984)
In square circle (1985)
Jungle fever (1991)
Conversation Peace (1995)
Natural wonder (1995)
Time to love (2005)
Stevie will also be in concert November 17th at Madison Square Garden!