Stevie Wonder

b. Steveland Judkins, 13 May 1950, Saginaw, Michigan, USA. Born Judkins, Wonder now prefers to be known as Steveland Morris after his mother's married name. Placed in an incubator immediately after his birth, baby Steveland was given too much oxygen, causing Steveland to suffer permanent blindness. Despite this handicap, Wonder began to learn the piano at the age of seven, and had also mastered drums and harmonica by the age of nine. After his family moved to Detroit in 1954, Steveland joined a church choir, the gospel influence on his music balanced by the R&B of Ray Charles and Sam Cooke being played on his transistor radio.

In 1961, he was discovered by Ronnie White of the Miracles, who arranged an audition at Motown Records. Berry Gordy immediately signed Steveland to the label, renaming him Little Stevie Wonder (the “Little” was dropped in 1964). Wonder was placed in the care of writer/producer Clarence Paul, who supervised his early recordings. These accentuated his prodigal talents as a multi-instrumentalist, but did not represent a clear musical direction. In 1963, however, the release of the ebullient live recording “Fingertips (Part 2)” established his commercial success, and Motown quickly marketed him on a series of albums as “the 12-year-old genius” in an attempt to link him with the popularity of “the genius”, Ray Charles. Attempts to repeat the success of “Fingertips” proved abortive, and Wonder's career was placed on hold during 1964 while his voice was breaking. He re-emerged in 1965 with a sound that was much closer to the Motown mainstream, scoring a worldwide hit with the dance-orientated “Uptight (Everything's Alright)”, which he co-wrote with Henry Cosby and Sylvia Moy. This began a run of US Top 40 hits that continued unbroken (apart from seasonal Christmas releases) for over six years.

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March 18, 2013

Columbus Jazz Orchestra Celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month With "piano...

November 19, 2012

On The Heels Of Acclaimed Performance For The President And First Lady,...

September 05, 2012

Bonnie Bowden and Stevie Wonder

July 28, 2012

Stephanie Jordan And Ellis Marsalis To Perform For Stevie Wonder At...

March 28, 2012

SFJazz Collective returns to Stevie Wonder tunes this weekend at...

February 14, 2012

Patrick Lamb, Tyrone Hendrix, Nate Watts & Friends to Perform Tribute...

November 02, 2011

Something Else! Featured Artist: Stevie Wonder

August 30, 2011

SFJAZZ Announces Release of "SFJAZZ Collective: Music of Stevie Wonder...

July 26, 2011

Bobby Broom's Deep Blue Organ Trio Salutes the Music of Stevie Wonder...

February 26, 2011

SFJAZZ Collective Tour Playing Music of Stevie Wonder

January 27, 2011

SFJAZZ Announces SFJAZZ Collective Spring 2011 Tour Dates - "The Music...

June 13, 2010

Stevie Wonder Was the Headliner Saturday at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts...

March 10, 2010

Stevie Wonder, Bill and Camille Cosby to Help Oberlin Dedicate and...

March 06, 2010

Stevie Wonder breathless over French award

September 29, 2009

Stevie Wonder Sits in with Jazz Mafia

September 04, 2009

Corea, Clarke and White at the Hollywood Bowl with Stevie Wonder

August 25, 2009

Chesky Records Releases Jen Chapin's "Revisions: Songs of Stevie Wonder"

July 01, 2009

Stevie Wonder Ignites Montreal Jazz Festival

June 07, 2009

Sat Eye Candy: Stevie Wonder

May 14, 2009

The Festival International de Jazz de Montreal honours Stevie Wonder,...

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