When I was a teenager, I remember when my dad would marvel at how old some of the band leaders and performers of the Big Band era had gotten.  "[So-and-so] turns [some magic age]?  Wow."

Yeah, well now it’s my turn.

Little Stevie Wonder turns 60 today?  Wow.  Scott Johnson over at Powerline has a nice retrospective of his recording career and some good videos.  Steve Wonder hit the music scene when I was just 1 year old, so suffice to say that I didn’t catch his early career, but my musical interests were formed in the 70s when he had a number of hits in the top 40, all of which I enjoyed.

Do you remember the group "Stars on 45"?  In 1981 they came out with a Beatles medley, done by sound-alikes but very good ones.  In 1982 they recorded "A Tribute to Stevie Wonder", a medley of his biggest hits and (mostly) without the disco beat behind it that had become their trademark up until that point.  Folks came up to Stevie congratulating him on his new hit, because the singer sounded so much like the original.  I read in a magazine article that Steve had heard the song on the radio and was suitably impressed.

It’s a wonderful tribute, in that you realize how many songs of his you remember because you’re singing along with everything, and there are a lot of songs in this almost-8-minute medley.  (Click here for all the lyrics.)  And just before the final bit (of his first hit "Fingertips") are these lines from "A Place in the Sun".

There’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for everyone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
And before my life is done
Got to find me a place in the sun

I believe he has. The video won’t embed, so click here to listen to some great musical history.

Filed under: Music

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