♫ A Place In The Sun ♫ (Redux)

I am so fed up with the shenanigans of not only the Oaf in the Oval Office and his minions, but the fools who think he is presidential material, who would literally bring out their guns and kill to keep the bastard in office, that my ire and angst seems to be turned to ‘high’ tonight.  I need to … find me a place in the sun! And who better to take us there than … the one and only … Stevie Wonder!


Last night (Tuesday), I couldn’t seem to find a song in my heart, thus there was no song in yesterday’s lineup … yesterday’s non-existent line-up.  Tonight, I was folding laundry, and I asked myself if there was a song in my heart, and … the only one that came was Louie, Louie by Paul Revere and the Raiders, but alas … I played that one already back in, I think November.  So, I went on with my a.m. post, trolling the news, responding to emails, and suddenly I caught myself whistling Stevie Wonder’s A Place in the Sun.  BINGO!  It was not only the fact that I love the tune, always love to hear Stevie, but the lyrics seemed apropos of … something.  They speak to the way my own heart feels this week.

There isn’t a lot of background on this song, at least not that I could find in a quick search.  Released in 1966, it was written by Ronald Miller and Bryan Wells, and was one of Wonder’s first songs to contain social commentary.  This was Stevie’s third Top Ten hit since 1963 and hit #9 on the Billboard pop singles chart and # 3 on the R&B charts.

A Place In The Sun
Stevie Wonder

Like a long lonely stream
I keep runnin’ towards a dream
Movin’ on, movin’ on
Like a branch on a tree
I keep reachin’ to be free
Movin’ on, movin’ on

‘Cause there’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
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

Like an old dusty road
I get weary from the load
Movin’ on, movin’ on
Like this tired troubled earth
I’ve been rollin’ since my birth
Movin’ on, movin’ on

There’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
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

You know when times are bad
And you’re feeling sad
I want you to always remember

Yes, there’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone…

Songwriters: CLARENCE PAUL / RONALD MILLER / BRYAN WELLS
A Place In The Sun lyrics © Almo Music Corp., Emi Music Publishing France, JOBETE MUSIC CO INC, STONE DIAMOND MUSIC CORP

♫ Stevie & Tom ♫ (Redux)

Tonight I need me some Stevie!  Digging around to see what I have or haven’t played recently, I came across this one by two of my favourite artists, Stevie Wonder and Tom Jones from Tom Jones’ television show in 1969 — way back when.  I listened … I found a strange sensation on my face … like something tugging at the corners of my mouth … pulling them upward.  Could it be … could this actually be … the beginnings of a smile?  And then, I played it a second time … and yeah, there’s a smile alright … damn but these two guys are goooooood … doesn’t matter what they sing … they’re solid gold all the way.  Okay, so I just played it in February, but … February was a looonnnnngggg time ago, right?  And I do so need the smiles this one brings, so for tonight … just listen, relax, and … SMILE!  Humour an old woman.

♫ I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues ♫

All day long, I’ve had a song in mind to play for my music post … ALL DAY!  Even as recently as about 7:00, that song was playing non-stop, over and over in my head.  And now, at just after midnight … where do you think the song is?  That’s right …

Poof-2

Gone.  I’ve wracked my brain for it, but … I draw a blank.  All I can think of is … guacamole!  Hmmm … I do have two avocados in the fridge … I could make a nice little bowl of guacamole, and there are some extra thin crispy tortilla chips …

back-in-a-minute

Ahhhh … here … I’ll even share …

guacamole

Okay, now back to the business at hand … er … could somebody remind me just what business was at hand?  Oh yeah!  A song.  Well, since the song wouldn’t come back to my head, I closed my eyes, leaned my head back in my chair … and fell asleep!

sleeping-woman

Anyway … I finally came up with a tune for today!  You guys know how I love Elton John, right?  And I haven’t played any Elton for a while now, right?  And, I found one that I’ve never played … not ever on this blog!

As is the case with most of Elton’s songs, the lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin.  Taupin wrote this song as a love letter to his wife at the time, Toni Russo, who is the sister of the actress Rene Russo. In the album credits, Bernie wrote, “Hey Toni, this one’s for you.”  According to Taupin …

“I wrote this in Montserrat, an island that, tragically, no longer exists. Basically, it’s a letter home with a small tip included about making the most of time, not wishing it away just because you can’t be with the one you love. Time is precious; read books, paint a picture, bake a cake. Just don’t wallow, don’t be content.”

This song contains one of the few lyrics that Bernie Taupin regrets. He later said:

“The whole ‘loving you more than I love life itself’ is something I would never say now. It’s kind of a crass sentiment and totally false. It’s quite another thing to love someone deeply with your whole heart without stooping to this kind of lie. I loathe giving songwriting advice, but were I pushed, I’d say, ‘Never say you love someone more than life or that you’d die for someone in a song.’ It’s just such a disservice to your own spirit. I’d like to think that I’d lay down my life for my children, but until you’re faced with the reality, it’s kind of a moot point. Rambling, I know, but relative nonetheless.”

Stevie-Wonder-harmonicaNow here’s something that was news to me … another of my all-time favourites, Stevie Wonder, played harmonica on this track!  Now the song is even more special, knowing that!

The song made it to #4 in the U.S., #5 in the UK, and #1 in both Canada and Zimbabwe!

I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues
Elton John

Don’t wish it away
Don’t look at it like it’s forever
Between you and me I could honestly say
That things can only get better

And while I’m away
Dust out the demons inside
And it won’t be long before you and me run
To the place in our hearts where we hide

And I guess that’s why they call it the blues
Time on my hands could be time spent with you
Laughing like children, living like lovers
Rolling like thunder under the covers
And I guess that’s why they call it the blues

Just stare into space
Picture my face in your hands
Live for each second without hesitation
And never forget I’m your man

Wait on me girl
Cry in the night if it helps
But more than ever I simply love you
More than I love life itself

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Davey Johnstone / Elton John
I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ That’s What Friends Are For ♫

Over the past several months I have seen terrible things happen in this country.  Friend is pitted against friend, brother against sister, and even mother against son.  The “United” States is no longer.  We have become a nation that seems to thrive on violence, on hate, on … fear.  And so it was that when I was thinking earlier this evening of a song for my music post tonight, this one did not pop into my head, but rather flew with force into my consciousness and … BINGO … I knew what I would play tonight.  I last played this just over a year-and-a-half ago, but with each passing week it seems even more relevant.  That’s what friends are for … not for hating, not for killing, but … for being “by your side forever more”.  Today, how many of our friends have left our side because they didn’t agree with our political ideologies?  😢  Anyway, I thought this was an appropriate selection as we start out another week of … chaos or whatever comes next.  Keep smiling, my friends.


February 2019 …

As I was rolling cigarettes tonight, a name came to me:  Dionne Warwick.  A sometimes-overlooked talent, a beautiful lady with a beautiful voice.  So, I decided tonight would be a song from Dionne Warwick, and after I finished rolling smokes, finished my Jolly Monday post, and folded a load of laundry, I sat down to decide which song it would be.  I picked this one to listen to first, and at the 0:33 point, I felt tears welling behind my eyes.  I have no idea why, but I knew then that I had my song.

This version is the 1985 cover version by Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder. This recording, billed as being by “Dionne & Friends”, was released as a charity single for AIDS research and prevention. It was a massive hit, becoming the number-one single of 1986 in the United States, and winning the Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Song of the Year. It raised over $3 million for its cause.

The song was originally written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager for the 1982 movie Night Shift, where it was recorded by Rod Stewart and played over the closing credits.

Hit the full screen button, turn the volume up, and just … enjoy … feel the love …

That’s What Friends Are For
Dionne Warwick

And I never thought I’d feel this way
And as far as I’m concerned
I’m glad I got the chance to say
That I do believe, I love you

And if I should ever go away
Well, then close your eyes and try
To feel the way we do today
And then if you can remember

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Well, you came in loving me
And now there’s so much more I see
And so by the way
I thank you

Oh and then for the times when we’re apart
Well, then close your eyes and know
The words are coming from my heart
And then if you can remember

Keep smiling and keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
In good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
Cause I tell you, that’s what friends are for
Whoa, good times and the bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Songwriters: Burt F Bacharach / Carole Bayer Sager
That’s What Friends Are For lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Overjoyed ♫

Tonight I am in a mood that is crying out for some Stevie Wonder.  There are very few that I haven’t already played here at least once (can you tell that I’m a huge Stevie Wonder fan?)  However, I did find one!

Overjoyed is a hit single written and performed by American R&B singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder on the Tamla (Motown) label from his 1985 album In Square Circle.

The song was written first for the 1979 album Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants, but was left off the album, and re-recorded for the 1985 album In Square Circle. In the liner notes for the song, “crickets, nightingale & additional bird sounds, ocean, pebbles in pond, stone dropped, crushing leaves” are listed under “environmental percussion”. The song was first performed live on the May 7, 1983, episode of Saturday Night Live, where Wonder was the host and musical guest.

This song has been covered by numerous artists, including Diana Ross, Mary Blige, Grover Washington, Celine Dion and many more, most of whom I have never heard.  

I had to force myself to listen to this four five six times tonight, just to make sure I had gotten the right lyrics, that he wasn’t singing off-key … you know, all those details that must be just right!  😉  And now, I think I might actually be able to sleep for a few hours … dreaming … of … zzzzzz … sandman has come … zzzzzzzzzzz … 

Overjoyed
Stevie Wonder

Over time, I’ve building my castle of love
Just for two, though you never knew you were my reason
I’ve gone much too far for you now to say
That I’ve got to throw my castle away

Over dreams, I have picked out a perfect come true
Though you never knew it was of you I’ve been dreaming
The sandman has come from too far away
For you to say come back some other day

And though you don’t believe that they do
They do come true
For did my dreams
Come true when I looked at you
And maybe too, if you would believe
You too might be
Overjoyed, over loved, over me

Over hearts, I have painfully turned every stone
Just to find, I had found what I’ve searched to discover
I’ve come much too far for me now to find
The love that I’ve sought can never be mine

And though you don’t believe that they do
They do come true
For did my dreams
Come true when I looked at you
And maybe too, if you would believe
You too might be
Overjoyed, over loved, over me

And though the odds say improbable
What do they know
For in romance
All true love needs is a chance
And maybe with a chance you will find
You too like I
Overjoyed, over loved, over you
Over you

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Wonder Stevie
Overjoyed lyrics © Johanan Vigoda Admin. Acct. Stevie Wonder Catalogue, Jobete Music Co Inc, Black Bull Music Inc, Jobete Music Co., Inc.

♫ Sir Duke ♫ (Redux)

Tonight I am tired, I am discouraged, and I needed me some Stevie Wonder to pick me up.  I played this one in August last year, and I apologize in advance for such a soon redux, but … there just isn’t anything quite like this song to make your heart sing just a little bit.


I am told by several who have reason to know, that I don’t smile enough these days.  They are probably right, but in truth, I find little to smile about.  In the mirror, I see an old hag with a perpetual scowl and sad eyes.  However, there is one person who always brings a smile to my face, and that is Mr. Stevie Wonder!

I could have sworn I had played this one, for it is one of my favourites by Stevie, but a search of my archives found nothing.  I love this one, especially, when I am out walking, for the beat makes me pick up my speed and makes me smile at the same time, such that the people I pass wonder just what the heck I am up to with that sappy grin on my face!

Stevie Wonder wrote this song as a tribute to music, specifically to Duke Ellington, who had died in 1974. Ellington was a jazz bandleader and composer who was a big influence on Wonder.

“I knew the title from the beginning but wanted it to be about the musicians who did something for us. So soon they are forgotten. I wanted to show my appreciation. They gave us something that is supposed to be forever. That’s the basic idea of what we do and how we hook it up.”

In addition to Ellington, musicians referenced in this song are “Satchmo” Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Sodarisa Miller.

This wasn’t the first song Wonder wrote in tribute to one of his musical inspirations: Bye Bye World from his 1968 album Eivets Rednow is about the guitarist Wes Montgomery. Wonder’s second album, released in 1962 when he was just 12 years old, was a tribute to ‘Uncle Ray’, which paid homage to Ray Charles.

Sir Duke
Stevie Wonder

Music is a world within itself
With a language we all understand
With an equal opportunity
For all to sing, dance and clap their hands
But just because a record has a groove
Don’t make it in the groove
But you can tell right away at letter A
When the people start to move

They can feel it all over
They can feel it all over people
They can feel it all over
They can feel it all over people

Music knows it is and always will
Be one of the things that life just won’t quit
But here are some of music’s pioneers
That time will not allow us to forget
For there’s Basie, Miller, Sachmo
And the king of all Sir Duke
And with a voice like Ella’s ringing out
There’s no way the band can lose

You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over

I can feel it all over-all over now people
Can’t you feel it all over
Come on let’s feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
Everybody-all over people

Songwriters: Stevie Wonder
Sir Duke lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ We Are The World ♫ (Redux)

Concentrating on my ‘good people’ post this evening, I hadn’t even given a thought to my music post.  But, after finishing the ‘good people’, and turning to comments from yesterday’s posts, I came across one from friend John Howell that led me to this song.  I’ve posted it before, and will do so again, for it carries a message that we need to be reminded of over and over.  John provided a tidbit that I wasn’t aware of …

“I loved the Michael Jackson comment to all the stars that were in studio for the “We are the World” recording session. He said that egos were to be left at the door and that anyone who had a problem with that would be driven home…by Stevie Wonder.”

I don’t imagine too many egos were on display after that!!!

This song … it is what we need today … and every day.  Please listen and enjoy.


Hello my friends.  With a heavy heart tonight, I was not going to do a music post, but two special people convinced me, without realizing that they had a thing to do with it, to do one … and this one in particular.  I shall explain …

A few nights ago, I was chatting via email with our friend Ellen, and she noted that while sometimes one doesn’t feel that they have a song in their heart, they should … sing anyway!  Tonight, I felt as if I had no song in my heart, and really, I just wanted to go to bed.  But, somewhere in my head, I heard Ellen saying, “C’mon, Filosofa … sing anyway!”

And the second motivator was another dear friend, Dutch (Larry Woller) who posted on his own blog this song … We Are The World … and everything just suddenly clicked into place.

This was a benefit single for victims of famine in Africa. It raised over $60 Million, which was distributed to Ethiopia, Sudan, and other impoverished countries.

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote this song, and Quincy Jones produced it. This talented trio was perfect for the job: Quincy Jones was the hottest producer around, and his Rolodex (what would now be a contact list) was filled with the biggest names in music; Richie had written songs that went to #1 on the Hot 100 each of the previous seven years (“We Are The World” made it eight); Michael Jackson had the biggest album of 1984 with Thriller (produced by Jones) and was the biggest star in the world.

The USA For Africa project began as an idea calypso singer Harry Belafonte had for a benefit concert featuring black musicians. In late December 1984, looking for artists to participate, Belafonte called Ken Kragen, who managed an impressive roster of talent, including Lionel Richie. Kragen convinced Belafonte that they could raise more money and make a bigger impact with an original song; Belafonte agreed and Richie came on board to help.

Kragen asked Quincy Jones to produce, and Jones enlisted Michael Jackson. Richie got Stevie Wonder involved, and from there, word got out and many members of the music industry signed on to help. The project from conception to recording took about a month.

This all-star charity single was inspired by Band Aid, the British group Bob Geldof put together the year before to record Do They Know It’s Christmas?. Band Aid, which included Bono, Phil Collins, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Sting, served as a template, showing how a disparate group of famous artists could come together in one day to record a song.

The stars who sang solos were, in order, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Michael Jackson (again), Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, and Kim Carnes. Bob Dylan and Ray Charles were also featured on the song and given close-ups in the video.

Harry Belafonte, who had the original idea for the project, was in the chorus but didn’t get a solo, joining Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, The Pointer Sisters, LaToya Jackson, Bob Geldof, Sheila E., and Waylon Jennings as backing singers.

Quincy Jones was responsible for managing the egos of all the stars. It went very smoothly considering some very famous people did not get to sing a line. Most of the singers knew Jones personally and respected his wishes that they check their egos at the door.

Just goes to show what we can accomplish when people of all sorts come together for a common cause.  I think … though the cause is different … this song has just as much meaning for our world today as it did when it was released in 1985, some 34 years ago, don’t you?

We Are the World
U.S.A. for Africa

There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on
Pretending day-by-day
That someone, somewhere soon make a change
We’re all a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know, love is all we need

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Oh, send them your heart
So they know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
And so we all must lend a helping hand

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
Oh, there’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well let us realize
Oh, that a change can only come
When we stand together as one, yeah, yeah, yeah

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day, so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)
There is a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Oh, let me hear you!

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (said we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, come on now, let me hear you

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, yeah

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
And we’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world, we are the world (are the world)
We are the children, yes sir (are the children)
We are the ones that make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, ooh-hoo!

We are the world (dear God) (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones that make a brighter day so let’s start giving (all right, can you hear what I’m saying?)
There’s a choice we’re making, we’re saving our own lives

Songwriters: Michael Jackson / Lionel Richie
We Are the World lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Ebony and Ivory ♫

I am in a mood to end all moods tonight.  Not having slept much for the past three nights, and then being slapped in the face with the horrors that are happening all over this nation that I’m forced to remain in, I really want to bash some heads in.  I even yelled at the kitties!  In this mood, there are only a few songs that will soothe the savage beast within me, and this is my top pick.

piano-keysPaul McCartney wrote this song, saying that the message was “that people of all types could live together.”  He liked the piano analogy, since you can play using just the white keys or just the black keys, but to make great music, you have to combine them.  So true.

McCartney started recording this as a solo effort, but then got the idea to do it as a duet with Stevie Wonder. A demo made its way to Wonder, and he agreed to record it, standing wholeheartedly behind the message in the song. It was issued as a single and appeared on McCartney’s 1982 album Tug Of War.

This was Stevie Wonder’s first #1 single in the UK. His only other was I Just Called To Say I Love You in 1984.

Listen to the words, feel the camaraderie between these two men, feel the love … share the love, spread the love.  Love knows no colour boundaries, and neither should we.

Ebony & Ivory
Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder

Ebony and ivory
Live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh Lord, why don’t we?

We all know
That people are the same wherever you go
There is good and bad in everyone
When we learn to live, we learn to give each other
What we need to survive
Together alive

Ebony and ivory
Live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh Lord, why don’t we?

We all know
That people are the same wherever you go
There is good and bad, mmm, in everyone
We learn to live when we learn to give each other
What we need to survive
Together alive

Ebony and ivory
Live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh Lord, why don’t we?

Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh Lord, why don’t we?

Songwriters: Mccartney Paul James
Ebony & Ivory lyrics © MPL COMMUNICATIONS INC

♫ Superstition ♫

aarghFolks, I’ve done it again!!!  Last year, I missed Stevie Wonder’s birthday by a day … his birthday is the 13th, and after I didn’t play a Stevie Wonder song on that date, my dear friend Ellen took me to task, so I wished Mr. Wonder a ‘Happy Birthday’ on the 14th.  This year, though … I’ve missed it by five days!!!  Ellen … this is your fault, y’know!  Anyway, better late than never, they say, and since Stevie is in my top five favourites of all time, I cannot let his birthday go unnoticed.

I dug around for one of his songs that I haven’t played … no small task, considering I have featured him 28 times since I started doing these music posts a couple of years ago.  But, I came up with one and, while it isn’t in my top five favourites, I do like it.  The song made #1 in the U.S., #6 in Canada, and #11 in the UK

This was intended for Jeff Beck, who was brought in to play some guitar parts on the album in exchange for a song. At one of the sessions, Stevie came up with the riff and wrote some lyrics, and they recorded a rough version of the song that day for Beck. It took Beck a while to record the song, and by the time he released it, Wonder’s version had been out for a month and was a huge hit. Beck felt shortchanged, and made some statements in the press that Wonder didn’t appreciate. In 1975, Beck released an instrumental version of Wonder’s “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers” on his album Blow By Blow. The album was a hit and helped solidify Beck’s reputation as an elite guitarist.

When Wonder turned 21, he was no longer obligated to Motown Records, and used his clout to sign a deal with the label giving him unprecedented control of his music. He got a large share of royalties and publishing rights, and Motown was not allowed to alter the albums once they were delivered. One thing Motown did control, however, were what songs they released as singles. Knowing Jeff Beck was about to record his version, Motown head Berry Gordy made sure this was the first single and released it before Beck could get his out.  A bit of dirty pool there, it seems.

Several artists besides Jeff Beck have covered this. None made much of an impact until Stevie Ray Vaughan released a live version as a single in 1986 on his album Live Alive. His version is still played on Classic Rock radio, and has grown even more popular since Vaughan’s death in 1990.

Wonder performed this song on Sesame Street in 1973 during the show’s fourth season. It was recorded at the show’s New York studios at a time when Wonder and his band were playing lots of gigs, and they treated the Sesame Street performance just like any other, extending it to nearly 7 minutes, complete with intricate musical shifts directed by Wonder. Video of the performance shows kids and puppets having a blast on the set, but the band remained focused, since getting distracted by a monster would not be a valid excuse for missing a change.  Normally, I would also include the Sesame Street version, and perhaps another day I will, but today is Stevie Wonder’s show alone.

So, without further ado … Happy 70th Birthday Mr. Stevie Wonder!!!!  🎈

 

Superstition
Stevie Wonder

Ladies and Gentlemen
Ladies and Gentlemen

Joining us on stage my Mr Jeff Beck

Very superstitious,
Writing’s on the wall,
Very superstitious,
Ladders bout’ to fall
Thirteen month old baby,
Broke the lookin’ glass
Seven years of bad luck,
The good things in your past

When you believe in things
That you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition aint the way

Everybody scream!

Very superstitious,
Nothin’ more to say,
Very superstitious,
The devil’s on his way,
Thirteen month old baby,
Broke the lookin’ glass,
Seven years of bad luck,
Good things in your past

When you believe in things
That you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way,
No, no, no

Superstition ain’t the way
Superstition ain’t the way
Superstition ain’t the way
Superstition ain’t the way

Everybody say
We’re jamming in New York
We’re jamming in New York

Superstition ain’t the way
Superstition ain’t the way…

I love you…

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Stevie Wonder
Superstition lyrics © Jobete Music Co. Ltd., Jobete Music Co Inc, Black-bull-music, Inc., Black Bull Music Inc, Jobete Music Co., Inc.

♫ My Cherie Amour ♫

My level of angst has been at an all time high for a few days now, for various reasons that if you’ve been keeping up with my posts, you already know.  Loss of sleep, loss of appetite, too much caffeine, too much nicotine, and it’s time for some music by … my go-to guy … Stevie Wonder!!!

The title is French for “My Dearest Love.”  Stevie wrote this song in 1967 when he was a student at Michigan School for the Blind, recording a rough version and putting into his trusty “tape box,” where he kept his song ideas. He wrote the song for his girlfriend at the time, Marcia, and the song was originally titled “Oh My Marcia.”

By the time he recorded the song, Marcia was out of the picture, so Wonder changed the title to My Cherie Amour.  Motown songwriter/producers Henry Cosby and Sylvia Moy wrote this with Wonder, who was 19 at the time. Wonder was recording at age 12, and was writing songs in his teenage years. On his later hits, Wonder did almost all of the writing and production himself, but early on, he had a lot of help from the Motown staff.

Tonight’s selection is from a live concert, so the quality may not be as good as the studio version, but I love the energy, the interaction with the audience, and … you get an added bonus … a second song!

My Cherie Amour
Stevie Wonder

La la la la la la
La la la la la la

My Cherie Amour, lovely as a summer’s day
My Cherie Amour, distant as the Milky Way
My Cherie Amour, pretty little one that I adore
You’re the only girl my heart beats for
How I wish that you were mine

In a cafe or sometimes on a crowded street
I’ve been near you, but you never notice me
My Cherie Amour, won’t you tell me how could you ignore
That behind that little smile I wore
How I wish that you were mine

Maybe someday you’ll see my face among the crowd
Maybe someday I’ll share your little distant cloud
Oh, Cherie Amour, pretty little one that I adore
You’re the only girl my heart beats for
How I wish that you were mine

La la la la la la
La la la la la la

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Wonder Stevie / Cosby Henry / Moy Sylvia Rose
My Cherie Amour lyrics © Black Bull Music, Stone Agate Music, Sawandi Music, Johanan Vigoda Admin. Acct. Stevie Wonder Catalogue, Jobete Music Co Inc, Stone Agate Music Corp, Black Bull Music Inc, Jobete Music Co., Inc.