Stevie Wonder is 65

swonderPortraitSince I’ve tried to list my favorite songs by an artist on his/her 70th birthday, and Stevie Wonder’s is five years away, what to do this year?

Fortunately, I found this nifty list of songs written, co-written, by Stevie for other artists. Occasionally (Whitney, Macca, and Jermaine), Stevie also performs. These are listed, more or less up to my favorite Stevie song first recorded by another artist; Stevie did subsequently cover a couple of these. LISTEN TO ALL.

1974 Perfect Angel – Minnie Riperton (S.Wonder) Continue reading

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The Meme with the Red Tattoo


This is a music meme – I LOVE music memes, stolen from SamuraiFrog:

First album you bought – Beatles VI.
Last album you bought – Laura Nyro and Labelle – Gonna Take a Miracle.
Favourite debut album – Boston. Or America.
First album you listened to all the way through – the movie soundtrack to West Side Story, probably.
Last album you listened to – Lyle Lovett – It’s Not Big, It’s Large.
Favourite album of 60s – Beatles – Revolver. Or Beach Boys – Pet Sounds.
Favourite album artwork – Beatles – Sgt. Pepper. Or Beatles – With the Beatles, which has that same iconic picture as Meet the Beatles in the US MUSIC

John C. Reilly Would Really Understand Me


I’m watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart recently, miraculously only a couple days after the show aired. John C. Reilly, who I know best from the movie Chicago, was on, ostensibly to plug his new movie, Cyrus. But it is what he said about music, at about 4:20 of this clip, that really struck me. Seems that when he was a kid, when his mom or dad would say a word or a phrase, he would come up with a song to go along with it. I did/do the same damn thing!

And while we both realized it could be really annoying, it was not done for that purpose. It happened because that’s the way we connect the dots in the world. I was reading a cereal box recently, FCOL, and the first sentence was “Life is complicated.” IMMEDIATELY, I thought, “Why is life SO COM-pli-cated?” That’s a line from which uses the Stevie Wonder-penned song, because I haven’t yet SEEN that yet.
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I wanted to write about the singer Jimmy Dean, but needed an angle, and didn’t find one until I read this article. Of COURSE! The Muppet Rowlf was a regular on the Jimmy Dean Show, sometime during its 1963-1966 run on ABC-TV, which I would occasionally watch. So Dean hired Jim Henson early on. Here’s a dated bit between country singer and dog, a Rowlf ad for the Dean show, and an ad for a Rowlf doll; note the early version of Kermit the Frog.

The other thing about Jimmy Dean is his big hit, Big Bad John, and how near the end, when the line reads, “At the bottom of this mine lies a big, big man.” Yet I always hear something coarser, such as “a helluva man.”

If I ever had his sausage, I have no recollection.
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Crispian St. Peters died, best known for song called Pied Piper. But he also had a minor hit with Evanier gives details of the great artist’s life.

Stevie Wonder is 60


Stevie Wonder is 60 years old today. Only 60? Seems that he’s been around forever. I guess that’s what happens when you’re dubbed the “12-year-old genius.” Wish I had the time to indicate all of his significance in my musical life. Among other things, I’ve stated that he and Paul Simon were THE two most important artists in my record collection in the 1970s. Here are just some highlights.

Really don’t remember the earlier singles, such as “Fingertips, Part 2”, except as an oldie. The first song I recall listened to, on the radio, was Uptight (Everything’s Alright) in 1966. I loved it! Later, I got an album from my sister’s godfather, of all people, of Bill Cosby called Silver Throat, where he sings a parody of Uptight called Little Old Man.

My sister owned the 1966 album Down to Earth, containing the title track and A Place In the Sun, the latter a song written by Stevie that everyone at the time seemed compelled to cover. I owned 1970’s Signed Sealed Delivered.

Possibly my favorite Wonder song in the early years was 1967’s “I Was Made to Love Her”

I owned the so-so 1967 Someday At Christmas, though it contains THE great secular Christmas tune, “What Christmas Means to Me.” Continue reading