We recently watched a television network special celebrating the music of Stevie Wonder. It's seldom that we view this sort of pop-entertainment special, yet I had seen it advertised somewhere, remembered that I had really liked a lot of his music, and owned most of his albums, back in the day, and decided to tune in.
The Stevie story is pretty remarkable - he composed and published songs and signed a recording contract, all at age 11 (that's how he got dubbed "Little Stevie Wonder,") and he's still at it.
But what surprised me more in the retrospective of his music was the variety of styles and moods in which he wrote successfully, and the (re)discovery that so many of the tunes that he wrote have become such standards that we may not even realize who wrote them. No one-hit Wonder, he!
Just a few months ago, a reporter interviewed a bunch of under-50-somethings about Paul McCartney and early Beatles tunes. Who is he? Could they listen to a recording of "She Loves Me" and identify the group? They didn't have a clue. Perhaps the same has happened with Wonder's music - it seems to have been a little neglected of late. But for those of us who remember, it's time to go dig out those albums and listen again.