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Bob Thomas

 


"These Three Words"......... Go See Stevie!

 

My first recollection of Stevie Wonder was during my childhood.  Stevie was a little older than me and everybody (meaning little girls) was going crazy over "Little Stevie Wonder."  I couldn't understand why he was such a big deal (yep, hater in the house).  Matter of fact, I can remember saying, "If I was blind, I could play the harmonica and sing too" ( I  was “Little STUPID Wonder”). Then I saw him perform on American Bandstand singing “Fingertips, pt. 2” (His first hit song).  Shooooooooot, I couldn't perform like that if my name was "Little James Brown."  Next time our paths crossed, he was performing at the Capital Centre in Washington, DC and I had tickets.  It was billed as "Stevie in the Round," meaning he was on a revolving stage.  There wasn't a bad seat in the house and Stevie tore it UP!  This man gave an incredible show.  Without a doubt, the best I had seen up till then.  In 1979, I started my radio career.  In 85 or 86 while working in DC, I was selected to represent my radio station at the "Stevie Wonder...Make the Dream A Reality" concert that was televised nationwide from DC, New York, Chicago & LA.  I was sitting in the 5th row with my industry peers, members of Congress and Juanita & Sugar Ray Leonard.  I couldn’t believe that a little ole black boy from Newport News, Va. (me) was sitting with all these national and international celebrities for such an auspicious event.  Stevie put this performance/tribute/production together in an effort to convince Congress to make Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a national holiday.  Stevie had all of his friends performing....Lionel Ritchie, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Pointer Sisters, & Ashford & Simpson, just to name a few.  He also had other celebrities speaking....Rev. Al Sharpton, Cicely Tyson, Sidney Poitier and more.  Man…..that was a night to remember.  I even videotaped it, so I could later watch TV and see myself sitting in the audience.  In 1999, I moved to Los Angeles and join West Angeles C.O.G.I.C. (Church of GOD in Christ).  During one Sunday service, there was a christening.  I’m looking at the screen/monitor as the parents are making their way to the pulpit.  I remember thinking “who’s the fake Stevie Wonder lookalike with these braids and beads.”  It was at that time that Bishop Blake said “we’re christening the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Steveland Morris” (born Steveland Judkins later changed to Steveland Morris).  You could have bought me for a dime………that’s 10 cents people……… OKAYYYY.   I was like “WHOA!  Stevie Wonder is a member of MY church.”  After the christening, Bishop Blake asked Stevie to sing a song and he was more than happy to accommodate.  I was more than happy to listen to the impromptu concert.  I wanted to “holla at a brother” after service, but I didn’t think that was proper, plus there were too many others doing just that.  Now, he’s coming to the Constant Center in Norfolk on Sunday, October 25th.  Take it from me, whatever the cost of the tickets, it’s worthwhile.  This man has mega hits and he tries to sing them ALL.  In addition, he’s thought provoking & profound.  I guarantee he’ll say something regarding social injustice, an aspect of life, or something in general that will open the eye of your mind to see thee “INNERVISIONS.”



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10/08/2009 6:07AM
"These Three Words"......... Go See Stevie!
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