We’re getting down to the end of the playlist’s Independence Week celebration, and now that we’re down to the soul/funk/blues category for a Funky Friday, let’s go to Saginaw, Michigan, the birthplace of an American music legend, Stevie Wonder.

President Barack Obama presents Stevie Wonder ...
President Barack Obama presents Stevie Wonder with the Gershwin Award for Lifetime Achievement in a celebration in the East Room of the White House. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Born with the name Stevland Hardaway Morris, and born blind due to the fact he was premature and his sight hadn’t developed before birth, he was given the name Stevie Wonder as a “child wonder” by a Motown producer who said, “”We can’t keep calling him the eighth wonder of the world.”

Instead of holding him back, Stevie’s blindness gave him an entirely different kind of vision … an “innervision.”

Stevie hears with his perfectly functioning ears and sees things in his mind that those of us with sight may never see, unless we put ourselves in the same frame of mind as Stevie.

He hears people’s cries and their laughter, he envisions the pain and joy that’s around us, he feels the love, and he shares it all with us.  He’s also able to “see” injustice” in the land of the free and talk about that as well, with a vision many of us can only hope to attain someday.

He’s done it all for so many years with so much soul, style, and funkiness … that’s why I’ve loved his music ever since I was a kid myself.  Stevie’s been among my lifetime musical heroes ever since childhood, which made seeing an old photo this year of my friend Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers sitting near Stevie in a recording studio back in the ’70s so amazing.  Man, I would’ve loved to hear Lester and Stevie blow on their harmonicas together!

I’ve heard it, I’ve felt it, and I’ve tried myself to get that “Stevie Wonder innervision.”  It’s possible if you try.

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