See with Your Ears; Listen with Your Imagination

This blog post (#7) is one of two open for comments October 16-19.

-Dr. J.   


 

Life is full of Wonder! Would you imagine yourself playing an instrument without being able to see?  Seems like a hard thing to do right? Well, talent like that was given to a man named Stevland Hardaway Judkins who is now famously known as Stevie Wonder. Wonder was born on May 13, 1950, in Saginaw, Michigan.  He is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who debuted in the 1960’s.  Some of the songs he is famous for are “I Was Made to Love Her”, “My Cherie Amour”, “Superstition”, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and many more songs.  The music producer was born six weeks early with retinopathy of prematurity.  This was a disorder for his ability to see caused by excessive supply of oxygen given in an incubator which led to blindness.  Young Stevie was gifted with the ability to sing for his church choir and taught himself to play the harmonica, piano, and drums; all before the age of 10.

One of the songs that I truly enjoy listening to is “Isn’t She Lovely”.  This song released in 1976 around the time he had a daughter.  Listening to this song, Stevie expresses his love for his newborn child with a poetic charisma.  He states,  “Isn’t she lovely, isn’t she wonderful, isn’t she precious, less than one minute old, I never thought through love we’d be, making one as lovely as she”.  Usually, people see their newborn child and fall in love (I hope) but Wonder’s experience was a lot different.  Although he could not see his daughter, he heard her baby voice, held her and imagined how lovely she may look.  This says a lot about him and how we look at life. He doesn’t let his disability distract him from the glory of life and how life can be. His disability doesn’t define him he wants to act and feel exactly how any person would look at their newborn child.  This says a lot because we take our ability to see for granted sometimes. For example, society makes a model of how people “should” look and we judge them if they do not look the way they are “supposed to”.  Some people just look at each other and think immediately that who that person is without knowing them.  In my opinion, we should listen to others and hear who they really are before we go on to just think someone is who there are by the way they look.

 

For more information about Stevie Wonder here are some links below:

http://www.biography.com/people/stevie-wonder-9536078

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005567/bio

For links to some of the songs I mentioned are here too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0Gu-CyE-NQ (My Cherie Amour)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CFuCYNx-1g (Superstition)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pYux5-d1Es (I Was Made To Love Her)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wZ_b_uUAdQ (You Are The Sunshine of My Life)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVvkjuEAwgU (Isn’t She Lovely)

 

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37 Comments

    1. I think all of his songs can be my favorite song from him! his works are amazing i can’t choose what to be my favorite since they’re all good.

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    2. “AS” is one of the old classics of Steve Brown. This song has so much soul and feelings tht makes you feel alive and gives you the energy to keep going. I love this song.

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  1. “Isn’t she lovely” is my favorite song from Stevie Wonder. He definitely is a legend and is very famous all around the world. At first, when I was young, I didn’t even know he was blind. I thought he just wore shades all the time because well I thought he thought he looked cool. But later came to find out from my mom that he was blind. Not only “Isn’t she lovely” he made a lot more hits that we still hear sometimes on the radio.

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    1. That’s my favorite song too! Honestly I never knew he was blind until one of my friends told me, but I think it’s so amazing that he never gave up even with his disability.

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  2. Does his music play as a soundtrack in old movies? I feel like i’ve heard some of his songs in a movie before.

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  3. It is very funny that I know all the songs that you post.
    My mom is a fan of Steve Wonder, she has his music and videos.
    She is in love with this singer and composer. I grew up listening to his songs and honesty I believe that his songs are beautiful and unique. Brown’s lyrics are purer and it has this has beat and melody that capture peoples’ heart. One thing my mom told me about Steve Brown is that he had a serious car accident, and he permanently lost his sense of smell, and temporarily lose his sense of taste. Even thought, he had this problem he kept going with his career.

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  4. Omg he’s a legend. He makes wonderful music even tho he’s blind. It’s sad how he can’t see his own daughter. It’s hard to make good music with every ability but imagine he made his music without seeing anything. That’s really hard and he don’t what anything looks like and he still makes music about it.

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    1. well maybe he would’ve been a typical singer. I think because he lost his eyesight, he had more hearing power which made him more sensitive to singing the perfect notes. But with all his good music, he definately woud’ve been a legend.

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    2. I think the way he sings and the fact that hes still talked about today shows hes a legend, a disability will never come between something you want and what you can do. If you’re determined anything is possible, the key is to never give up and thats what he did.

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    3. i believe he would have just been a normal singer if he was able to see. Maybe he will be known for one or two songs or more but he won’t be as known as he is til now. From what i think when people hear of stevie wonders name, they think of his great accomplishment of being a singer while having bad eyesight not really his music.

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      1. i agree. i also think that he is an inspiration to everyone no matter what “disability” they have. he shows that some times disabilities and limitations are in our minds. Determination and faith in yourself can be the biggest motivators to achieve what we want to.

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  5. I think it’s amazing how he still makes music even if he’s blind, that doesn’t stop him from doing something he’s passionate about. I love the song “Isn’t she lovely”, the message behind that song is just so beautiful. He’s definitely an insirpiraion to a lot of people out there.

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  6. I have never really listened to Stevie wonder’s song but I found it amazing how he is able to make all these songs and achieve his goal of being a singer even though he is unable to see. He is a great role model for showing people how it’s still possible to achieve something even though others say it’s impossible or out of your reach.

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  7. listening to all these songs makes me think of all the times my grandmother would sing along to the radio either in the car or cooking dinner. My favorite Stevie Wonder Song is Master Blaster (Jammin)

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  8. I know when you lose the use of one of your senses, the other senses ability are increased. Do you think that had Stevie Wonder not been blind, would his talent have developed as they did?

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    1. My question was similar, but I think his talent wouldn’t have been so developed. I believe people with certain disabilities have a lot of time to think, therefore with Stevie wonder actually having his sight he may over look certain expects that allowed him to be successful

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  9. i listen to some of his song so far all is great and have good meanaing behind them but as times goes by i will eventually get to more of them. i like his ssong alot

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  10. I never really listened to Stevie Wonders until now, Ive heard him being mentioned around over the years, but as im listening to one of the songs right now, hes really great. I love the way he sings his songs, the beats behind the voice are very cool, makes you wanna dance and its something different to what i usually listen to. What I like about the songs that he has is that it has more emotion, the realness is beautiful. I think my favorite one is “Isn’t she lovely” the way he describes her thats so cute and maybe the way people view romance was different back then. Nowadays the songs are more about heartbreaks but stevie wonders really puts the emotion in music. He reminds me of Micheal Jackson because they both made wonderful music, different to what music we have today. Stevie’s story is amazing and also shows the determination that he had towards music, how he was blind but still was determined to sing and show the world what great gift he had.

    Based on Stevie Wonders songs, do you think romance was pictured differently then what romance is in todays world?

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  11. It’s ironic that this song was about his daughter, all these years I thought it was a romantic love song. As I listen to ” isn’t she lovely” once more I can feel the wonder in Stevie wonder voice, at this moment he’s not focus on Features. This song reveal strong expression of him being thankful towards his blessings, the blessings he see’s is literically not with his eyes. However it travels beyond concerning his heart, in addition to his disability maybe his child could experience things that he never would witness.

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  12. Steven wonder never let is disability stop him from his gift of creating music and playing instruments at a young age. People with disabilities can look up to him as a role model and follow their dreams to do what they want in life.

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