In many ways music is the spice of life. Taking inspiration from our recent Soul and Motown Week, our wonderful guest writer Shirley Salzedo explores the roots of soul music and reflects on one of the genre’s most accomplished artists, Stevie Wonder.
Written by Shirley Salzedo
Berry Gordy brought Motown to life when he began his record label career back in 1958. Originally known as Tamla Records, the brand went on to be incorporated with the Motown Record Corporation in 1960, and so came the birth of Motown – a distinct style of soul music with a clear pop influence.
From Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, to Gladys Knight and the Pips and Marvin Gaye – so many great artists were to come out of the ultimate soul decade, arguably none more so than the inspiration behind my latest blog, the legendary Stevie Wonder.
Berry Gordy was responsible for signing ‘Little Stevie Wonder’ when he was just eleven. Born in 1950, an early and complex birth left Stevie without the use of his sight. Despite not having the use of his vision Stevie Wonder is an incredibly accomplished pianist and in many ways has influenced the course of contemporary music as we know and love it today.
I truly do admire Stevie Wonder for what he has been able to achieve despite not having the use of his sight – I too am partially blind and having spent many an afternoon playing his music on the piano I realise the genius of his music. So many of his songs are crafted to convey meaningful and heartfelt messages and that’s what I love – you can’t hear one of his songs without wanting to have a little sing or dance along too!
I feel that when one of our five senses are lost, the other senses somehow enhance themselves to become even stronger and greater than they might usually be.
For me, to love music isn’t just to see it or to hear it but most importantly to feel it and that’s exactly the magic that Stevie Wonder brings to Motown.
If Shirley’s blog has left you in the mood to enjoy some more music, why not have a peek at our selection of music themed weeks? There are lots to choose from so take your pick! You can see all our music breaks here.