Years ago I performed for an awards show (I forget the name of it now) but the best part of it was that I got the chance to perform a tribute to my musical idol, Stevie Wonder. For this event, we had to perform a medley of Stevie’s tunes, and they were all sung by a great vocalist, Brian McKnight. Brian was real cool to work with, and we “all” enjoyed performing Stevie’s songs. At rehearsal (which was the only time we had to work with Brian and do sound check) the atmosphere was great. As far as I was concerned I was about to meet my musical hero. When it came time for the actual event that night, Stevie was indeed there, bobbing his head from side to side in the audience. He was digging us and we were “killing it” onstage. Unfortunately, Brian was trying to get Stevie to come up and sing the finale, which was his great tune “I wish.” When Brian brought Stevie out of the audience onstage, Stevie elected not to sing, but rather to talk and thank everyone for the great honor. He then played a track of one of his new songs and sang that. I can’t remember the song title exactly, but I do know that it had the word “Robins” in it. Later on Stevie said that he loved the band and he would love to “steal us.” I don’t think any of us would have had any problem with “that.” After the event was over, Stevie and an awesome singing group, “Take 6” sang without music and without a PA system in another room together. The harmonies were “incredible.” While unfortunately I cannot say that I had the pleasure to play for Stevie, I can say that I have met him and shared the same stage with him. He is a very down to earth man, and if you ask him any kind of philosophical question you had better be prepared to stay for a while. When Stevie gives an answer to anything, he will give you his “full” answer, no matter how much time it may take (smile). I also “came close” to playing for Stevie when I performed for the funeral of Teddy Pendergrass. Stevie was supposed to catch a “red eye” flight from California to perform at the service that morning but he missed the flight. Maybe one day I will get one more opportunity to perform with him. I know just about “all of his music” and to me he is the greatest musical genius of all time. I don’t say that lightly. I will close by saying that it was an honor just to be in his presence. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Stevie Wonder and Brett Jolly