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  1. #1

    Stevie Wonder voice issues in the late 60s?

    The Wikipedia entry for the “My Cherie Amour” single includes the following: -

    “Wonder's vocals were added on January 15, 1968, but, the song was not released until January 28, 1969, due to Wonder's vocal issues.”

    Now, I’d understood that “My Cherie Amour” was pulled out of the can to provide the B-side for “I Don’t Know Why” aka “Don’t Know Why I Love You”, which was the final single lifted from For Once In My Life.

    I’d also understood that “My Cherie Amour” only became a hit because DJs flipped the single over and started playing the B-side.

    I can certainly say that I only acquired the track by accident when I purchased “Don’t Know Why I Love You” as my very first Tamla Motown single in 1969. It was a bonus for this young record collector when he discovered that he’d acquired two current hits on one piece of vinyl.

    To me, the Wikipedia entry sounds like something written by someone who was too young to “be there” [[and who also loves commas too much ). BUT….. is there a kernel of truth somewhere inside this sentence?

    What I can add is that: -

    1) Its follow-up, “Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday”, was pulled out of an even older can.

    2)
    My understanding is that the My Cherie Amour album is largely an assemblage of old material, also pulled out of the can. This suggests a substantial gap in recording covering a lot of 1969 for Stevie.

    3) When I listen to tracks from Someday At Christmas, our young Stevie sounds very, very husky.

    4) When I listen to tracks from For Once In My Life, Stevie certainly isn’t holding back on range-stretching notes, plus some no-holds-barred screams. Had he kept singing like this, he would probably have destroyed his voice by 1970.


    So, did Stevie have vocal issues, and did he undergo vocal surgery followed by singing lessons?

    Also, did both Stevie and Motown get extremely lucky in 1969, finding themselves with two smash hits that only found their way into the light because Stevie was being forced to rest his vocal chords?

    Is anyone able to clarify this?

  2. #2
    I do vaguely recall reading that Stevie had nodules on his cords or something similar back in the late 60s, and they had to be removed.

    As to whether Stevie has taken vocal lessons, he did endorse vocal coach Seth Riggs and say how his methods helped his vocals but that endorsement was in the 90s, I believe. Not sure when he actually took the lessons.
    Last edited by reese; 03-15-2021 at 08:50 AM.

  3. #3
    Many thanks.

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