Before Stevie Wonder was ripping it on the clavichord with “Superstition,” he was just a kid, playing songs for Motown CEO/producer Barry Gordy, with dreams of making it big despite his lack of sight.
Born Stevland Hardaway Judkins, Wonder was found by Gerald White of the band The Miracles, who pestered his brother Ronnie to check out this amazing kid. He had heard Wonder at a friend’s house and finally got Ronnie to see the talented boy perform. Reportedly, Ronnie was so impressed he took Stevland to Gordy who dubbed the boy Little Stevie Wonder because he was “the eighth wonder of the world,” and signed him at age 11.
Wonder would go on to record several albums under the name, until the mid-1960’s when he’d drop the “Little.” Beforehand, he had a few hits, most notably “Fingertips (Pt. 2),” which featured Marvin Gaye playing drums.
Here are some videos/songs from that time in Stevie’s life:
Little Stevie Wonder in a film called Bikini Beach
Square (his first time on vinyl)
Sir Duke (As recorded when he was a child)
Contract on Love