Founding member of The Temptations Paul Williams was born on this date in 1939. He died apparently by his own hand at just 34 years of age. Tunes du Jour honors his memory on today’s playlist with a smattering of the group’s many great tracks.
Learning that Jeff Beck was a fan of his, Stevie Wonder invited the guitarist to the studio to jam with him. Beck played on Stevie’s composition “Lookin’ For Another Pure Love,” recorded for what was to be Wonder’s next album, Talking Book. As a thank you, Wonder wrote a song for Beck to record: “Superstition.” Wonder told Beck he can release his version prior to Wonder’s version, which would appear on Talking Book.
Motown heard Stevie’s recording and knew it would be a hit single. Stevie wanted his song “Big Brother” to be the album’s first single, but he hadn’t finished recording it by the time Motown needed a 45 to release in advance of the full-length record. Stevie begged Motown to not put out a “Superstition” single, as he promised it to Beck, whose album release was delayed. Motown ignored their superstar’s pleas. The label released the single, and scored Stevie a number one single on the US pop and r&b charts.
Beck wasn’t too happy about that turn of events, though the two men eventually sorted things out, playing the song together at The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th-anniversary ceremony.
Stevie Wonder turns 73 today. He is well-represented on today’s playlist.
Today’s playlist celebrates the December 15 birthdays of The Drifters’ Johnny Moore, The Clash’s Paul Simonon, The Supremes’ Cindy Birdsong, HAIM’s Alana Haim, The Pharcyde’s Imani, Dave Clark, Jesse Belvin, George Kranz, and Rammellzee; and the December 16 birthdays of ABBA’s Benny Andersson, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Dismemberment Plan’s Travis Morrison, Zara Larsson, Ying Yang Twins’ Kaine, Flo Rida, Glenda Collins, and Ludwig van Beethoven.
Today’s playlist celebrates the November 26 birthdays of The Supremes’ Jean Terrell, Fleetwood Mac’s John McVie, Tina Turner, Garnet Mimms, DJ Khaled, Hashim, Rhythm Heritage’s Michael Omartian, The Fendermen’s Jim Sundquist, and Tom Archia; and the November 27 birthdays of Jimi Hendrix, The Streets’ Mike Skinner, Das EFX’s Skoob, 100 gecs’ Dylan Brady, Jam & Spoon’s Mark Spoon, Teri DeSario, Dozy, Eddie Rabbitt, and Ed O.G.