THE STORY OF STEVIE WONDER by James Haskins

THE STORY OF STEVIE WONDER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The life of Little Stevie Wonder, the blind boy Motown billed as The Twelve-Year-Old Genius in 1963, is a saga of survival. Stevie, whose real name is Steveland Judkins, came back from several dead spots in his career to shed the soul label in favor of his own, personalized sound. . . and he pulled through a near fatal automobile accident to ""enlighten"" audiences with his new faith in God. Before all this, there was his blindness, a professional as well as personal handicap as TV producers were wary of his ""blindisms"" (head-shaking, etc.) and many assumed them to be the mannerisms of a drug addict. Haskins doesn't try to paint Stevie Wonder as your normal, average guy: his total ""immersion"" in music knows neither night nor day (and accounts for his notorious lateness); he loves being the center of a crowd of hangers-on; he is a practiced (and not always kind) mimic. Even those who know the biographical highlights cold (and who doesn't?) will find that Haskins, while frankly admiring, gets the essence of this original personality down on paper. And the man who accepted his 1975 Grammy Award ""in memory of Elijah Muhammad and Jack Benny"" is too good to pass up.

Pub Date: July 9th, 1976
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard