Tuesday Temptations: Stevie Wonder “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing”
By: Bari Finkel
The holiday season is quickly approaching. The turkey must be ordered, the party invitations sent, and the wish list letters must be written. Atop school or work, you have a short amount of time to budget your holiday fund, figure out when the heck you are going to put up those pesky lights, and to think, it is only Tuesday. Do you feel the pressure building? If so, don’t you worry bout a thing, because Tuesday Temptations: Your Weekly Dose of Motown and Soul is here to provide you another stress reliever. Sit down, get comfortable, and let the brilliance of Mr. Stevie Wonder take you away.
The piano jumps, the drums initiate triumphantly, and two yelps from Stevie pour out from the beginning measure of “Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing.” Unlike most other songs in Motown, the verse does not start until after Stevie Wonder rambles in a “skit,” explaining his fluency in Spanish. These “skits” are used throughout Wonder’s 1973 album Innervisions, both in “Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing” and also “Livin’ For the City.” Stevie continues stretching the Motown sound by not only adding a skit, but by adding a Spanish flair to “Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing.” The horn section blares higher and the percussion section shifts from a typical drum set to the use of bongos. This song truly takes your mind off of any problems that may ensue because Stevie has the power to really make you not worry about anything but his music.
Two years ago I had the privilege to go see Stevie Wonder at Taste of Chicago with two friends and my parents. The hot summer sun was beating down on the most claustrophobic situation I had ever been in as people were shouting at each other and threatening to start fights. Then Stevie took to the stage, and everyone stopped. There was silence, until from fairly close I heard a woman shout “Everybody, let’s keep the peace, it’s Stevie Wonder!” and people began to cheer. Stevie Wonder’s performance was so moving, so beautiful, that it is the only concert to have ever brought me to tears. This was only two years ago, and the video from Youtube is just from last year. Stevie Wonder, and with him the Motown sound, has not lost its touch. Though “Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing “was released in 1973, it is still known by and captivating to people of all ages today. A gift of soulful music, whether it is on vinyl, cd, or even a mix, is still guaranteed to make the recipient smile. So don’t you worry about this holiday season too much, because for the next few weeks I will be displaying the soul artists of today as well as some great Motown Christmas music. Until next week, stay soulful!
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