Label : Tamla (Music Box greek press)
This was the first live recording to hit #1 in the US, and it has quite a story behind it. Stevie Wonder, just 12 years old, was part of a Motown package tour called "The Motortown Revue," and was thrilling crowds with his high-energy performances. On March 10, 1963, the Revue came to the Regal Theatre in Chicago, where Wonder's performance was recorded. On this night, he played a highly improvised version of his song "Fingertips," which went on for about 10 minutes as the crowd went absolutely nuts and the stage manager, concerned because the show was running late, tried to get him off so the next act could perform. Wonder fed off the crowd and kept going, even doing a little bit of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on his harmonica. When Wonder ends the song (about 2:05 in), the band starts to clear the stage, and the band for the next act, The Marvelettes, hustles on. At this point, Wonder starts playing again, at which point you can hear the Marvelettes bass player Joe Swift ask "What key?" and the performance picks up again with a little encore played by at least some members of the new band.
An instrumental studio version of "Fingertips" was included on Wonder's first album, The Jazz Soul Of Little Stevie, in September, 1962. The song was written by the Motown writers Hank Cosby and Clarence Paul. This version of the song is much more mellow, jazzier and flute-heavy than the famous live version, which plays up the horns and harmonica.
Little Stevie Wonder - Fingertips, Pt.1
By Electric Looser