Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

I am currently reading Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett. It takes place in The small country of Borogravia, which is at war over a border dispute with neighbouring country Zlobenia, and matters are made worse when they destroy a number of communication towers belonging to Ankh Morpork which are banned because they offend their deity Nuggan. Such petty and bizarre abominations are updated frequently and often cause conflict between Borogravia and it’s neighbours.

Amidst the conflict Bar Maid Polly Perks leaves her job at The Duchess Pub, and secretly goes to war disguised as a male soldier, named Private Oliver Perks, in order to find her missing brother Paul, who joined the Borogravian army. (Which is not allowed Since women who dress up as men are considered an Abomination unto Nuggan). While signing up, Polly encounters the repulsively patriotic Corporal Strappi, the corpulent Sergeant Jackrum, Lieutenant Blouse, The Vampire Maladict, who is addicted to Coffee, the troll Carborundum, who can’t handle his drink and man of many parts, Igor. The regiment also includes Tonker” Halter, “Shufti” Manickle, “Wazzer” Goom, and “Lofty” Tewt.

Gradually as they make their way towards The Keep, where the enemy is based, they discover that the war is going badly. however an unwitting encounter with Zlobenia’s Prince Heinrich sees the Regiments exploits becoming known to the outside world through William de Worde and his newspaper. Their progress particularly piques the interest of Commander Vimes. Meanwhile Polly makes a startling discovery of her own regarding the other recruits and learns that none of the people in the Regiment are quite what they seem and Once they reach the Keep they come up with an audacious plan to infiltrate the Keep, and release the Borogravian soldiers…

Brian Eno

Innovative English musician, composer, record producer, singer, and visual artist, Brian Eno was born 15 May 1948. He was a student of Roy Ascott on his Groundcourse at Ipswich Civic College. He then studied at Colchester Institute art school in Essex, England, taking inspiration from minimalist painting. During his time on the art course at the Institute, he also gained experience in playing and making music through teaching sessions held in the adjacent music school. He joined the glam rock band Roxy Music as synthesiser player in the early 1970s however Eno soon became tired of touring and of conflicts with lead singer Bryan Ferry and went solo.

Eno’s solo music has explored more experimental musical styles and ambient music. It has also been immensely influential, pioneering ambient and generative music, innovating production techniques, and emphasising “theory over practice”. He also introduced the concept of chance music to popular audiences, partially through collaborations with other musicians.  Eno has also worked as an influential music and album producer. By the end of the 1970s, Eno had worked with Robert Fripp on the LPs No Pussyfooting and Evening Star, David Bowie on the seminal “Berlin Trilogy” and helped popularise the American band Devo and the punk-influenced “No Wave” genre. He produced and performed on three albums by Talking Heads, including Remain in Light (1980), and produced seven albums for U2, including The Joshua Tree (1987). Eno has also worked on records by James, Laurie Anderson, Coldplay, Paul Simon, Grace Jones, James Blake and Slowdive, and Underworld among others.

Eno pursues multimedia ventures in parallel to his music career, including art installations, a regular column on society and innovation in Prospect magazine, and “Oblique Strategies” (written with Peter Schmidt), a deck of cards in which cryptic remarks or random insights are intended to resolve dilemmas. Eno continues to collaborate with other musicians, produce records, release his own music, and write.

L. Frank. Baum (Wizard of Oz)

ozBest known for writing “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, the American author Lyman “L.” Frank Baum was born on May 15, in 1856 in Chittenango, New York, in 1856, and grew up on his parents’ expansive estate, Rose Lawn. As a young child, he was tutored at home with his siblings, but at the age of 12, he was sent to study at Peekskill Military Academy, and after two utterly miserable years he was allowed to return home. Baum started writing at an early age and His father bought him a cheap printing press; which, with the help of his younger brother Henry (Harry) Clay Baum, he used to produce The Rose Lawn Home Journal. The brothers published several issues of the journal, Baum also established a second amateur journal, The Stamp Collector, he also printed “Baum’s Complete Stamp Dealers” Directory, and started a stamp dealership with friends. At the age of 20, Baum started breeding fancy poultry, and specialized in raising a particular breed of fowl, the Hamburg. In March 1880 he established a monthly trade journal, The Poultry Record, and in 1886, he published his first book: The Book of the Hamburgs: A Brief Treatise upon the Mating, Rearing, and Management of the Different Varieties of Hamburgs. Baum, then became interested in theatre, performing under the stage names of Louis F. Baum and George Brooks. In 1880, his father built him a theatre in Richburg, New York, and he set about writing plays and gathering a company to act in them. The Maid of Arran, a melodrama with songs based on William Black’s novel A Princess of Thule, proved a modest success. Baum not only wrote the play but composed songs for it and also acted in the leading role. His aunt was also the founder of Syracuse Oratory School, and Baum advertised his services in her catalog to teach theatre, including stage business, playwriting, directing, and translating, revision, and operettas.On November 9, 1882, Baum married Maud Gage, and in July 1888 they moved to Aberdeen, Dakota, where he opened a store, “Baum’s Bazaar” and later editing a local newspaper, The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, where he wrote a column, “Our Landlady”. Baum’s description of Kansas in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is based on his experiences in drought-ridden South Dakota. After Baum’s newspaper failed in 1891, he, Maud and their four sons moved to Humboldt Park, Chicago, where Baum took a job reporting for the Evening Post. In 1897 he wrote and published Mother Goose in Prose, a collection of Mother Goose rhymes written as prose stories, which was illustrated by Maxfield Parrish. Then In 1899 Baum partnered with illustrator W. W. Denslow, to publish Father Goose, which was a collection of nonsense poetry, which became the best-selling children’s book of the year.In 1900, Baum and Denslow published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to much critical acclaim and financial success, and this became the best-selling children’s book for two years after its initial publication. Baum went on to write thirteen more novels based on the places and people of the Land of Oz.Two years after Wizard’s publication, Baum and Denslow teamed up with composer Paul Tietjens and director Julian Mitchell to produce a musical stage version of the book under Fred R. Hamlin, which, opened in Chicago in 1902, then ran on Broadway for 293 stage nights from January to October 1903. It returned to Broadway in 1904, where it played from March to May and again from November to December. It successfully toured the United States with much of the same cast, until 1911, it differed considerably from the book, and was aimed primarily at adults.Baum then wrote a sequel, The Woggle-Bug,however the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman were omitted from this adaptation. He later worked on a musical version of Ozma of Oz, which eventually became The Tik-Tok Man Of Oz. This did fairly well in Los Angeles, and also began a stage version of The Patchwork Girl of Oz. Baum also wrote several plays for various celebrations. and In 1914, after moving to Hollywood, Baum started his own film production company, The Oz Film Manufacturing Company. Many times during the development of the Oz series, Baum declared that he had written his last Oz book and devoted himself to other works of fantasy fiction based in other magical lands, However, persuaded by popular demand, letters from children, and the failure of his new books, he returned to the series each time. Sadly though on May 6th 1919 L Frank Baum passed away after having a stroke, nine days short of his 63rd birthday. He was buried in Glendale’s Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery. His final Oz book, Glinda of Oz, was published on July 10, 1920, a year after his death. The Oz series was continued long after his death by other authors, notably Ruth Plumly Thompson, who wrote an additional nineteen Oz books. His other works also remained popular after his death, with The Master Key appearing on St. Nicholas Magazine’s survey of readers’ favorite books well into the 1920s. His novels also predicted such century-later commonplaces as television, laptop computers (The Master Key), wireless telephones (Tik-Tok of Oz), women in high risk, action-heavy occupations (Mary Louise in the Country), and the ubiquity of advertising on clothing (Aunt Jane’s Nieces at Work), and the Wonderful Wizard of Oz series of books remains popular to this day.

Frank Hornby (Hornby & Meccano)

Visionary toy manufacturer English inventor, businessman and politician Frank Hornby was born 15 May 1863. although he had no formal engineering training, he was responsible for the invention and production of three of the most popular lines of toys based on engineering principles in the twentieth cntury: Meccano, Hornby Model Railways and Dinky Toys. He also founded the British toy company Meccano Ltd in 1908.At the age of sixteen, Hornby left school and started working as a cashier in his father’s business. On 15 January 1887 he married a schoolteacher Clara Walker Godefroy, the daughter of acustoms officer and they had two sons, Roland and Douglas, and a daughter, Patricia. When his father died in 1899, his father’s business was closed and Hornby became abook keeper in Liverpool.After experimenting with new ideas in his home workshop, Hornby began making toys for his sons in 1899 with pieces he cut from sheet metal. He built models of bridges, trucks and cranes, although the pieces they were made from were not interchangeable. The breakthrough came when Hornby realised that if he could make separate, interchangeable parts that could be bolted together, any model could be built from the same components. The key inventive step was the realisation that regular perforations in the structural pieces could be used, not only to join them together with nuts and bolts, but be used as a bearing for – axles and shafts. This made the construction of complex mechanisms relatively simple. He started making metal strips by hand from copper sheets. The strips were half an inch wide with holes for bolts spaced at half inch intervals these became known as Meccano.

Hornby patented his invention in January 1901 as “Improvements in Toy or Educational Devices for Children and Young People”. Hornby began looking for companies to manufacture his product, but it was poorly finished. Fortunately, his employer saw potential in what Hornby was doing and offered him some vacant premises next to the office where he worked to pursue his ideas. With this move, Elliot and Hornby became partners.Hornby now called his construction oy “Mechanics Made Easy” and after receiving a positive endorsement from professor Henry Selby Hele-Shaw, then Head of the Engineering Department at Liverpool University, Hornby secured contracts with outside manufacturers to supply the parts for his construction sets. With the financial assistance of his partner, “Mechanics Made Easy” sets went on sale in 1902. Each set had only 16 different parts with a leaflet detailing the construction of 12 models. In 1903, 1,500 sets were sold, and new parts were continually being introduced until in 1904, six sets, packed in tin boxes with instruction manuals in French and English, became available. In 1905 two new sets were introduced and By 1907 Hornby’s part suppliers could not meet the demand. So Hornby quit his job with Elliot and secured a three year lease on a workshop in Duke Street, Liverpool, and they were manufacturing their own parts by June 1907.

In September 1907, Hornby registered his famous “Meccano” trade mark and used this name on all new sets. This led to the formation of Meccano Ltd on 30 May 1908. and in 1910 the famous “MECCANO” logo was commissioned. Meccano was exported to many countries and in 1912, Hornby and his son, Roland, formed Meccano (France) Ltd in Paris to manufacture Meccano. An office was also opened in Berlin, Germany and Märklin began to manufacture Meccano under licence. Hornby also started importing clockwork motors from Märklin.In order to keep pace with demand, a new factory was built in Binns Road, Liverpool. By September 1914 the Binns Road Factory was in full production and became the company headquarters for over 60 yeIn addition to Meccano, Hornby developed and manufactured a number of other model kits and toys, including:1909 – “Hornby System of Mechanical Demonstration”, an educational set.1927 – Clockwork lithographed tinplate O scale trains.1934 – Dinky Toys, die-cast miniature model cars and trucks.1938 – Hornby Dublo model railway system (introduced after Hornby’s death).n 1916, Hornby launched a monthly publication, Meccano Magazine, which remained in circulation for over sixty years, and in 1930 he formed the Meccano Guild, an amalgamation of Meccano clubs from all over the world. In 1931 he entered politics when he was elected as a Conservative MP for the Everton constituency. He left the running of the company to his co-Directors and staff. But he did not stay in politics long – he resigned his parliamentary seat before the 1935 General Election.Hornby died of a chronic heart condition complicated by diabetes in Maghull, near Liverpool, on 21 September 1936. He is buried in the grounds of St Andrews Church, Maghull. His eldefr son Roland took over as Chairman of Meccano Ltd.Hornby’s legacy lives on today with thousands of enthusiasts all over the world still building Meccano models, running Hornby Train sets and collecting Dinky Toys. In his homeplace of Maghull there is a local pub named after him ‘The Frank Hornby’.

Hornby Railways is a British model railway brand. Its roots date back to 1901, when founder Frank Hornby received a patent for his Meccano construction toy. The first clockwork train was produced in 1920. In 1938, Hornby launched its first 00 gauge train. In 1964, Hornby and Meccano were bought by their competitor Tri-Ang,[1] and sold on when Tri-ang went into receivership. In the 1980s Hornby Railways became independent.Hornby was at first a tradename for the railway productions of Meccano Ltd and based inLiverpool, which released its first train, a clockwork 0 gauge (1:48) model, in 1920. An electric train soon followed but was under-designed and the few that were made were sold out in France. In 1925, a much more successful electric model was introduced, operating on the high voltage of 110 volts AC power. Safety concerns saw low voltage 4V and then 6V motors introduced, followed by a reliable 20V AC system, which was developed in the early 1930s. However, clockwork remained the mainstay of the Hornby 0 gauge trains until 1937 and became the only power available in Liverpool-made 0 gauge trains from 1949. Competitors in the UK were Leeds Model Company and Bassett-LowkeA factory was established in France, which developed its own range of French outline trains, but Liverpool dominated export activity elsewhere, with large numbers of Hornby trains exported to Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Scandinavia.

Even though the export models were often painted in ‘foreign’ liveries, Hornby trains looked very British. Hornby attempted to break into the American market by setting up a factory in 1927 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to make American-style trains. These were colourful and attractive, but low market and only clockwork. They probably would have failed in the marketplace because several established U.S. firms could undercut them and Hornby offered no better-class goods or electric models, but the Wall Street Crash precipitated matters. In late 1929, Meccano Ltd. sold its New Jersey factory to the A. C. Gilbert Company and Hornby trains had vanished from the U.S. market by 1930. The leftover inventory was sold in Canada and in the UK and some of the tooling was reused for products in other markets.In 1964, Lines Bros Ltd., the parent company of rival Tri-ang Railways, purchased Meccano Ltd., and merged Hornby and Tri-ang into Tri-ang Hornby.[1] The former Hornby line was discontinued in favour of Tri-ang’s less costly plastic designs. The Hornby Dublo tooling was sold to G & R Wrenn, which continued to make most of the loco range and ‘superdetail’ rolling stock. Remaining stocks of 0 gauge were either scrapped or sold to the local retailer Hattons and the Tri-ang group was disbanded in 1971 when Meccano Ltd’s owner Lines Bros. filed for bankruptcy Meccano took over The former Tri-ang, becomingHornby Railways in 1972.

By 1976 Hornby was facing challenges from Palitoy and Airfix, both of which were producing high quality detailed models. Detail on the models was upgraded to make the product line more attractive to adult hobbyists.A 16 channel command control system named Zero 1 was introduced in late 1979 and Advertisements claimed that 16 locomotives could be operated independently at the same time although it was expensive, with clean track and well serviced locos the system worked well The system is still used today by many modellers, highlighted by the demand on such sites like eBay for the items in the second hand market.In the 1970s Hornby released steam-powered 3½” gauge locomotive, a model of the Rocket A Hornby model of a BR standard class 9f and in 2006 a Cotswold Rail Class 43 HST power car waas introduced carrying a livery advertising Hornby which has since been repainted.In 1980 Hornby became Hornby Hobbies. By the early 1990s Hornby again faced competition from newcomers like Dapol and established foreign manufacturers, including Lima and Bachmann Industries. Train sets based onThomas the Tank Engine and Friends and Harry Potter (the “Hogwarts Express”) have also been particularly profitable ventures. In September 2003 Hornby released its first steam-powered 00 gauge locomotive, a model of the record-breaking Mallard. Several other “Live Steam” locomotives have also now been produced.Since then Hornby has bought Lima, an Italian model railway equipment manufacturer that had previously acquired Jouef, a French manufacturer. Some of the ex-Lima models appear in the main Hornby products list. This range is known as Hornby International. As of 2008 Hornby Railways ) produce a large range of highly detailed British steam and diesel locomotives, such as the BR 9F, LNER Class A4, SR Merchant Navy,Class 60, Class 50, Class 31 and Class 08.In November 2006, Hornby Hobbies acquired Airfix and Humbrol paints July 2010 also saw the opening of the Hornby Shop And Visitor Centre, and Hornby and Meccano continue to be successful

A long time ago in a galaxy far away….

originalAmerican Film Producer, Director, Screenwriter and entrepreneur George Lucas was born May 14th 1944 in Modesto California. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones and is one of the American film industry’s most financially successful directors/producers.Lucas grew up in Modesto and his early passion for cars and motor racing would eventually serve as inspiration for his USC student film 1:42.08, as well as his Oscar-nominated low-budget phenomenon, American Graffiti. Lucas originally wanted to be a race-car driver. However, a near-fatal accident on June 12, 1962, changed his mind and he attended Modesto Junior College instead and got accepted into a junior college where he developed a passion for cinematography and camera tricks.

After Graduating from USC in California he met an experimental filmmaker who toured local coffee houses and screened the work of underground, avant-garde 16 mm filmmakers. Lucas regularly went to San Francisco to hang out in jazz clubs and find news of these screenings. Already a promising photographer, Lucas became infatuated with these abstract films and transferred to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. where he became very good friends with fellow acclaimed student filmmaker and future Indiana Jones collaborator, Steven Spielberg. Lucas was also deeply influenced by the Filmic Expression course taught at the school & saw many great films, which inspired him to make many 16 mm nonstory noncharacter visual tone poems and cinéma vérité concentrating on camerawork and editing, defining himself as a filmmaker as opposed to being a director.

After graduating with a bachelor of fine arts in film, Lucas re-enrolled as a USC graduate student in film production. and directed the short film Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which won first prize at the 1967–68 National Student Film Festival, and was later adapted into his first full-length feature film, THX 1138. Lucas was also awarded a student scholarship by Warner Brothers.Aside from the nine short films he made in the 1960s, he also directed six major features. His work from 1971 and 1977 as a writer-director, which established him as a major figure in Hollywood, and consists of just three films: THX 1138, American Graffiti, and Star Wars. Lucas acted as a writer and executive producer on another successful Hollywood film franchise, the Indiana Jones series.In addition, he established his own effects company, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), to make the original Star Wars film. Lucas also co-founded the studio American Zoetrope with Francis Ford Coppola—whom he met at Warner Brothers, and then created his own company, Lucasfilm, Ltd. His new-found wealth and reputation enabled him to develop a story set in space – Star Wars, which quickly became the highest-grossing film of all-time, displaced five years later by Spielberg’s E.T.the Extra-Terrestrial. Due to the overwhelming success of Star Wars George was able to finance the sequel “Empire Strikes Back” himself.Since Star Wars, Lucas has worked extensively as a writer and/or producer, on the many Star Wars spinoffs made for film, TV, and other media, and was also executive producer for the next two Star Wars films as well as as executive producer and story writer on all four of the Indiana Jones films.

For the 20th anniversary of Star Wars, Lucas was able to enhance the trilogy and add certain scenes using newly available digital technology, which were released as the Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition. In 1994, Lucas began work on the prequel Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which was released in 1999, beginning a new trilogy of Star Wars films. Lucas also directed Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. In 2008, he also reteamed with Spielberg for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullThe American Film Institute awarded Lucas its Life Achievement Award on June 9, 2005, shortly after the releaseof Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and On June 5, 2005, Lucas was named among the 100 “Greatest Americans” by the Discovery Channel,and was also nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Directing and Writing for American Graffiti, and Best Directing and Writing for Star Wars. He received the Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg Award in 1991. He appeared at the 79th Academy Awards ceremony in 2007 with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola to present the Best Director award to their friend Martin Scorsese.On June 17, 2006, the Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted George Lucas and three others andOn August 25, 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver announced that Lucas would be one of 13 California Hall of Fame inductees in The California Museum’s yearlong exhibit. Then On September 6, 2009, Lucas, along with the the Pixar team was presented with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2009 Biennale Venice Film Festival.

Ian Astbury (The Cult)

English Rock Musician Ian Astbury, and lead vocalist for the rock band The Cult, was (born 14 May 1962, Heswall, Merseyside.The Cult are a Post Modern Rock band formed by Billy Duffy and Ian Astbury After the initial punk rock movement (led by the Sex Pistols) died out, They met while Duffy was guitarist for the Theatre of Hate while Ian Astbury fronted gothic rock band Southern Death Cult. Astbury was impressed with Duffy’s playing and abandoned Southern Death Cult to start a new band with him.Together, they exploited the Southern Death Cult’s success by calling themselves Death Cult. After initial fanfare and a couple of singles, Duffy convinced Astbury to shorten the band’s name to The Cult in 1984.

The Cult’s debut single “Spiritwalker”,and Their first album, Dreamtime was released in 1984, and Duffy began establishing a distinctive sound and helped change the bands sound for the release of the next album Love in 1985, which included singles such as “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Rain”, which introduced them to an international audience. For their third album,Electric, The Cult dropped their post-punk sound in favour of metal-blues , with the help of producer and AC/DC fan Rick Rubin.who gave both Duffy and The Cult a new musical direction and facillitated a polish on this new sound and produced the record which includes the songs “Fire Woman” “Li’l Devil” “Love Removal Machine“& “Wild Flower.

In 1988 the two writing partners (with longtime bassist Jamie Stewart) turned to stadium rock and recorded Sonic Temple, which appealed to a larger, mainstream audience. their next album, Ceremony, was released during the grunge age. Following the ‘Ceremonial Stomp’ tour of 1992, Astbury and Duffy returned to their roots, with The Cult’s The Cult album. This led to Astbury’s departure from Duffy and The Cult in 1995. However Duffy reformed The Cult with Astbury in 1999, which led to a new recording contract with Atlantic Records, and the album Beyond Good and Evil was released. Sadly this did not do very well and the band split, reforming again In 2006, to perform a series of worldwide tours. In October 2007, the band released the album Born into This. In July 2009, Astbury announced that The Cult would not record or produce any more studio albums, focusing on LPs and Digital Releases instead for new material, and Their latest album, Choice of Weapon, was released on 22 May 2012

Stevie Wonder

imageLegendary American Musician, singer songwriter, recorded producer and multi instrumentalist Stevie Wonder (Stevland Hardaway Morris was born May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan. He was born six weeks premature, which, caused retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a condition in which the growth of the eyes is aborted and causes the retinas to detach; and became blind. When Stevie Wonder was four, his mother left his father and moved to Detroit with her children. Wonder began playing instruments at an early age, including piano, harmonica, drums and bass. He formed a singing partnership with a friend; calling themselves Stevie and John, they played on street corners, and occasionally at parties and dances. child prodigy, he has become one of the most creative and loved musical performers of the late 20th century.

Wonder signed with Motown’s Tamla label at the age of eleven In 1961, and sang his own composition, “Lonely Boy”, to Ronnie White of the Miracles; White then took Wonder and his mother to an audition at Motown, where CEO Berry Gordy signed Wonder to Motown’s Tamla label. Before signing, producer Clarence Paul gave him the name Little Stevie Wonder.Because of Wonder’s age, the label drew up a rolling five-year contract in which royalties would be held in trust until Wonder was 21; until that time, Wonder and his mother would be paid a weekly stipend to cover their expenses – Wonder received $2.50 a week, and a private tutor was provided for when Wonder was on tour. Some of Wonder’s classic songs are”Superstition”, “Sir Duke”, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You”; and albums such as Talking Book, Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. He has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and received twenty-two Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist, and has sold over 100 million albums and singles, making him one of the top 60 best-selling music artists. Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart’s 50th anniversary, with Wonder at number five.

Wonder worked with producer and song-writer Clarence Paul, on two albums; Tribute to Uncle Ray, which was mainly covers of Ray Charles’s songs, it included a Wonder and Paul composition, “Sunset”; The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie was recorded next, consisting of Paul’s compositions, however Wonder co wrote “Wondering” and “Session Number 112”,the song “Mother Thank You”, was recorded but replaced by the Berry Gordy song “I Call It Pretty Music. Wonder’s debut single  But the Old People Call It the Blues” was released summer 1962 followed by, “Little Water Boy”, in 1962, he joined the Motortown Revue,  and his performance at the Regal Theater, Chicago was recorded and released as the album Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius. A single, “Fingertips”, was also released and became a major hit on the Billboard Hot 100. During 1964, Wonder appeared in two films Muscle Beach Party and Bikini Beach. Sylvia Moy and Wonder collaborated to create the hit “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)”, and Wonder also released “With a Child’s Heart”, and “Blowin’ in the Wind”,

He began writing for the motown songwriting department, writing “Tears of a Clown”, a number one hit for Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and had several hits including “I Was Made to Love Her”; “For Once in My Life” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours”. In September 1970, at the age of 20, Wonder married Syreeta Wright. They worked together on the next album, Where I’m Coming From; Which was released at around the same time as Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. In 1970, Wonder co-wrote, and played numerous instruments on the hit “It’s a Shame” for fellow Motown act the Spinners. Wonder then independently recorded two albums and signed a contract with Motown Records. In March 1972 Wonder released the album Music of My Mind. His next album talking Book, Featured the No. 1 hits “Superstition” and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” which also won three Grammy Awards. Wonder also began touring with the Rolling Stones to alleviate the negative effects from pigeonholing as a result of being an R&B artist in America. The next album. Innervisions, was released in 1973, featured “Higher Ground”,”Living for the City”,”Golden Lady” and “All in Love Is Fair”. Innervisions won three more Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. The album is ranked No. 23 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. On August 6, 1973, Wonder was in a serious automobile accident while on tour in North Carolina, leaving him in a coma for four days and resulted in a partial loss of his sense of smell and a temporary loss of sense of taste. Despite the setback, Wonder re-appeared in concert at Madison Square Garden in March 1974, followed by the album First Finale in July 1974 containing the hits You Haven’t Done Nothin'” and “Boogie On Reggae Woman”. first Finale won three Grammy’s including The Album of the Year.The same year Wonder took part in a Los Angeles jam session ” A Toot and a Snore” in 1975, Wonder performed at the historic “Wonder Dream Concert” in Kingston, Jamaica, a benefit for the Jamaican Institute for the Blind. By 1975, in his 25th year, Wonder had won two consecutive Grammy Awards: in 1974 for Innervisions and in 1975 for Fulfillingness’ First Finale. In 1975, he played harmonica on two tracks on Billy Preston’s album It’s My Pleasure.

Wonder’s next release was The double album-with-extra-EP Songs in the Key of Life, which was released in September 1976 and is regarded by many as Wonder’s crowning achievement and one of the most recognizable and accomplished albums in pop music history. It contained the hits “I Wish”, “Sir Duke”,”Isn’t She Lovely?” Which was written about his newborn daughter Aisha, “Love’s in Need of Love Today” and “Village Ghetto Land” Songs in the Key of Life won Album of the Year and two other Grammys, The album ranks 56th on Rolling Stone′s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

In 1979 he released the instrumental soundtrack album Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through “The Secret Life of Plants” was composed using an early music sampler, a Computer Music Melodian. Wonder also wrote and produced the dance hit “Let’s Get Serious”, performed by Jermaine Jackson and (ranked by Billboard as the No. 1 R&B single of 1980). Hotter than July (1980) became Wonder’s first platinum-selling single album, it contained the singles “Happy Birthday”,”Master Blaster (Jammin’)”, “I Ain’t Gonna Stand for It”, and “Lately”.In 1982, Wonder released a retrospective of his 1970s work with Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium, which included four new songs: the ten-minute funk classic “Do I Do” (which featured Dizzy Gillespie), “That Girl”, “Front Line”, and “Ribbon in the Sky”, he also collaborated with Paul McCartney in their paean to racial harmony, “Ebony and Ivory”.

In 1983, Wonder performed the song “Stay Gold”, the theme to Francis Ford Copolla’s film The Outsiders and also preformed the soundtrack album for The Woman in Red. Containing the single, “I Just Called to Say I Love You”, which became a huge hit and went on to win an Academy award for best song in 1985. The album also featured a guest appearance by Dionne Warwick, singing the duet “It’s You”. The 1986 Albume InSquare Circle featured “Part-Time Lover”. “Go Home” and “Overjoyed”, he was also featured in Chaka Khan’s cover of Prince’s “I Feel For You”, alongside Melle Mel, playing his signature harmonica, he also played harmonica on Eurythmics’ single, “There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)” and Elton John’s “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues”.Wonder featured on the all-star charity single for African Famine Relief, “We Are the World”, and he was part of another charity single the following year (1986), the AIDS-inspired “That’s What Friends Are For”. He played harmonica on the album Dreamland Express by John Denver in the song “If Ever”. He also wrote the track “I Do Love You” for the Beach Boys’ 1985 self-titled album; and played harmonica on “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man” on The Broadway Album by Barbra Streisand.

In 1987, Wonder sang the duet”Just Good Friends” on Michael Jackson’s Bad album. Michael Jackson also sang a duet with him entitled “Get It” on Wonder’s 1987 album Characters. After 1987’s Characters album, Wonder recorded a soundtrack album for Spike Lee’s film Jungle Fever in 1991 which included the songs “Gotta Have You” and “These Three Words” and “Feeding Off The Love of the Land”, A piano and vocal version of “Feeding Off The Love of the Land” was also released on the Nobody’s Child: Romanian Angel Appeal compilation. The albums Conversation Peace and the live album Natural Wonder were released in the 1990s.Among his other activities he played harmonica on one track for the 1994 tribute album KISS My Ass: Classic KISS Regrooved; sang at the 1996 Summer Olympics closing ceremony; collaborated in 1997 with Babyface on “How Come, How Long”, a song about domestic violence that was nominated for a Grammy award and played harmonica on Sting’s 1999 “Brand New Day”.In December 1999, Wonder announced that he was interested in pursuing an intraocular retinal prosthesis to partially restore his sight. Wonder continues to record and perform and released one album of new material, 2005’s A Time to Love. He appeared at the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Paralympics in Salt Lake City,the 2005 Live 8 concert in Philadelphia,the pre-game show for Super Bowl XL in 2006, the Obama Inaugural Celebration in 2009, and the opening ceremony of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece. He sang at the Michael Jackson memorial service in 2009, at Etta James’ funeral, in 2012, and a month later at Whitney Houston’s memorial service.

Wonder’s first new album in ten years, A Time to Love, was released in October 2005 containing the single, “So What the Fuss”, From the Bottom of My Heart” and a duet with India.Arie on the title track “A Time to Love”. By June 2008, Wonder was working on a new albums called The Gospel Inspired By Lula, which will deal with the various spiritual and cultural crises facing the world, and Through The Eyes Of Wonder, an album he has described as a performance piece that will reflect his experience as a blind man. Wonder was also keeping the door open for a collaboration with Tony Bennett and Quincy Jones concerning a rumored jazz album. Wonder also collaborated with Bennett, on”For Once in My Life” which earned them a Grammy for best pop collaboration with vocals in 2006.Wonder’s harmonica playing can be heard on the 2009 Grammy-nominated “Never Give You Up”, featuring CJ Hilton and Raphael Saadiq. In October 2013, Wonder revealed that he had been recording new material for two albums, When the World Began and Ten Billion Hearts, in collaboration with producer David Foster, the albums to be released in 2014

Wonder did a 13-date tour of North America in 2007, starting in San Diego on August 23; this was his first U.S. tour in over ten years.[66] On September 8, 2008, Wonder started the European leg of his Wonder Summer’s Night Tour, the first time he had toured Europe in over a decade. His opening show was at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham. During the tour, Wonder played eight UK gigs; four at the O2 Arena in London, two in Birmingham and two at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester. Wonder’s other stops in the tour’s European leg also found him performing in the Netherlands (Rotterdam), Sweden (Stockholm), Germany (Cologne, Mannheim and Munich), Norway (Hamar), France (Paris), Italy (Milan) and Denmark (Aalborg). Wonder also toured Australia (Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane) and New Zealand (Christchurch, Auckland and New Plymouth) in October and November.[67] His 2010 tour included a two-hour set at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, a stop at London’s “Hard Rock Calling” in Hyde Park, and appearances at England’s Glastonbury Festival, Rotterdam’s North Sea Jazz Festival, and a concert in Bergen, Norway and a concert in Dublin, Ireland at the O2 Arena on June 24.

In 2000, Wonder contributed two new songs to the soundtrack for Spike Lee’s Bamboozled album (“Misrepresented People” and “Some Years Ago”). In June 2006, Wonder made a guest appearance on Busta Rhymes’ new album, The Big Bang on the track “Been through the Storm”. He sings the refrain and plays the piano on the Dr. Dre and Sha Money XL-produced track. He appeared again on the last track of Snoop Dogg’s new album Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, “Conversations”. The song is a remake of “Have a Talk with God” from Songs in the Key of Life. In 2006, Wonder staged a duet with Andrea Bocelli on the latter’s album Amore, offering harmonica and additional vocals on “Canzoni Stonate”. Wonder also performed at Washington, D.C.’s 2006 “A Capitol Fourth” celebration. Wonder appeared on singer Celine Dion’s studio album Loved Me Back to Life performing a cover of his 1985 song “Overjoyed”. The album was released in October 2013.

On February 23, 2009, Wonder became the second recipient of the Library of Congress’s Gershwin Prize for pop music, honored by president Barack Obama at the White House. On March 6, 2010, Wonder was appointed a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by French Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand. Wonder had been due to be invested with this honor in 1981, but scheduling problems prevented this from happening. A lifetime achievement award was also given to Wonder on the same day, at France’s biggest music awards.In February 2011, the Apollo Theater announced that Wonder will be the next in line for the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame. The theater said that the singer will be inducted into the New York City institution’s Hall of Fame in five months.

A prominent figure in popular music during the latter half of the 20th century, Wonder has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and won twenty-two Grammy Awards (the most ever won by a solo artist) as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also won an Academy Award for Best Song, and been inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fame. He has also been awarded the Polar Music Prize. American music magazine Rolling Stone named him the ninth greatest singer of all time. In June 2009 he became the fourth artist to receive the Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award. He has had ten U.S. number-one hits on the pop charts as well as 20 R&B number one hits, and has sold over 100 million records, 19.5 million of which are albums;he is one of the top 60 best-selling music artists with combined sales of singles and albums.Wonder has recorded several critically acclaimed albums and hit singles, and writes and produces songs for many of his label mates and outside artists as well. Wonder plays the piano, synthesizer, harmonica, congas, drums, bass guitar, bongos, organ, melodica, and clavinet. In his childhood, he was best known for his harmonica work, but today he is better known for his keyboard skills and vocal ability. Wonder was the first Motown artist and second African-American musician to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song, which he won for his 1984 hit single “I Just Called to Say I Love You” from the movie The Woman in Red.

Wonder’s “classic period” is generally agreed to be between 1972 and 1977.Some observers see in 1971’s Where I’m Coming From certain indications of the beginning of the classic period, such as its new funky keyboard style which Wonder used throughout the classic period. Some determine Wonder’s first “classic” album to be 1972’s Music of My Mind, on which he attained personal control of production, and on which he programmed a series of songs integrated with one another to make a concept album.Others skip over early 1972 and determine the beginning of the classic period to be Talking Book in late 1972, the album in which Wonder “hit his stride”. His classic 1970s albums were very influential on the music world: the 1983 Rolling Stone Record Guide said they “pioneered stylistic approaches that helped to determine the shape of pop music for the next decade”;Rolling Stone magazine’s 2003 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time included four of the five albums, with three in the top 90;and in 2005, Kanye West said of his own work, “I’m not trying to compete with what’s out there now. I’m really trying to compete with Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. It sounds musically blasphemous to say something like that, but why not set that as your bar?”