Stevie Wonder

Sir Duke

Composed by Stevie Wonder

Song Review by

"Sir Duke" was Stevie Wonder's tribute to music-great Duke Ellington. He also wanted the song to be a reminder of many of the influential musicians who should be remembered (Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Glenn Miller). Wonder had previously paid tribute to Ray Charles with the 1963 LP Tribute to Uncle Ray. He did two tributes to Wes Montgomery: "Bye Bye World" on his 1968 album Eivets Rednow and George Benson recorded the Wonder song "We All Remember Wes" on his 1977 LP Weekend in LA. The session for "Sir Duke" listed bassist Nathan Watts, drummer Raymond Pounds, lead guitarist Michael Sembello, Ben Bridges on rhythm guitar, and horn players Trevor Lawrence, Hank Redd, Steve Madaio, and Ray Maldonaldo. Written and produced by Stevie Wonder, the swinging "Sir Duke" went to number one R&B and number one pop during the spring of 1977. "I Wish" was another R&B/pop chart-topper from Wonder's three-record/bonus EP set Songs in the Key of Life, which hit number one on both the R&B and pop charts. His number one R&B/Top Five pop hit "Master Blaster (Jammin')" was a kind of tribute to Bob Marley, Lee Perry, and other reggae artists.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Songs in the Key of Life 1976 Motown 3:54
Original Musiquarium I 1982 Motown / Uni 3:54
No Image 1984
Various Artists
No Image 1985
Various Artists
Hitsville USA, Vol. 2: The Motown Singles Collection 1972-1992 1993
Various Artists
Motown 3:54
Motown: The Hits Collection, Vol. 1 1994
Various Artists
Motown 3:56
Natural Wonder 1995 Island / Motown / Universal 2:46
Song Review: A Greatest Hits Collection 1996 Motown 3:52
Have a Nice Decade: The 70s Pop Culture Box 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:55
Sing America [Warner] 1999
Various Artists
Warner Bros. 3:53
At the Close of a Century 1999 Motown / Uni / Universal 3:52
The Definitive Collection 2002 Motown / Universal 3:52
The Complete Stevie Wonder 2005 Motown 3:52
A Time to Love 2005 Motown 3:55
Number 1's 2007 Polystar 3:53
Christmas & Hits Duos 2008 Motown 3:54
Motown 50 Fanthology 2008
Various Artists
Universal Distribution / Universal Music 3:52
Motown: The Complete No. 1's 2008
Various Artists
Motown / Island/Def Jam / Universal Music 3:55
Motown 50 [International Version 2] 2008
Various Artists
Motown / Universal Distribution 3:54
Live at Last: A Wonder Summer's Night 2009 Motown
Motortown Review 2009
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:56
No Image 2009
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:53
202 Motown Songs: The Complete #1's
Various Artists
Island/Def Jam / Universal Music 3:55
Motown Collection, Vol. 5
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:56
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