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The Artist Burns It Up With Stevie Wonder

October 22, 1997 12:00 AM ET

Now this story really cooks! The Artist Formerly Known as Prince got together with Stevie Wonde in Motown Friday for an impromptu jam session at Intermezzo, a Detroit eatery.

The Artist and his wife Mayte were on hand for the premiere of the New Power Generation Dance Company production "Around the World in a Day." While the couple celebrated the opening over dinner, they were joined by R&B performer Tony Rich, NPG guitarist Kathleen Dyson and Larry Graham of Sly and the Family Stone. Stevie Wonder hit the scene shortly after and gathered the group together for a spur-of-the-moment performance which featured The Artist behind the drum kit. The spontaneous jam session included versions of Wonder's "Superstition" and Sly favorites, "Thank You" and "I Want to Take You Higher."

The show created quite a buzz inside the crowded Detroit bar as well as outside as a slew of admirers lined the sidewalk for a peek at the celebrities.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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