Watch: Rarely Seen 1980 Stevie Wonder Doc ‘Hotter than July’ [FULL]
Hotter than July, a rarely seen documentary looks at Stevie Wonder‘s musical insight and preparation for his 1980-1981 U.S tour and appearance at the Washington Rally to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Aired for the first time in 1981 by the BBC, the film is titled after Stevie’s nineteenth album, which became his first platinum-selling single record.
The album’s fourth single “Happy Birthday” was instrumental in his campaign to establish Martin Luther King’s birthday, January 15, as a national holiday.
Originally released on Motown’s Tamla label on September 29, 1980, Hotter than July peaked at #3 on the US Billboard chart and #2 on the UK Albums Chart.
The album’s sleeve liner contains a passage of text written by Stevie:
It is believed that for a man to lay down his life for the love of others is the supreme sacrifice. Jesus Christ by his own example showed us that there is no greater love. For nearly two thousand years now we have been striving to have the strength to follow that example. Martin Luther King was a man who had that strength. He showed us, non-violently, a better way of life, a way of mutual respect, helping us to avoid much bitter confrontation and inevitable bloodshed. We still have a long road to travel until we reach the world that was his dream. We in the United States must not forget either his supreme sacrifice or that dream.
I and a growing number of people believe that it is time for our country to adopt legislation that will make January 15, Martin Luther King’s birthday, a national holiday, both in recognition of what he achieved and as a reminder of the distance which still has to be traveled.
Join me in the observance of January 15, 1981 as a national holiday.
Stevland Morris a/k/a Stevie Wonder