|Single by Stevie Wonder|
|from the album Songs in the Key of Life|
|B-side||"He's Misstra Know-It-All"|
|Released||March 22, 1977|
|Genre||Funk, R&B, disco|
|Stevie Wonder singles chronology|
"Sir Duke" is a song composed and performed by Stevie Wonder, from his 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life. Released as a single in 1977, the track topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Black Singles charts, and reached number two in the UK Singles Chart, his joint biggest hit there at the time. Billboard ranked it as the No. 18 song of 1977.
Wonder re-recorded the song for the 1995 live album Natural Wonder.
Wonder wrote the song as a tribute to Duke Ellington, a bandleader and jazz pianist who had an influence on him as a musician. Wonder had already experienced the death of two of his idols (Dinah Washington and Wes Montgomery) after attempting to collaborate with them.
After Ellington died in 1974, Wonder wanted to write a song acknowledging musicians he felt were important. He later said, "I knew the title from the beginning but wanted it to be about the musicians who did something for us. So soon they are forgotten. I wanted to show my appreciation." Later tributes included "Master Blaster" in 1980 (dedicated to Bob Marley) and "Happy Birthday", which pleaded for commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birthday.
Wonder pays tribute to "some of music's pioneers" in the song: "There's Basie, Miller, Satchmo, and the king of all, Sir Duke / And with a voice like Ella's ringing out / There's no way the band can lose".
|This section does not cite any sources. (November 2015)|
- Produced, written, arranged and composed by Stevie Wonder
- Vocals and all other instruments by Stevie Wonder
- Trumpets by Raymond Maldonado and Steve Madaio
- Drums by Raymond Pounds
- Bass by Nathan Watts
- Lead guitar by Mike Sembello
- Rhythm guitar by Ben Bridges
- Alto saxophone by Hank Redd
- Tenor saxophone by Trevor Lawrence
|Chart (1977, 1978)||Peak
|US Billboard Hot 100||1|
|US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)||1|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||2|
"When I Need You" by Leo Sayer
|Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
May 21 – June 4, 1977 (three weeks)
"I'm Your Boogie Man" by KC and the Sunshine Band
"Whodunit" by Tavares
|Billboard Hot Soul Singles number-one single
May 28, 1977 (one week)
"Got to Give It Up (Part 1)" by Marvin Gaye
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 636.
- Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1977.
- "Stevie Wonder – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Stevie Wonder.
- "Stevie Wonder – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Stevie Wonder.
- "Stevie Wonder: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.