Singer Stevie Wonder was seriously injured in a car accident in North Carolina today (August 6, 1973).
Stevie Wonder was leaving Greenville, South Carolina for a show in Durham North Carolina.
As Stevie Wonder slept, his cousin John Harris drove on Interstate 85.
As Harris was attempting to pass a truck, he rear ended the vehicle, a log flew through the windshield and struck Stevie Wonder in the head.
Stevie Wonder’s skull was fractured and he also had a brain contusion.
He remained in a coma for a week at North Carolina Baptist Hospital.
The accident had taken Stevie Wonder’s sense of smell and he wondered if he ever be able to play instrument again, when his road manager, Ira Tucker, brought in his clavinet.
“You could tell he was afraid to touch it,” Ira Tucker said in the book “Icons of R&B and Soul.”
“He didn’t know if he’d lost his musical gift. You could actually see the relief and happiness all over his face when he finally started playing it,” Tucker stated.
The accident happened at a creative peak in Stevie’s career.
Stevie Wonder’s single “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” was high on the charts, taken from his album Talking Book, which was released in October of 1972.
Stevie’s album before the car accident was Innervisions, which was released three days earlier, on August 3, 1973.
Stevie Wonder returned to the stage in September of 1973, during a concert with Elton John in Boston Massachusetts.