On this day in music history: October 13, 1984…

On this day in music history: October 13, 1984 – “I Just Called To Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart and the adult contemporary chart for 3 weeks on the same date. Written and produced by Stevie Wonder, it is the eighth pop and sixteenth R&B chart topper for the Motown superstar. Included on the soundtrack to the Gene Wilder directed comedy “The Woman In Red”, Wonder composed the music for the song in 1977 but writes the lyrics during the recording sessions in mid 1984. Released as the first single from the soundtrack on August 1, 1984, it is an immediate across the board smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #58 on August 18, 1984, it climbs to the top of the chart eight weeks later. Wonder’s long time friend and sometime songwriting collaborator Lee Garrett (“Signed, Sealed Delivered, I’m Yours”, “It’s A Shame”, “Let’s Get Serious”) and Lloyd Chiate claim to have helped co-write the song and file a lawsuit. The suit is settled in Wonder’s favor, with the jury finding that the other two alleged writers did not provide adequate proof that they had co-written the pop and R&B smash. Stevie Wonder wins a Golden Globe and the Academy Award for “Best Original Song” for “I Just Called To Say I Love You” in 1985. When Wonder accepts his Oscar, he dedicates the award to then still imprisoned South African civil rights leader Nelson Mandela. With South Africa still under apartheid rule at the time, Stevie Wonder’s music is banned from radio airplay and television broadcast. The ban is lifted with the end of the segregationist system in 1994. “I Just Called To Say I Love You” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.