On this day in music history: July 31, 1973 - “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder is released. Written by Stevie Wonder, it is the first single issued from the album “Innervisions”. The track is written and recorded in May 1973 in studio during sessions for the album. Featuring Wonder on all instruments, the track is recorded at Mediasound Studios in New York City on May 11, 1973, and is completed in only three hours. Only one week after its release on August 6, 1973, Wonder is involved in a near fatal car accident while traveling to a gig in Durham, NC. The musician’s cousin John Harris is at the wheel of the car, and is driving behind a large logging truck. The car will collide with the back of the truck, causing one of the logs to dislodge, sliding off of the back and going right through windshield of the car. The log will hit Stevie right in his forehead, fracturing his skull and bruising his brain. Rushed to the hospital, Wonder will fall into a coma for four days. While in the hospital, Wonder’s road manager Ira Tucker, Jr. will kneel down and sing “Higher Ground” right in his ear. Stevie will respond by moving his fingers in time with the song. “Higher Ground” will hit number one on the Billboard R&B singles chart on September 29, 1973, and number four on the Hot 100 on October 13, 1973. “Higher Ground” will become one of Stevie Wonder’s most covered songs with recorded versions by Ike & Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, Etta James, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.