Tune Tuesday: Sly & The Family Stone 1969

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Sly & The Family Stone Image One
Photo Credit: usa-hit-parade.blogspot.com

Fifty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts was Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone. Written by Sylvester Stewart and released November 1968, the song was somehow a plea for unity and, pride of diversity, at the same time, along with pleas for peace, and equality, between differing races and social groups.

From The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:

Sly and the Family Stone took the Sixties ideal of a generation coming together and, turned it into deeply groove-driven music. Rock’s first integrated, multi-gender band became funky Pied Pipers to the Woodstock Generation, synthesizing rock, soul, R&B, funk and psychedelia into danceable, message-laden, high-energy music. In promoting their gospel of tolerance and celebration of differences, Sly and the Family Stone brought disparate audiences together during the latter half of the Sixties. The group connected with the rising counterculture by means of songs that addressed issues of personal pride and liberation in the context of driving, insistent and sunny-tempered music that fused rock and soul, creating a template for Seventies funk.

Notable covers of the song were recorded by Joan Jett, Aretha Franklin, Arrested Development, Maroon 5 and Billy Paul. The single made it to #5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for 1969.

Lyrics:
Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah, yeah

There is a blue one
Who can’t accept the green one
For living with a fat one
Trying to be a skinny one
Different strokes
For different folks

And so on and so on
And scooby dooby dooby
Oh sha sha
We got to live together

I am no better and neither are you
We are the same, whatever we do
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah

There is a long hair
That doesn’t like the short hair
For being such a rich one
That will not help the poor one
Different strokes
For different folks

And so on and so on
And scooby dooby dooby
Oh sha sha
We got to live together

There is a yellow one
That won’t accept the black one
That won’t accept the red one
That won’t accept the white one
Different strokes
For different folks

And so on and so on
And scooby dooby dooby
Oh sha sha
I am everyday people

Addendum:
In 1961, Billboard added a new category called Adult Contemporary. Prior to that, from 1958 to 1960, everything fit into either Hot 100, R & B or Country. In 1963, Billboard 200 was added and in 1964, Top Country Albums. As of 2018, Billboard now has 87 individual categories. Choosing a number #1 song in any of these categories could fill up a blog, if a blogger was so inclined. Previously, I tried to showcase Hot 100s and added Alternative Rock, Mainstream Rock, Country and, R&B. It is a lot of work and if I tried to cover all the new categories, well…they would find my dead body, slumped over the keyboard.

Under normal circumstances, I go backwards each week by five years. I love music so, I’m going to have to shift gears, soon, to cover #1 songs in some categories other than the coveted Hot 100. I may end up going backwards five years every month instead of every week. We shall see… ~Vic

17 thoughts on “Tune Tuesday: Sly & The Family Stone 1969

    Perry Casilio said:
    March 5, 2019 at 11:54 PM

    I love this song + this band! 🙂

    Like

    JohnRH said:
    March 6, 2019 at 1:23 AM

    An old favorite, one I never get tired of. I had it on tape in ‘Nam.

    Like

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      March 6, 2019 at 12:52 PM

      My ‘significant other’ is a VN Seabee. Where were you stationed & what branch?

      I wasn’t even three, yet, when it hit #1. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

        JohnRH said:
        March 6, 2019 at 5:30 PM

        Ha, lucky you. I hold nothing against people who didn’t participate, for whatever good reasons. I was in Army Aircraft Maintenance, 3 months in Qui Nhon (sp?) on the central coast, and 9 months at Tan Son Nhut airbase outside Saigon. I was one of the 80% not in combat, thank goodness. Very nasty war.

        Like

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          March 6, 2019 at 7:24 PM

          He was Camp Haskins, Red Beach, Da Nang, July 1967-July 1968. He was a ‘builder’ but, spent more time with the Marines doing patrols. He has a few stories and several pix, though, the government stole a lot of his photographs as they didn’t want certain things to get out (he has never known what he photographed that they were afraid of). He was in country during Tet, Khe Sanh, My Lai (no participation in any of those)… He was nearly knocked out of a guard tower when the Marine base was bombed. He keeps a piece of shrapnel on a bookcase in our office…something that just missed him in another attack.

          He was also previous Fleet Navy…deck ape…Boson’s Mate. He retired as a cop in civilian life.

          I tease him that, when he went, I wasn’t even a year old. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

    badfinger20 said:
    March 6, 2019 at 10:40 AM

    I’ve heard some good covers of this but I still like the original. Sly was brilliant for a while until he took a downward turn.

    Like

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      March 15, 2019 at 12:04 AM

      For some unknown reason, I replied to this in the wrong way. I don’t think you ever saw it. Sorry.

      Cutting & pasting (like a good little girl)…
      I remember when Joan Jett did her’s. It was cool when I was a teen. I listened to it last night. It was awful listening with adult ears.

      The others…Aretha also did her’s in the 80s. That song doesn’t sound right with 80s synth. Maroon 5 was just Adam singing with Sly. I didn’t look for Arrested Development as I can’t stand rap & I missed Billy Paul’s. I may have to find that one.

      Stewart was one messed up cat. Not sure if true or not but, Wikipedia had in his ‘Personal’ section a story about how his dog mauled his son & his wife left him. She claimed physical abuse.

      Liked by 1 person

        badfinger20 said:
        March 15, 2019 at 12:35 AM

        He was messed up bad…I cannot believe he is still kicking. At times he made Keith Richards look like a boy scout. Keith could handle drugs…Sly could not…

        Joan’s is not too bad…just a simple rock style…but I do love Sly’s…

        Like

    JT Twissel said:
    March 6, 2019 at 4:34 PM

    Ah, those were the days.

    Like

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      March 6, 2019 at 4:42 PM

      We seemed to have a little more common sense back then. WTH?

      Like

    bereavedandbeingasingleparent said:
    March 10, 2019 at 11:35 PM

    This is tremendous not come across these before.

    Like

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