everyday people

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