Everyday People

Album: Stand! (1968)
Charted: 36 1

Songfacts®:

  • Sly Stone wrote this about how everyone is essentially the same, regardless of race or background. Sly & the Family Stone was a mash-up of musical styles, with band members of different genders and ethnic backgrounds.
  • This song takes some inspiration from Mother Goose, adding a twist to the traditional nursery rhyme "rub-a-dub-dub." The familiar three men in a tub - the butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker - become the butcher, the banker, the drummer, and, in the spirit of the song's message of solidarity among all people, Sly adds: "makes no difference what group I'm in."
  • Billy Preston played organ on this. Preston has appeared on many famous songs, including some by The Beatles and Rolling Stones.
  • "Everyday People" was released late in 1968, months ahead of the Stand! album. In America, it hit #1 in February 1969 and stayed there for four weeks.

    In September 1969, the cartoon Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! made it's debut, possibly borrowing from the line in this song:

    And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo

    Let's see if we can get to the bottom of this mystery.

    The song certainly brought the phrase "scooby doo" to the forefront, but three years earlier, Frank Sinatra did some scat singing, ad-libbing "doo-be-doobie-do" on "Strangers in the Night." That's where the animated dog got his name.

    Variations on "scooby doo" or "doobie doo" had been around for a while, both as nonsense syllables and as expressions of surprise.
  • Joan Jett hit #37 in the US with her 1983 cover version. Aretha Franklin, Belle & Sebastian and Pearl Jam also recorded the song, and Arrested Development used it as the basis of their 1992 hit "People Everyday."
  • This was featured in a series of television commercials for Toyota in the late 1990s. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2
  • Sly & the Family Stone included this in their set at Woodstock, which according to Carlos Santana was the standout performance at the festival.
  • This was used in the 1982 drama Purple Haze, starring Peter Nelson; the 2008 romantic dramedy Definitely, Maybe, starring Ryan Reynolds; and the 2008 biopic Milk, about gay rights activist Harvey Milk, starring Sean Penn.
  • This was featured on the TV drama Scandal in the 2012 episode "Crash and Burn."
  • The organization Turnaround Arts, which works to provide music education in schools, created a video of various luminaries performing this song among some of their students. Among those appearing in the clip are Jack Johnson, Keb' Mo, Jason Mraz, Paula Abdul, Misty Copeland, Elizabeth Banks, Forest Whitaker and Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Comments: 8

  • Ralph from Indianapolis Sly had a way to promote good things while condemning the the bad ones. This song is similar as it promotes peace amongst people despite their race, color or creed. Read the lyrics and think about it.
  • Seventhmist from 7th Heaven"The world is black; the world is white..."
  • Chris from San Francisco, CaNot only it's two chords only as mentionned earlier by John, but I notice that the bass line is played on one key only the whole song through. Fantastic song.
  • John from Nashville, TnTwo chords (C and G) and the truth. What a song!
  • Jack from Brookline, MaI LOVE how Dave highlights the KEYWORD to his comment how: Aressted "ATTEMPTED" to RE-CONVEY the same message...haha! They tried, but pretty much FAILED MISERABLY at it! The songs are completely incomparable..no question to which song was extremely more influential, better and more culturaly important. And also, it is pretty SAD that Rolling Stone put this all the way UP at 145 out of 500...In my mind it should be in the top 10 at LEAST. Everyone in the world should listen to this song at least ONCE, and I mean REALLY listen to it. In my mind, it is certainly one of the most IMPORTANT songs ever recorded.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesIn 1992, R&B act Arrested Development scored a UK #2 hit with "People Everyday", which was based on the original by Sly Stone and attempted to re-convey the same message
  • Andy from Arlington, VaThis is #145 on the Rolling Stone top 500 songs.
  • Max from New York, United Statesvery cool song, from a now under raited band
see more comments

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