Everyday People Introduction
About the Song
|Artist||Sly and the Family Stone||Musician(s)||Sly Stone (vocals), Rose Stone (lead and background vocals, piano), Freddie Stone (background vocals, guitar), Larry Graham (background vocals, bass), Vet Stewart, Mary McCreary and Elva Mouton as "Little Sister" (background vocals), Greg Errico (drums), Jerry Martini (tenor saxophone), Cynthia Robinson (trumpet)|
|Year||1968 (Single; B-side "Sing a Simple Song"); 1969 (album)|
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To understand the song, we have to look back to 1968 and 1969. After all, these were the days of Civil Rights and Flower Power. People loved songs like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Say It Loud, I'm Black and Proud." But the Beatles were still a band that mostly served to bring rock 'n' roll's appeal to white teens, and James Brown was still "black music" that was hard to sell to white audiences (who tended to fear the messages of the Black Power Movement). For all the rhetoric spinning around the hippie generation, genuine multiculturalism was rare.
Sly and the Family Stone, a band of hippie stoners from the Bay Area with an incredibly funky new sound, blended races, genders, and musical genres onstage, living the dream that "Everyday People" was about. It became the signature song for that idealistic era—and the seemingly corny nature of the song can actually tell us a lot about some of the parts of that history that we might take for granted more than four decades later.
On the Charts"Everyday People" peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard R&B charts. It was the band's first number one single.
Stand! went up to #13 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart and #3 on the R&B Albums chart in 1969.
Sly and the Family Stone were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
In 2004, Rolling Stone put "Everyday People" at on its listing of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Stand! also ranked #113 on Rolling Stone's 2003 listing of the 500 Greatest Albums.
Sly Stone is #78 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.