Sly and the Family Stone – Everyday People
“Everyday People” is a 1968 song by Sly & the Family Stone. It was the first single by the band to go to number one on the Soul singles chart and the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. It held that position, on the Hot 100, for four weeks from February 15, 1969, until March 14, 1969, and is remembered as a popular song of the 1960s. As with most of Sly & the Family Stone’s songs, Sly Stone was credited as the sole songwriter.
Unlike the band’s more typically funky and psychedelic records, “Everyday People” is a mid-tempo number with a more mainstream pop feel. Sly, singing the main verses for the song, explains that he is “no better / and neither are you / we are the same / whatever we do.”
Sly’s sister Rose Stone sings bridging sections that mock the futility of people hating each other for being tall, short, fat, skinny, white, black, or anything else. The bridges of the song contain the line “different strokes for different folks,” which became a popular catchphrase in 1969 (and inspired the name of the later television series, Diff’rent Strokes).
For the chorus, all of the singing members of the band (Sly, Rosie, Larry Graham, and Sly’s brother Freddie Stone) proclaim that “I am everyday people,” meaning that each of them (and each listener as well) should consider himself or herself as parts of one whole, not of smaller, specialized factions.