So, this week’s photo challenge is Everyday Life.

The first idea that popped into my head – and really the only one – were the lyrics to the groundbreaking hit single penned in 1968 by Sylvester Stewart that immediately cut across racial barriers and brought people of all color and backgrounds together in one singular effort. That song, which reached #1 on the Billboard pop charts, is Everyday People, a psychedelic funk single – a fusion of soul, R&B and rock – sung by Sly and The Family Stone.

According to Rolling Stone magazine, Everyday People managed to trailblaze in two different ways. Musically, it utilized bass guitarist Larry Graham’s “slap” technique, which would be copied by countless other bassists. Secondly, and more importantly, it was one of the first pop hits whose subject was racial harmony.  Successful at the cash register, the chart topper’s lyric line, “Different strokes for different folks,” would be borrowed for the title of the 70s-80s hit U.S. television sitcom Diff’rent Strokes that used comedy to dramatically explore serious social issues like racism, illegal drug use and child sexual abuse.

Everyday People was Sly Stewart’s written plea for tolerance set to music.  Stewart’s danceable confection stayed at #1 for four straight weeks, and was one the first pop hits to celebrate diversity and make multiculturalism fun and mainstream.

I can’t think of a better approach to meet this week’s photo challenge than to capture Everyday Life, in all of its various shades, through a portfolio of shots of Everyday People that I’ve taken along the way.  From motherhood to West African bush-taxi drivers to businessmen on the run, there are village kids, a smiling barista and even a palace guard looking out for his country’s “number one.” Like you and me, they are, at the end of the day, just Everyday People.

Now, if you can hear the beat – on your i-thing or from memory – sing along with Sly and The Family Stone

Everyday People 
(click on the TITLE for the audio)

Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my songs
A butcher, a banker, a drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I’m in
I am everyday people

 

There is a blue one who can’t accept
The green one for living with
A black ones tryin’ to be a skinny one
Different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby dooby

    

Ooh sha sha
We gotta live together

    

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

     

There is a long man
That doesn’t like the short man
For being such a rich one
That will not help the poor one
Different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on scooby dooby dooby

    

Ooh 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
Ooh sha sha
I am everyday people

   

©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images
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Written by The Palladian Traveler

Tom traded his hometown St. Louis Cardinals' baseball cap in the United States for a Borsalino and he now hangs his "capello" in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have got him into and out of 49 countries and counting, Tom fell in love with the "Bel Paese" years ago. As he notes, "I'm inspired by the beauty I find in all things that are very, very old, and reliving history, or at least meandering along cobblestone streets that were laid down over a thousand years ago and just looking up and marveling at what occupies the space still today, really gets my 'Vespa' running." Tom has a good eye behind the lens and is a graphic storyteller, but he'll let you decide as he keeps his camera batteries fully charged and the posts flowing from his creative hideaway in the hills overlooking Ostuni. You can also follow his dispatches along the cobblestone via TravelingBoy.com.

20 comments

  1. Ohhh, one of my favorite groups of all time…can listen to Sly and the Family Stone all day long. Everyday People, Family Affair, Dance to the Music, Hot Fun in the Summertime. Nice take on this week’s theme…love it.

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