I am Everyday People

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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  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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