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Song Stories

“Everyday People”

Sly and the Family Stone | 1968

"Everyday People" managed to trailblaze in two different ways -- it was one of the first pop hits to deal with the subject of racial harmony, and it utilized Larry Graham's "slap" technique on the bass guitar, which would soon be copied by countless other bassists. Graham once said about his pulsating style, "I'd never done that before … that's where the freedom of creativity came in for the band, that we'd be allowed to do that." In 1978, the song's line "Different strokes for different folks" would be borrowed for the title of the hit television show Diff'rent Strokes.

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Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

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