Are you a people person? Or do you find yourself identifying more with Somerset Maugham who said, “I’ve always been interested in people, but I’ve never liked them.” People. Everywhere you go, there’s more of ‘em. Something like six billion of them on the planet now. And of course they say it takes all kinds of people; it really doesn’t, but they’re all there just the same, if you don’t mind my paraphrasing Steve Forbert. You got powerful people, lonely people, and everyday people. In fact you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting some kind of people. People who can’t drive. People who can’t shoot straight. People who just drive you nuts.
What was it Bobby Slayton said? “If you can’t laugh at yourself, make fun of other people.” And of course there are the immortal words of Charles Schultz who said, “I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand.” Well, today’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl is of the people, by the people, and for the people. People like Joan Armatrading and Eleanor Rigby, Jonathan Edwards and Sly Stone. You know, a wise man once said, “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot redeem your frequent flier miles to get from L.A. to New York on short notice. And speaking of Frank Zappa, I really wanted to play Po-jama People, but we just don’t have the time.
But we do have time for two versions of a song by one of my favorite people, Curtis Mayfield. We’ll hear two interpretations of his classic, “People Get Ready.” You know, according to Woody Allen, “There are two types of people, the good and the bad. The good sleep better but the bad seem to enjoy their waking hours much more.” Actually I don’t think that’s true. I think the two kinds of people are those who think there are only two kinds of people and those who disagree. As for me? I’d have to agree with Jim Morrison who said it best and in only three words: People are Strange.
|Gino Vannelli||Powerful People|
|Sly & Family Stone||Everyday People|
|The Beatles||Eleanor Rigby|
|Chambers Brothers||People Get Ready|
|Jonathan Edwards||People Get Ready (part 1)|
|The Doors||People Are Strange|
|Jonathan Edwards||People Get Ready (part 2)|
The people have spoken. That’s the end of the Jonathan Edwards version of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready” a song that was huge hit for The Impressions in 1965. The other version in the set was by a group out of Lee County, Mississippi: the Chambers Brothers. “People Get Ready” was actually the title of the first record, which, oddly enough, was a live album. We heard a studio version recorded a few years later for their album The Time Has Come. It turns out that three songs in this set made it onto the Rolling Stone list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. “People Get Ready” is # 24 on the list, which explains why you can find so many cover versions. During that little break near the end of the Jonathan Edwards version, we opened The Doors to find Jim Morrison explaining that, “People Are Strange.” We started the set with the title track of Gino Vannelli’s album, “Powerful People” – the same album that contains one of Gino’s better known tracks, “People Gotta Move.”
After that we did a two song segue I used to do back in my FM radio daze, going from Joan Armatrading’s “People” to Sly and The Family Stone’s “Everyday People” which was the first song by Sly and the Family to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot One Hundred. It’s also the second song in the set to make that Rolling Stone list, coming in at #145. After that, we did two back-to-back that were produced by George Martin. First, the only song in the set without the world ‘people’ in the title: “Eleanor Rigby” from Revolver, followed by America’s “Lonely People” for reasons that should be obvious to most people. By the way, on that Rolling Stone list, “Eleanor Rigby” comes in at #137. Well, sometimes I’m right, and I can be wrong. My own beliefs are in the songs I play here in the Way Back Studios. I’m Bill Fitzhugh, thanks for listening. If you want to find the set lists for any of the shows, drop by my website, billfitzhugh dot com. I’ll be back before you know it with another batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl, right here in the Deep Tracks.