More re "Different Strokes"

Wilson Gray hwgray at EARTHLINK.NET
Mon May 3 04:44:05 UTC 2004

The earliest dated reference to a recording of a song entitled
"Different Strokes" and which contains the phrase, "Different strokes
for different folks" that I've been able to find is the 45 single,
"Different Strokes," released on the Epic label by Syleena "Syl"
Johnson in 1967. The song was written by J. Cameron & J. Zachary and
published by Zachary Publishing, Edgewater Music, Inc., BMI.

A year later, 1968, the 45 single, "Everyday People," was released by
Sly [real name: Sylvester Stone] and the Family Stone, also on the Epic

Another title, "Different Strokes for Different Folks," written by Monk
Higgins  & Burgess Gardner in 1967. It was a one-sided DJ-release
single on the Chess label dated 1998. Higgins was known as a
saxophonist, writer, producer, and arranger, but not as a singer.
Hence, it's not clear that this piece had any words that Higgins sang,
though it's not impossible that the piece did have words and that
Higgins sang them.

In any case, the only version of "Different Strokes," with or without
the addition of "..for Different Folks" that had any degree of
commercial success was the version by Syl Johnson.

-Wilson Gray

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