People (1964 song)

People (1964 song)

Song infobox
Name = People

Caption =
Type = Popular song, Show tune
Artist = Barbra Streisand
alt Artist = many others
Album =
Published =
Released = January 1964
track_no =
Recorded =
Genre =
Length =
Writer = Bob Merrill (lyricist)
Composer = Jule Styne (composer)
Label =
Producer =
Chart position = #5
Tracks =
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"People" is a well-known song, written by Jule Styne (composer) and Bob Merrill (lyricist) for the Broadway musical "Funny Girl" (1964) starring Barbra Streisand, who introduced the song. It is often known by a line from its chorus, "People who need people....". It has been recorded by Jack Jones, Richard Clayderman, Perry Como, The Supremes and others, but is most closely associated with Streisand as her signature song. The song asserts that "people who need people" — that is, people who love others and are not emotionally cut off from them — are the "luckiest people in the world".


A longstanding story posits that "People" was originally written for "Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol", the score Styne and Merrill released directly before "Funny Girl".cite web
last = Hill
first = Jim
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Scrooge U: Part VI -- Magoo's a musical miser
work =
publisher =
date = November 28, 2006
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2006 12-25
] Presumably, it was sung to Scrooge by his fiancee and later by Scrooge after his redemption. However, Theodore Taylor's biography, "Jule: The Story of Composer Jule Styne", would seem to dispute this. It states that "People" was one of the first songs written for "Funny Girl", in late 1962 in Palm Beach, Florida.

According to the book, "Jule [said] , 'You told me the other night to work on [the lyric] "a very special person." I think I've got a helluva melody for it.'...'Great,' Merrill yelled. 'But now it ain't gonna be "special person." Listen.' Then he ad-libbed, while Jule played the melody again: 'People, people who need people'...The song 'wrote' in thirty minutes..."cite book
last = Taylor
first = Theodore
authorlink = Theodore Taylor
coauthors =
title = Jule: The Story of Composer Jule Styne
publisher = Random House
date = 1979
location = New York
pages =
url =
doi =
id = ISBN 0-394-41296-6

The single by Streisand was released in January 1964, and peaked at #5 on the "Billboard" pop chart, becoming the singer's first Top 40 hit. It also spent three weeks at #1 on the Easy Listening chart, which would later become known as the Adult Contemporary chart. This helped to cement its inclusion in "Funny Girl", which ran on Broadway from March 26, 1964 to July 1, 1967. and earned Styne and Merrill a nomination for a 1964 Tony Award as Best Composer and Lyricist.

The song has since been used many times on various programs.


External links

* [ "Funny Girl" in the Internet Broadway Database (IBDB)]

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