1972 Stylistics – People Make The World Go Round

1972 Stylistics – People Make The World Go Round 

A pair of vocal groups performing in Philadelphia in the mid-sixties gave birth to a new group in 1968. Russell Thompkins Jr., James Smith, and Airrion Love from the Percussions joined with James Dunn and Herb Murrell from the Monarchs to form The Stylistics. The new group recorded You’re a Big Girl Now, a song co-written by their road manager (Marty Bryant). 

The single became a regional success on Sebring Records, and that led to a recording contract with Avco Records. The support from the larger record label helped the record reach #7 on the R&B chart. It only reached #73 on the Hot 100 in 1971.

Avco assigned producer Thom Bell to work with the group. Thom had previously found success with the Delphonics. The unique vocals from Russell impressed Thom, and he focused on songs that featured the singer. Thom co-wrote most of the group’s early hits with Linda Creed and also produced and arranged the songs and conducted the background music.

The band quickly found more success on the R&B chart. They placed a dozen singles in the R&B top ten between 1971 and 1974 and five of them even reached the top ten on the Hot 100.

A total of five songs from their first album charted. They cut down the last single, People Make The World Go Round, to about three and a half minutes for radio airplay.


The album version of the song ran over five minutes, and later an even longer version ran closer to six and a half minutes.

People Make The World Go Round peaked at #25 on the Hot 100 in 1972, but reached #6 on the R&B chart.

The first two singles from the band’s second album (I’m Stone in Love with You and Break Up to Make Up) each reached the top ten on the Hot 100 and the top five on the R&B chart.


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