By November 1975, when Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’s song “Wake Up Everybody,” the social and economic conditions in America’s urban cities were in turmoil. Policies in terms of eradicating poverty and racism, improving city planning, and education (busing) were falling apart. Writers of “Wake Up Everybody,” Gene McFadden and John Whitehead, collectively known as the writing team McFadden & Whitehead, responded to the climate of the times in verse with a since of urgency. Their song called for a new way of thinking about urban problems–a way of thinking with more compassion for humanity. McFadden & Whitehead’s writing along with the vocals of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes lead singer Teddy Pendergrass connected to the urban masses and served as a soulful and central theme of the era.