Don’t Stop The Music – Yarbrough & Peoples | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: R&B (#1 for 5 weeks) & Pop (#19); 1981

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

To producer Jonah Ellis, When The Music Stops was just a throwaway song he’d written: one that Cavin Yarbrough and Alisa Peoples would record if they could fit it in. As luck would have it, Yarbrough liked the song.

By the time it was done, Don’t Stop The Music – as it was now titled – had new lyrics, vocals, and instrumentation. Yarbrough and Peoples hailed from Dallas, TX, where they’d met as children.

Many years later, supporter Charles Wilson of the Gap Band insisted that his label boss, Lonnie Simmons, listen to Y&P’s demo tape. Some time later Simmons encountered Y&P again, in the lobby of his LA office.

This time, Simmons sent them into the studio with Ellis. The seventh of seven songs he produced with the duo was Don’t Stop The Music.

Three months after its R&B chart debut, the throwaway track bumped the Gap Band’s Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me) from the top spot, and stayed there for five weeks.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Jonah Ellis
  • Lonnie Simmons

Lyrics Written by:

  • Jonah Ellis
  • Alisa Peoples
  • Cavin Yarbrough