Everybody Needs Somebody To Love – Wilson Pickett | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#29) and R&B (#19); 1967

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Bert Berns was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, who played piano in Havana nightclubs, before writing and/or producing R&B hits such as A Little Bit Of Soap (The Jarmels), Tell Him (The Exciters), and Twist And Shout (The Isley Brothers). Jerry Wexler was also the son of Jewish immigrants. He had joined Atlantic Records in 1953, and been involved in the career of every important artist signed to the label since then: LaVern Baker, The Drifters, Joe Turner, and Ray Charles, among the many. One of the artists Wexler had signed to Atlantic was Solomon Burke from Philadelphia. For his first session, Wexler had Burke record a country ballad called Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms). It reached #7 on the R&B chart. In 1964, the three co-wrote another Burke R&B hit: Everybody Needs Somebody To Love. Three years later Burke’s Atlantic labelmate Wilson Pickett reprised Everybody, taking it to #19.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Bert Berns

Lyrics Written by:

  • Jerry Wexler
  • Bert Berns
  • Solomon Burke


  • Inducted in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991
  • Honored in Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award in 1993
  • Voted in Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2005
  • Nominated in Grammy Awards for Best Traditional Rhythm and Blues Vocal Performance for his album “It’s Harder Now” in 1999
  • Received 3 W. C. Handy Awards from the Blues Foundation in 2000, including one for comeback album of the year