sly & the family stone
Sly and the Family Stone were formed in San Francisco, California, U.S.A., in 1967, and disbanded as a group in 1975.
Sly and the Family Stone comprised of:
Sly Stone (b. Sylvester Stewart, 15th March 1944, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A., vocals, organ, guitar, bass, harmonica, piano)
Freddie Stone (b. Fred Stewart, 5th June 1946, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.; guitar)
Rose Stone (b. Rose Stewart Banks, 21st March 1945, Vallejo, California, U.S.A.; piano)
Cynthia Robinson (b. 12th January 1946, Sacramento, California, U.S.A. d. 23rd November 2015, Carmichael, California, U.S.A., trumpet)
Vet Stewart (b. Vaetta Stewart, 2nd May 1950, Vallejo, California, U.S.A., backing vocals)
Jerry Martini (b. 1st October 1943, Colorado, U.S.A.; saxophone)
Larry Graham (b. 14th August 1946, Beaumont, Texas, U.S.A.; bass)
Greg Errico (b. 1st September 1946, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.; drums)
Mary McCreary (b. 8th February 1951, San Francisco, California, U.S.A., backing vocals)
Elva Mouton (b. 19th January 1951, Antioch, California, U.S.A., backing vocals)
Gerry Gibson (drums)
Pat Rizzo (b. 30th November 1941, California, U.S.A., saxophone)
Rustee Allen (b. 13th March 1953, Monroe, Louisiana, U.S.A., bass & vocals)
Andy Newmark (b. Andrew Newmark, 14th July 1950, Port Chester, New York, U.S.A., drums)
Bill Lordan (b. 22nd May 1947, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., drums)
Sid Page (b. 1947, U.S.A., violin)
Vicki Blackwell (violin)
Jim Strassburg (drums)
Dennis Marcellino (b. Dennis Joseph Marcellino, 17th January 1948, San Francisco, California, U.S.A., saxophone)
The story of Sly Stone began with enormous promise and, subsequently, proceeded along a rocky road that would see this hugely gifted singer / songwriter forced into musical retirement by a Twentieth Century malaise. Drug misuse.
Sly Stone's recording career commenced during 1948.
His family moved from his home state of Texas to San Francisco during the 1950's.
His family's group were called the Stewart Four, a band with which Sly played the drums and some guitar sessions.
on the battlefield b/w walking in the name of jesus - 1952
They recorded the tunes 'On The Battlefield' b/w 'Walking In The Name Of Jesus', which became a single.
When Sly attended High School, he performed in various clubs and bars and sang with the groups, the Vicanes and Joe Piazza And The Continentals.
a long time alone - 1961 / help me with my broken heart - 1962 / i just learned how to swim - 1964 / temptation walk - 1965
Sly recorded under his family name, Sylvester Stewart, releasing 'Long Time Alone' b/w 'I'm Just A Fool' (on Luke Records 1961), 'Help Me With A Broken Heart' b/w ' Long Time Alone' (G&P Records 1962), 'I Just Learned To Swim' (Autumn Records 1964), 'Buttermilk' (autumn Records 1965) and 'Temptation Walk (Pts 1&2)' (Autumn Records 1965).
He had studied the trumpet at Vallejo Junior College in the early 1960's.
Sly on KSOL - 1967
Sly was also a deejay at the time working on the radio stations KSOL and KDIA.
On joining the Autumn Records imprint in 1964, Sly became a producer and songwriter, penning Bobby Freeman's 'C'mon And Swim'.
Sly also recorded his own material, including 'Buttermilk Parts 1 & 2' in 1965.
His production work included work with the acts the Beau Brummels, the Tikis, the Great Society and the Mojo Men.
By 1966, Sly had decided to put together his own band, called the Stoners, a group that recruited the trumpter Cynthia Robinson within it's ranks (Sly and Cynthia later had a daughter together who now has a child of her own. Their daughter is called Sylvettha Phunne Robinson).
Cynthia became a core member of the multi racial group.
Sly has two other children. Sly Jr. living in Las Vegas and another daughter living in Mexico.
a whole new thing - 1967 / dance to the music - 1968 / life - 1968 / stand! - 1969
In 1967, the group's name had changed slightly to Sly and the Family Stone and recorded 'I Ain't Got Nobody' for the Loadstone imprint.
The following year the group relocated to the Epic label and a run of success commenced.
The first album was entitled 'A Whole New Thing', which contained the smash hit 'Dance To The Music', a Top 10 single in the U.S.A. and U.K.
The album 'Life' followed later in 1968.
Later that year 'Everyday People' was a follow up hit and further albums followed.
In 1969, Sly released the album 'Stand', a set that contained the songs 'Everyday People', 'Sing A Simple Song', 'Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey', 'Sex Machine' and 'I Want To Take You Higher'.
This album went on to sell two million copies.
Tracks that never made it to a parent album included 'Hot Fun in the Summertime' and 'Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)' b/w 'Everybody Is a Star' which became hits in late 1969 and early 1970.
He appeared at the Woodstock Music Festival at this time.
At this point, Sly began to miss his musical appointments.
Rumours spread that this was due to drug related issues.
there's a riot going on - 1971 / fresh - 1973 / small talk - 1974 - high on you - 1975
In 1971, 'There's A Riot Goin' On' appeared, an album that reflected the singers mood swings at that time.
The album did contain the songs 'Family Affair' (a U.S. R & B and pop number 1), 'Running Away' and 'Smilin', however.
A follow up album entitled 'Fresh' was released and contained the songs 'Small Talk' and 'High On You'.
Sly's drug dependency became a constant issue in the man's attempt's to rejuvenate his career.
He had become addicted to cocaine.
herd ya missed me, well i'm back - 1976 / on the right track - 1979 / ain't but the one way - 1982
'Heard Ya Missed Me, Well I'm Back' was released in 1976, with the song 'What Was I Thinking In My Head' receiving some dancefloor popularity.
A previous 1979 release, 'Back On The Right Track', featured several original members, however the drugs had taken over the man's life to the extent that 1982's release 'Ain't But The One Way' became Sly's last studio album to date.
The album contained the popular song 'Ha Ha, Hee Hee', played on Robbie Vincent's Radio London Show at the time.
He made brief appearances on Jesse Johnson's 1986 R & B hit 'Crazay' and 'Love & Affection' for the Soul Man soundtrack.
He also he recorded 'Eek-a-Bo-Static,' a single that was not successful.
Sly was jailed for possession of cocaine in 1987 and ended the decade fighting further extradition charges.
There was little of any note heard of Sly Stone in the 90's.
In 1993, Sly Stone was inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, however, at the induction ceremony, he was found living in a sheltered-housing complex.
The Avenue Records imprint gave Sly a recording contract in 1995, however, nothing came to fruition.
By 2006, Sly Stone returned to centre stage, after an appearance at the Grammy awards, following several years struggling with drug problems.
He left the place by motorbike!
Cynthia Robinson, sadly, passed away in 2015 from cancer.
A Whole New Thing (Epic Records 1967)
Dance To The Music (Epic Records 1968)
Life (U.S.A.) / M'Lady (U.K.) (Epic / Direction Records 1968)
Stand! (Epic Records 1969)
There's A Riot Going On (Epic Records 1971)
Fresh (Epic Records 1973)
Small Talk (Epic Records 1974)
High On You (Epic Records 1975)
Heard Ya Missed Me, Well I'm Back (Epic Records 1976)
Back On The Right Track (Warners Records 1979)
Ain't But The One Way (Warners Records 1983)