Sly and the Family Stone

Sly and the Family Stone

    After James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone was probably the most important act in the emergence of funk in the late 60s and early 70s. Extremely versatile and ground breaking, the San Francisco band was claimed by soul, rock, funk and psychedelic music fans and created some of the most revered songs of their era.

    Headed by singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist Sly Stone, and containing several of his family members and friends, the band was the first major American rock band to have an integrated lineup in both race and gender.

    Brothers Sly Stone and singer/guitarist Freddie Stone combined their bands (Sly & the Stoners and Freddie & the Stone Souls) in 1967. Sly and Freddie Stone, trumpeter Cynthia Robinson, drummer Gregg Errico, saxophonist Jerry Martini, and bassist Larry Graham completed the original lineup; Sly and Freddie's sister, singer/keyboardist Rose Stone, joined within a year. This collective recorded four groundbreaking albums (including now classics "Dance to the Music," "Everyday People," "Stand" and "Family Affair"), which greatly influenced the sound of American pop music, soul, R&B, funk, and hip hop music. In the preface of his 1998 book For the Record: Sly and the Family Stone: An Oral History, Joel Selvin sums up the importance of Sly & the Family Stone's influence on African American music by stating "there are two types of black music: black music before Sly Stone, and black music after Sly Stone" The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

    During the early 1970s, The began to fall apart because of drug abuse and ego clashes; consequently, the fortunes and reliability of the band deteriorated, leading to its dissolution in 1975. Sly Stone continued to record albums and tour with a new rotating lineup under the "Sly & the Family Stone" name from 1975 to 1983. In 1987, Sly Stone was arrested and sentenced for cocaine use, after which he went into effective retirement, continuing until his brief performance with a reconstituted Family Stone at the 2006 Grammy Awards.

    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikepedia article Sly & the Family Stone(which also provides a much more extensive discussion of the group).

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