Sly & The Family Stone

By Gary: Now this is a funky 70’s group that I just loved.  One of the largest Groups to assemble on Stage.

Sly & the Family Stone

Band members (and their tenures)

  • Sly Stone (Sylvester Stewart) (1966–1975): vocals, organ, guitar, bass guitar, piano, harmonica, and more
  • Freddie Stone (Frederick Stewart) (1966–1975): vocals, guitar
  • Larry Graham (1966–1972): vocals, bass guitar
  • Rose Stone (Rosemary Stewart) (1968–1975): vocals, piano, electric piano
  • Cynthia Robinson (1966–1975): trumpet, vocal ad libs
  • Jerry Martini (1966–1975): saxophone
  • Gregg Errico (1966–1971): drums
  • Little Sister; Vet Stone (Vaetta Stewart), Mary McCreary, and Elva Mouton (1966–1975): background vocals
  • Gerry Gibson (1971–1972): drums; replaced Gregg Errico
  • Pat Rizzo (1972–1975): saxophone
  • Max Kerr (1972): bass; gigging stand-in between Larry Graham and Rusty Allen
  • Rusty Allen (1972–1975): bass; replaced Larry Graham
  • Andy Newmark (1973–1974): drums; replaced Gerry Gibson
  • Bill Lordan (1974): drums; replaced Andy Newmark
  • Vicki Blackwell (1974–1975): violin
  • Jim Strassburg (1974): drums; replaced Bill Lordan
  • Adam Veaner (1975): drums; replaced Jim Strassburg
Cynthia Robinson, the trumpet player and  famous voice of “Dance to the Music” unfortunately passed away on November 23, 2015. Cynthia died of cancer in Carmichael, California at the age of 71.


One of the best videos of Dance to the Music


Hot Fun in the Summertime and Wanna take you Higher /


1968 / Everyday People and Dance to the Music /

1969 / Live /


1973 / I want to take you higher /


1974 / Midnight Special / Thank You /
1974 / Everybody is a star / Midnight Special /


1.   Dance to the Music/ Epic 10256/ March 1968/ #8


2.   Everyday People/ Epic 10407/ January 1969/ #1 (4) – A great song with relevant lyrics!


3.   Stand!/ Epic 10450/ March 1969/ #22


4.   Hot Fun in the Summertime/ Epic 10497/ August 1969/ #2 (2)


5.   Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)/ Epic 10555/ January 1970/ #1 (2)


6.   Everybody is a Star/ B Side / June 1970/


7.   I want to take you Higher (re-release/69/ Epic 10450/ June 1970/ #38


8.   Family Affair/ Epic 10805/ November 1971/ #1 (3)


9.   Runnin’ Away/ Epic 10829/ February 1972/ #23


10. If you want me to Stay/ Epic 11017/ July 1973/ #12


11. Time for Livin‘/ Epic 11140/ August 1974/ #32


Sylvester Stewart or Sly Stone has had many up and downs in his career, just too many run-in’s with the legal community.  But he finally sued his management company for unpaid royalties (he was living in an RV at the time) and was awarded 5 Million Dollars in 2016.

Stone, born Sylvester Stewart, testified he had not received any royalty payments between 1989 and 2009. Now 71, Stone has been living in an RV and was barely surviving. He couldn’t be more deserving of the settlement. After all, the San Francisco native is responsible for hits such as “Everyday People,” “Dance To The Music,” “Family Affair,” and “If You Want Me To Stay.”

After two days of deliberations, a Los Angeles jury assessed damages of $2.5 million against Even St Productions, $2.45 million against Goldstein and $50,000 against Glenn Stone.

Stone and Goldstein, of course, deny the charges and plan to appeal. Hopefully the verdict sticks and they are forced to cough up the money they allegedly stole from him. Whatever happens, at least someone is on his side. Sly’s life has been tumultuous to say the least, marred by decades of run-ins with the law, including several drug and gun possession charges. After being absent from the public eye for many years, he resurfaced at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Fesival in 2010, but sadly, the performance was a disaster.

Sly & the Family Stone were an important and influential American band from Oakland, California. Active from 1966 until 1975, the band was pivotal in the development of soul, funk and psychedelia.

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) at the end of 1966. 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 five Top 10 hits and four groundbreaking albums, which greatly influenced the sound of American pop music, soul, R&B, funk, and hip hop music.

During the early 1970s, the band switched to a grittier funk sound, which was as influential on the music industry as their earlier work.

The band began to fall apart during this period 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.

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

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”.




2 responses to “Sly & The Family Stone

  1. Wow, another great post I missed. Yeah, Sly was HUGE. The most creative funk/rock band that ever was. The band Love (from LA) may have broken the race barrier just before them but Love never became big. When my band opened for Sly & the Family Stone at an outdoor concert in NYC (in 1968?) I couldn’t believe how good they were. Imagine if Sly had kept it up and stayed off the hard drugs. They could have been big for decades!

  2. Hugh “BABE” O’Donnell a 60’s Disc Jockey played all his hits a my many dances. Before the 60’s he did a Great OLDIES CD with some great LOVE Ballads. You will have to search for this SLY masterpiece. Always you know your artists and music.

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