Saturday, June 30, 2007
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Sly & The Family Stone
Artist:Sly & The Family Stone
Song:You Can Make It If You Try
With it's mix of R & B, funk, rock and social commentary, Sly & The Family Stone were one of the most influential groups of the late 60s. Sly Stone was born Sylvester Stewart Mar. 15, 1943 in Denton, TX. He grew up in Vallejo, CA and sang with his family's gospel group. At age 16, he had a regional hit with Long Time Away, played with various bands in the Bay Area and was a DJ at the local R & B radio station. Autumn Records hired him as a producer and he worked with bands like the Beau Brummels & Bobby Freeman. He formed The Stoners in 1966. That didn't last long but he formed Sly & The Family Stone in 1967 with his brother Fred Stewart on guitar, his sister Rose Stone on piano, Cynthia Robinson on trumpet, Jerry Martini on sax, Larry Graham on bass and Greg Errico on drums. The regional hit I Ain't Got Nobody earned them a contract with Epic. The group struggled a bit. Dance To The Music was a top ten hit in 1968 but the follow ups didn't catch on until Everyday People really made them huge in 1969. That was the first single from Stand!. Stone introduced more politically aware songs including You Can Make It If You Try, a song that was a starting point for extended jams in concert. Stand! is probably Sly & The Family Stone's most essential album and Epic has recently released it with five bonus tracks. Sly & The Family Stone continued to have success but things started to unravel with Sly's drug abuse and he became notorious for not showing up for gigs. This began the group's decline and the end was near once Larry Graham & Greg Errico left to form Graham Central Station in 1972. The group split up in 1975. Sly Stone has occasionally attempted comebacks but he doesn't seem to have the will to make music consistently anymore. But he was influential on today's R & B and hip hop and he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1993. Larry Graham did have a successful R & B career in the 80s. Here's Sly & The Family Stone performing You Can Make It If You Try in 1969.