Born in Dallas, Texas in 1945 Sylvester Stewart and his band Sly & The Family Stone were the quintessential ambassadors of Funk both in terms of music and style. Their in-the-pocket groove, their colourful appearance and their vibrant stage shows became the blueprint for the Funk per se.

Having studied music theory and composition Sly started out as a radio DJ in San Francisco in the early sixties. He formed his band Sly & the Stoners in 1966 with himself on organ and vocals and Cynthia Robinson on trumpet. The line-up was soon completed with Sly's brother Freddie on guitar, Jerry Martini on saxophone, Greg Errico on drums and Larry Graham on bass. Having renamed the band Sly & the Family Stone they signed to CBS in 1967. Sly's sister Rose Stone joined the band on vocals a year later. After dissapointing sales of the first album for CBS, the single 'Dance to the Music' was released in February 1968 and became a smash hit, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. At the end of 1968 the band topped the charts with the single 'Everyday People' and the album 'Stand!' was released in May 1969. The album became an instant classic, it's style ranging from the race-conscious 'Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey' to the dance Funk of 'Sing a Simple Song' and the thundering rock of 'I Wanna Take You Higher'. Riding on the success of the 'Stand!' album, the band played the Woodstock Festival in August 1969.

Recommended Listening:

Stand! 1969

Album Discography:

A Whole New Thing 1967
Dance To The Music 1968
Life 1968

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