Sly and the Family Stone
Just how big is the musical contribution made by Sly Stone? Jazz innovator Miles Davis was quoted as he entered his "electric" period that if he could get Sly & Jimi Hendrix in the studio the result would be magnificent.
Sly & The Family Stone used elements of the African American church, rock & roll, blues, jazz improvisation and theater to forge a funky new path on the American musical landscape.
At the peak of his popularity, Hendrix was asked whom he was listening to. His answer, unswervingly was Sly. Indeed, it has been reported that on the last night of life for Jimi Hendrix, his band mates picked up Sly at London's Heathrow airport en route to a jam that was fated not to occur.
Carlos Santana states unequivocally that Sly & The Family Stone played better than anyone at Woodstock. Of course Sly was on the golden road years before. As a teenager he was a member of the Viscaynes, who had a regional hit, "Yellow Moon", before they were out of high school.
At the ripe old age of 19, Sly was the house, producer, arranger, songwriter at the legendary
Autumn Records supervising studio sessions for Gloria Scott & Tonettes, Bobby Freeman, The Spearmints, The Beau Brummels, Sly & The Mojo Men, The Vejtables, The Chosen Few, Grace Slick & The Great Society and Billy Preston. Amazingly enough he still found time to become the most popular DJ on San Francisco's KSOL radio.
In his mid twenties, Sly & The Family Stone came together and their second album "Dance To The Music" became a huge hit. A funk band with a rock personna, the Family Stone mirrored the political climate of the youth. They influenced American music for generations to come. Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, they were also awarded a Pioneer Achievement Award by the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2000. Rumors of new music and reunion of the Family Stone continue to surface to this day. Meanwhile, the legacy continues with Phunk Family affair, the group that includes Sly's Little Sister, Vet Stone, and Cynthia Robinson.


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