Sly Stone is one of those artists that just can’t be categorized. His music is a combination of Funk, Rock, Soul, Psychedelica–oh forget the genres, its just great music.
Sly brought us all together with “Everyday People,” made us dance with songs like “I Want To Take You Higher” and “Dance To The Music” (try going to an NBA game and not hearing that one played over the sound system). He could make you feel reminiscent and melancholy with “Hot Fun In The Summertime,” or just get downright funky with “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).”
In addition to being a gifted musician and songwriter, he was also an innovator. Sly and The Family Stone was the first major American band to have a multi-racial, multi-gender line-up. His bass player, Larry Graham, took a new approach to the bass on “Thank You,” which is considered by many to be the beginning of the “slap bass,” now a standard in any Funk bass player’s musical weaponry.
Now back in the day, it was rumored that Stone was romantically linked with Doris Day. The two contend they were just friends. No matter, their “friendship” resulted in Stone recording a gospel infused version of Day’s song “Que Sera Sera.”
Aside from an occasional public appearance, Stone has remained reclusive, but his music stands the test of time and over the years has influenced artists like Miles Davis, George Clinton, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Corinne Bailey Rae, just to name a few. In his early days, Stone was a disc jockey at San Francisco radio station KSOL, but we’re glad he decided to make records instead of spin them.
– Montrose Cunningham
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Montrose Cunningham is an independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado residing in Dallas, Texas. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughter; sometimes both at the same time. Visit him online at www.MontroseMusic.com and on Facebook.