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“If you want me to stay / I’ll be around today / To be available for you to see I’m about to go / And then you’ll know / For me to stay here, I’ve got to be me.“ If, like me and many of the fans of his ’60s and ’70s hits, you wanted Sly Stone to stay, be assured that he’s now 70 staying with a life in music. He began six decades ago as Sylvester Stewart, the featured boy singer in The Stewart Family Four, a juvenile Afro-American gospel group out of Vallejo, California. In the local school system, where he took on the nickname Sly, the future bandleader demonstrated his determination to get the most out of everything musical, writing songs and singing with a racially integrated high school a cappella group called the Viscaynes. After-hours, he played guitar at R&B clubs late into the night. Soon after graduation and some coursework in junior college as a student of music theory, classical music, and jazz, the multi-talented Sly frequented the burgeoning Bay Area rock ’n’ roll scene, where he was recruited by KYA-AM DJs “Big Daddy” Tom Donahue and Bob Mitchell to write songs and produce for their new Autumn Records label. Sly created a hit on Autumn for Bobby Freeman in 1964, “C’mon And Swim,” which both revived Freeman’s career (he’d scored with “Do You Wanna Dance” in 1958) and made Sly enough money to help his parents, K.C. and Alpha Stewart, move from Vallejo to a large, handsome home on Urbano Drive in San Francisco. Sly also wrote for The Mojo Men (“My Woman’s Head”) and helped launch The Beau Brummels, a group of young locals who gained national notice with what sounded like an echo of the “British Invasion.” But Sly wasn’t content to just write and spin dials. He made the most out of his Autumn connections by recording “I Just Learned How To Swim” and “Scat Swim,” spin-offs from Freeman, built on Sly’s punchy pop progressions and jazzy scat singing. (For more about Sly’s launching his own recording career in the wake of Freeman’s, see the scintillating track notes created for this box by biographers Edwin and Arno Konings.) Sly waxed other originals, including “Buttermilk” and “Temptation Walk,” and numbers like “Dance All Night,” copped from the song lists of local bands he gigged with. In the studio, his instrumental and vocal performances were bolstered by brother Freddie, sister Rose, and newfound keyboard mentor Billy Preston (for whom Sly cut an early version of “I Remember”). None of these sessions scored radio play, and the young producer/songwriter decided to take his seductive baritone voice and showy but playful personality into a radio career of his own. Sly, who still insists that, “I’ve never seen me white or black,” pushed his playlists beyond R&B and soul and into the Beatles, the Stones, and Bob Dylan. Eager to also elevate

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Sly Stone, lyrics to “If You Want Me To Stay,” 1973. © 1973 Mijac Music. All rights administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, 8 Music Square West, Nashville, TN 37203. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Sly custom belt buckle - 1999 Sylvester Stewart school yearbook photo, Vallejo, CA - 1955 The Stewart Four - 1952 Left Page: High On You cover photo shoot - 1975

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“If you want me to stay / I’ll be around today / To be available for you to see I’m about to go / And then you’ll know / For me to stay here, I’ve got to be me.“ If, like me and many of the fans of his ’60s and ’70s hits, you wanted Sly Stone to stay, be assured that he’s now 70 staying with a life in music. He began six decades ago as Sylvester Stewart, the featured boy singer in The Stewart Family Four, a juvenile Afro-American gospel group out of Vallejo, California. In the local school system, where he took on the nickname Sly, the future bandleader demonstrated his determination to get the most out of everything musical, writing songs and singing with a racially integrated high school a cappella group called the Viscaynes. After-hours, he played guitar at R&B clubs late into the night. Soon after graduation and some coursework in junior college as a student of music theory, classical music, and jazz, the multi-talented Sly frequented the burgeoning Bay Area rock ’n’ roll scene, where he was recruited by KYA-AM DJs “Big Daddy” Tom Donahue and Bob Mitchell to write songs and produce for their new Autumn Records label. Sly created a hit on Autumn for Bobby Freeman in 1964, “C’mon And Swim,” which both revived Freeman’s career (he’d scored with “Do You Wanna Dance” in 1958) and made Sly enough money to help his parents, K.C. and Alpha Stewart, move from Vallejo to a large, handsome home on Urbano Drive in San Francisco. Sly also wrote for The Mojo Men (“My Woman’s Head”) and helped launch The Beau Brummels, a group of young locals who gained national notice with what sounded like an echo of the “British Invasion.” But Sly wasn’t content to just write and spin dials. He made the most out of his Autumn connections by recording “I Just Learned How To Swim” and “Scat Swim,” spin-offs from Freeman, built on Sly’s punchy pop progressions and jazzy scat singing. (For more about Sly’s launching his own recording career in the wake of Freeman’s, see the scintillating track notes created for this box by biographers Edwin and Arno Konings.) Sly waxed other originals, including “Buttermilk” and “Temptation Walk,” and numbers like “Dance All Night,” copped from the song lists of local bands he gigged with. In the studio, his instrumental and vocal performances were bolstered by brother Freddie, sister Rose, and newfound keyboard mentor Billy Preston (for whom Sly cut an early version of “I Remember”). None of these sessions scored radio play, and the young producer/songwriter decided to take his seductive baritone voice and showy but playful personality into a radio career of his own. Sly, who still insists that, “I’ve never seen me white or black,” pushed his playlists beyond R&B and soul and into the Beatles, the Stones, and Bob Dylan. Eager to also elevate

2

Sly Stone, lyrics to “If You Want Me To Stay,” 1973. © 1973 Mijac Music. All rights administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, 8 Music Square West, Nashville, TN 37203. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Sly custom belt buckle - 1999 Sylvester Stewart school yearbook photo, Vallejo, CA - 1955 The Stewart Four - 1952 Left Page: High On You cover photo shoot - 1975

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Sly & The Family Stone with future ‘Little Sisters,’ Vaetta Stewart & Elva Mouton Recording Session for A Whole New Thing. CBS Studios, Hollywood - June 1967

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Sly & The Family Stone with future ‘Little Sisters,’ Vaetta Stewart & Elva Mouton Recording Session for A Whole New Thing. CBS Studios, Hollywood - June 1967

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Inside gatefold of There’s A Riot Goin’ On and concert poster - live at Madison Square Garden, New York - Sept 1971

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Inside gatefold of There’s A Riot Goin’ On and concert poster - live at Madison Square Garden, New York - Sept 1971

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Original assorted tape boxes from the Sony Music archives Left Page: Sly live at Monterey Jazz Festival - Sept 1969

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Original assorted tape boxes from the Sony Music archives Left Page: Sly live at Monterey Jazz Festival - Sept 1969

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March 15, 1943:

Sylvester Stewart is born in Denton, Texas. Six months later, the family moves to Vallejo, California.

March 21, 1945:

Rose Marie Stewart is born in Vallejo, California.

June 5, 1947:

Frederick Jerome (Freddie) Stewart is born in Vallejo, California.

Summer 1952:

The Stewart Four – Sylvester, Rose, Freddie and younger sister Vaetta – record “On The Battlefield.” It is Sly’s first appearance on disc.

October 1961: Sly’s vocal group The Viscaynes chart on KYA in San Francisco with their third release “Yellow Moon.”

Early 1963:

Sly is hired by Tom Donahue and Bob Mitchell of Tempo Productions/Autumn Records as their in-house producer, working not only with R&B acts like Bobby Freeman, but also white pop and rock groups like The Beau Brummels, The Mojo Men, The Vejtables and The Great Society.

March 1964:

Sly writes and produces “C’mon And Swim” for Bobby Freeman. It subsequently becomes a national Top Five hit and Sly’s first gold record.

October 1964:

Sly becomes a DJ at San Francisco R&B station KSOL and starts to use the name Sly Stone.

December 16, 1966:

The Family Stone make their debut at manager Rich Romanello’s Winchester Cathedral club in Redwood City, California.

June & July 1967:

Sister Rose Stewart is permanently added to the Family Stone personnel, bringing her keyboard and vocal harmony skills to the group.

January 1968:

October 4-5, 1968:

July 25, 1967:

March 29-31, 1968:

December 29, 1968:

September 1, 1967:

May 10, 1968:

February 13, 1969:

The Family Stone’s first New York gig is at the Generation Club. In August they will play the legendary Electric Circus.

The band tapes their first demo recordings in San Francisco.

The first single “Underdog” flops. A Whole New Thing, the debut LP, released in November, is similarly unsuccessful.

April 1967:

November 17, 1967:

Freddie forms Freddie & The Stone Souls, featuring Greg Errico on drums.

Mid 1966:

May 1967:

September 1965:

The group regularly commutes to Los Angeles for more recording, while undertaking a three-week residency at the Pussycat A Go Go in Las Vegas.

January 1967:

David Kapralik discovers The Family Stone at the Cathedral, signs Sly to a management contract, and places the group with the Epic label the following month.

Sly forms Sly & The Stoners, featuring Cynthia Robinson on trumpet.

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November 1966:

Sly puts together a new band with Freddie, Greg and Cynthia. Bass player Larry Graham and saxophonist Jerry Martini complete the line-up. Sly & The Family Stone is born.

The first studio sessions with David Kapralik are “Higher” and “Don’t Burn Baby.”

The release of “Dance To The Music” proves to be Sly & The Family Stone’s breakthrough. The single climbs the charts over the following months and becomes their first top 10 hit.

Sly & The Family Stone plays the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, Michigan, where they will maintain a loyal fan base.

Sly & The Family Stone double bills with Jimi Hendrix at The Fillmore East, New York.

June 16, 1968:

The Family Stone appear on ABC-TV’s It’s Happening, where they perform “Life.”

More outrageous Sly performances at The Fillmore East, this time giving Eric Burdon & The Animals a run for their money.

The act’s biggest break so far comes with an appearance on the national Sunday night institution, The Ed Sullivan Show.

The new single “Everyday People” is certified gold and two days later hits #1 nationally, remaining in that position for four weeks.

April 12, 1969:

August 25, 1968:

The band’s fourth album Stand! also goes gold, and crests at #3 on the R&B charts. The record will remain in the Billboard pop charts for two years straight, peaking at #13.

September 13, 1968:

The Family Stone performs at the Harlem Music Festival in Central Park, New York.

The band wins NBC-TV’s Showcase ’68, netting them a $10,000 prize.

The Family Stone’s first jaunt overseas to Europe is marred by a cannabis bust and faulty equipment provided by local promoters.

July 4, 1969:

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March 15, 1943:

Sylvester Stewart is born in Denton, Texas. Six months later, the family moves to Vallejo, California.

March 21, 1945:

Rose Marie Stewart is born in Vallejo, California.

June 5, 1947:

Frederick Jerome (Freddie) Stewart is born in Vallejo, California.

Summer 1952:

The Stewart Four – Sylvester, Rose, Freddie and younger sister Vaetta – record “On The Battlefield.” It is Sly’s first appearance on disc.

October 1961: Sly’s vocal group The Viscaynes chart on KYA in San Francisco with their third release “Yellow Moon.”

Early 1963:

Sly is hired by Tom Donahue and Bob Mitchell of Tempo Productions/Autumn Records as their in-house producer, working not only with R&B acts like Bobby Freeman, but also white pop and rock groups like The Beau Brummels, The Mojo Men, The Vejtables and The Great Society.

March 1964:

Sly writes and produces “C’mon And Swim” for Bobby Freeman. It subsequently becomes a national Top Five hit and Sly’s first gold record.

October 1964:

Sly becomes a DJ at San Francisco R&B station KSOL and starts to use the name Sly Stone.

December 16, 1966:

The Family Stone make their debut at manager Rich Romanello’s Winchester Cathedral club in Redwood City, California.

June & July 1967:

Sister Rose Stewart is permanently added to the Family Stone personnel, bringing her keyboard and vocal harmony skills to the group.

January 1968:

October 4-5, 1968:

July 25, 1967:

March 29-31, 1968:

December 29, 1968:

September 1, 1967:

May 10, 1968:

February 13, 1969:

The Family Stone’s first New York gig is at the Generation Club. In August they will play the legendary Electric Circus.

The band tapes their first demo recordings in San Francisco.

The first single “Underdog” flops. A Whole New Thing, the debut LP, released in November, is similarly unsuccessful.

April 1967:

November 17, 1967:

Freddie forms Freddie & The Stone Souls, featuring Greg Errico on drums.

Mid 1966:

May 1967:

September 1965:

The group regularly commutes to Los Angeles for more recording, while undertaking a three-week residency at the Pussycat A Go Go in Las Vegas.

January 1967:

David Kapralik discovers The Family Stone at the Cathedral, signs Sly to a management contract, and places the group with the Epic label the following month.

Sly forms Sly & The Stoners, featuring Cynthia Robinson on trumpet.

78

November 1966:

Sly puts together a new band with Freddie, Greg and Cynthia. Bass player Larry Graham and saxophonist Jerry Martini complete the line-up. Sly & The Family Stone is born.

The first studio sessions with David Kapralik are “Higher” and “Don’t Burn Baby.”

The release of “Dance To The Music” proves to be Sly & The Family Stone’s breakthrough. The single climbs the charts over the following months and becomes their first top 10 hit.

Sly & The Family Stone plays the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, Michigan, where they will maintain a loyal fan base.

Sly & The Family Stone double bills with Jimi Hendrix at The Fillmore East, New York.

June 16, 1968:

The Family Stone appear on ABC-TV’s It’s Happening, where they perform “Life.”

More outrageous Sly performances at The Fillmore East, this time giving Eric Burdon & The Animals a run for their money.

The act’s biggest break so far comes with an appearance on the national Sunday night institution, The Ed Sullivan Show.

The new single “Everyday People” is certified gold and two days later hits #1 nationally, remaining in that position for four weeks.

April 12, 1969:

August 25, 1968:

The band’s fourth album Stand! also goes gold, and crests at #3 on the R&B charts. The record will remain in the Billboard pop charts for two years straight, peaking at #13.

September 13, 1968:

The Family Stone performs at the Harlem Music Festival in Central Park, New York.

The band wins NBC-TV’s Showcase ’68, netting them a $10,000 prize.

The Family Stone’s first jaunt overseas to Europe is marred by a cannabis bust and faulty equipment provided by local promoters.

July 4, 1969:

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88697536652BK1

Sly Stone Box Set Booklet Teaser  

Here's a hint of what to expect to find inside the Sly & The Family Stone 8LP Box Set [MOVLP877]. This career-spanning Sly Stone anthology...

Sly Stone Box Set Booklet Teaser  

Here's a hint of what to expect to find inside the Sly & The Family Stone 8LP Box Set [MOVLP877]. This career-spanning Sly Stone anthology...

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