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Sly Stone turns 60

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Born in Dallas on March 15, 1944, Sylvester Stewart aka Sly Stone has a big birthday. Happy #60, Sly!

Sly’s principle achievement is turning funk into high art and pop at the same time. He took the recent rhythmic and stylistic innovations of James Brown and applied them to superior pop song craft, and state of the art record making.

He had better melodies than JB, and generally far more interesting lyrics. Sly was about something.

Sly was also John the Baptist to the messiah of pop known as Prince. Certainly Sly was the closest working model to the art/funk/pop model that Prince has worked so brilliantly in so many directions.

Stewart himself had a narrow window of creative productivity cut short by some sort of emotional/drug breakdown. Sort of the black Brian Wilson that way. Hey, they both survived.

He’s gotten to be 60 though, and see his work from 35 years ago still reverberating throughout the culture. After all, he wrote and recorded…

Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin)
Everyday People
Family Affair
Sing a Simple Song
Stand!
Don’t Call Me Nigger, Whitey
Dance to the Music
(You Caught Me) Smilin’
You Can Make It If You Try
I Want to Take You Higher

…and they can’t take that away from him.

About Gadfly

  • phun´

    check out Sly’s own site here

    He is making a comeback.

  • http://www.phattadatta.com Gonecat

    Sly’s sister, Vet, is auctioning Sly’s custom built 4-wheel Harley Davidson on ebay, check Sly’s site for info and a recent and ultra rare photo of Sly on the bike with Vet:

    http://www.phattadatta.com

    Yes, Sly was at the Knitting Factory show to see his sister’s tribute band, PhunkPhamilyAffair. Check PhattaDatta for the full story.

  • http://Ajones8697@adelphia.net Tony

    To all who enjoy Sly music he had a new webstie and will be producing some new music he his doing ok and is healthy check out his new site working on Vet new Cd so forget all the old stuff in past and be ready to enjoy some music. Phattadatta.com is his new site address. peace.

  • Mistuhbig

    Sly,

    More important than your music, I hope you are doing well. Thank you for your music. I am 36 years old amd always had a love for your music because my older brother played it. I think my parents played a lot of your music when my mother was pregnant with me. I probably was listening to you in the womb. Your music could not be classified as just rock and roll, funk or any genre. Just plain old good music. Sex Machine is an example of how hellified Sly and the Family Stone was. Whether you make another record or not, your music has left a legacy. I tell my nephew and some of the young cats, not realizing that is your beats, along with James Brown, that are among the most sampled. Once again, Thanks, and God Bless You.

  • Donny

    Hey Sly,
    Missing your music man…I believe I’ve everythang you recorded. When will you grace the world w/ some fresh music…we are suffering w/o you man!!!!!!

  • http://Waitingandcheckingin, Alexander

    Are you watching ? Brooklyn

  • Alexander

    Sly, I know you are reading this < ok doing someing the world waits

  • Tony B

    Everyone does my dad good(he’s not really my dad)I just call him that because he was the one I followed when I heard him on a 45 in 1968(Higher).
    It blew my mind, there was nothin and no one on the planet like Sly and Family Stone. I was 11 yrs old at the time. I even picked out Larry G as a no other on the planet too.
    One bone to pick and that is with the guy Al Barger who wrote the artical at the top of the page. Are you young or nuts, maybe both. Nobody follows SLY… PERIOD. Prince is a follower no matter what he has done. Withouy Sly there would not be a ton of groups or music that FOLLOWED.
    And this thing with James Brown, I grew up first hand listening to both of them and I don’t hear what the young ears hear. Sly is like Jimi you can’t touch. Don’t touch.

    The Real Sly & and The Family Stone Fan

  • Sherry D.

    I had the opportunity to visit Sly at his house in Beverly hills in Sept. ’05. My son is a good friend of his. Sly is amazing! He is constantly writing music. He sat down and talked to me for about half an hour. He’s very down to earth, but has such a presence. I feel so privileged to have had him open up his home to me. Sly, if you’re reading this, please know that you are #1 in my book. AND, it was great seeing you at the Grammys on Feb. 8, 2006. YOU ROCK AND RULE!!! SMD

  • Cassius B.

    Mr. Stewart, my hero!! I can’t call him by his first name. I remember as a kid putting on an afro wig, grabbing my older bro’s guitar and singing along to Mr. Stewarts jams as I looked in the mirror “to see how I was doing”. Will never forget those days. Of course it would be nice to hear some new music but – I am more happy he is still alive and appears to be well. Long live Mr. Stewart!!

  • Bindirana56

    Mr. Stone if you read these things, please, come back into public space. We need you! Turn and look around…this world, specifically this country…has become an ehthical wasteland….no one is “about anything” anymore. The fervor and passion, and political conscience of the people has suffered a mortal blow. The “work” we started in the 60′s and 70′s isn’t complete!!!! The “all about me” 80′s damn near wipped out all the good that was done! Alot of us “believers” still have the fire in the belly! And I can’t believe that you lost your’s…that righteous indignation that that pulsed and lived in your music….never dies….it’s eternal!It came from your soul! We need “the prophet of funk” back to beat the drum and ignite the fire and passion of activism, once again in the soldiers of righteous cause and social awareness! I ask you this question…”have YOU done all the things you set out to do???”….if not, then STAND < STAND < STAND! We need you!

  • BROOKLYN WE SEE U SLY

    YOU GOT ONE MORE SONG TO SING , IN THIS THING ITS A SHAME WE HAVING HEARD FROM YOU.

    WE PLAYING YOUR MUSIC EVERYDAY,

    I KNOW U READING THIS
    AND I’M (WATCHING)

    ARE YOU GOING OUT LIKE THAT ??? ///

    FROM THE HEART OF WORLD! BROOKLYN !!!!

    MY ZODIAC SIGN (.popluar in The 60′s)

    TAURUS THE BULL. I SAY SHUT THEM DOWN !!

    I KNOW YOU SEE ME. ! WORD OUT

  • backed

    join the discussion forum at http://www.slyandthefamilystone.net

    (forum link from front page)

  • Bob

    Sly:

    What goodness I learned growing up, I found in your words. My night with you and Bobby Womack in Rochester, NY in 1984, is etched in my mind. Thank you, Sly. God bless you.

  • http://psychguru.org Ruby Tuesday

    Sly, Wishing you well from Dallas.
    from ,
    Ruby the PsychGuru

  • http://www.myspace/ladydorian Dori

    Sly, Thank you for letting me be myself, which I did through your music. I was a little child back then. Every weekend I had to go take dance lessons and your music was always in the air.

    You are a Pioneer and bought down our Funkiness. For this I thank you.

    Live life with love.