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Sly & The Family Stone Is Profiled On TVOne's UNSUNG Tonight @ 9pm EST

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Showing 1-25 of 29 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 25, 2012 1:00:49 PM PDT
For those who are familiar with the show UNSUNG
on TVOne, Season 6 premieres tonight.
The first episode of the season profiles the highly
influential band Sly & The Family Stone.
I've seen a few of the trailers and it looks like
it will be interesting. Anywayz, Just putting the word out there!

Posted on Jun 25, 2012 2:34:30 PM PDT
Shining Star says:
Hey there,

Thanks for the info, should be a good one.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2012 5:34:45 PM PDT
I agree...and you're welcome.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2012 7:49:00 AM PDT
club 7 says:
had to work monday night but looking forward to seeing it when it reairs. love me some sly and the family stone. stand is one of the greatest funk pop soul jam albums ever. message with a sick groove.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2012 10:18:48 AM PDT
Very true Club 7...
I think you'll enjoy it, though I think they could have gone another
30 minutes to an hour with info that they didn't reveal.
Although in certain parts of Sly's interviews they should've posted
subtitles, because he sounded a bit like The Hamburgular from the
old McDonald's commercials. (LOL) I had to re-watch it last night to
make out some parts of what he was saying.
They aired it almost back to back last night, but I'm sure they will
air it again before the next episode on Monday, which will be on Angela Bofill.

Posted on Jun 27, 2012 8:48:10 PM PDT
Wish i knew this channel. Just got three related Sly LP's recently. And The Family Stone just kicked off the Sigmund Stern Grove free fest here without Larry but with Greg and the gang. Cool show. Anita Baker too. She rocked.

Sly is supposedly living in a van in LA near the airport. Making music. But real paranoid.

I'm passed a fan, i really worship Sly and all that band but his story is repeated in so many people. Including my relatives and most of the population in the Tenderloin where i live. Bummer.

My poison , alchol, not , his but still i can relate. Wish he could get his due among all the sixties icons. As well as all his band, including Freddie who is forgotten. Real bummer for such a great band and talent is him to burn away so soon.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2012 9:40:54 PM PDT
Hey Anthony,
Yeah it's ashamed how he turned out.
On the show, his oldest son, Sly Jr. said he stayed in his driveway
in that van for a few months, then he went somewhere else.
You're right, he's very paranoid now, and finds comfort only
living inside that van, where he was a mini studio set up to do music.
He's tied up in a really bad legal battle over back monies and royalties owned
to him (a la George Clinton), that he signed away while he was under the influence.
Jerry Martini and Greg Errico both said that Sly was all good and only about the music,
and that The Family Stone was really like a family until he left San Francisco and moved
to L.A. in early 1970. Martini says it all went downhill after that.

Posted on Jun 28, 2012 1:14:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 28, 2012 2:24:27 PM PDT
Just watched it twice on the TV One website. Very cool. Nice performance footage i had never seen. Didn't give Larry Graham too much props, he is passed amazing. The early photos were really cool. The brief Fresh era performance was real cool. Local DJ and author Rickey Vincent ( Funk: The Music, The People, and The Rhythm of The One ) was all over the story. Surprised Joel Selvin wasn't, he wrote a book and many articles through the years.

Great stuff. I'd love to hear some of Sly's homemade van recordings. Still seems to have it musically. You are right about him needing translation though ; ).

What a trip the dog attacking his son story, wow. And the vocal group he was in as a kid, real interesting tidbit.

Also in the beginning the James Brown mention, was a little different than how i feel. James is the funk to me, Sly and George kind of took the batton. All three are the definition of funk, to me, but James just a little earlier and the blueprint. Then Sly and George made it their own and helped define it further, just my opinion.

Thanks for the recomendation of the great mini doc on Sly and the band. Wish they would have focused on all of the members and other stuff they all did. Maybe a longer bio will someday come. Funk on Sly.....

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 3:11:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 28, 2012 3:15:52 PM PDT
@ Fernandez,
Don't forget that the documentary that the two dutch brothers did on Sly & The Family Stone
is still making the arthouse and college theatre rounds, but will be released on DVD next year.
It is defintely more in depth, talks to more people (including Freddie & Rose), plus the mother,
the late Alpha Stewart, was still around when it was being made....unless that was some older
footage I saw of her worshipping in Freddie's church in the trailer that I saw.

Regarding your theory on the evolution of funk:
I agree that James Brown & his tight, funky, creative band (s) definitely kicked
the funk door down and laid the blueprint for it.
But Sly expanded it by incorporating that raw funky fervor with psychedelic rock,
jazz, gospel, pop, and that late 60's/early 70's hippiesque love/peace/harmony/
equality aesthetic, which in turn opened the music up to a bigger, more diverse audience.
George Clinton took what both of them did, and infused it with his own all out over-the-top
cartoonish, post-modern tribalist / afrocentric futurist vision of FUNK (P-Funk) as being a
lifeforce of mythical & mystical extraterrestrial origins! (-:

Both Sly & Clinton were much better lyricists too, and their harmonic and vocal ideas were
much more evolved than James Brown's primal & essential gut bucket proto-funk formula
of moans, growls, screams, etc., which are deeply rooted in the southern rhythm & blues
& gospel traditions; and also (needs to be said) very very african as well.
Add to that, JB's amazing stage presence and unique dancing ability,
which in and of itself...set a whole other blueprint for every performer from
Tina Turner to Michael Jackson, to Prince, to what you have seen in any
dancing & singing performer since the 60's and beyond.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 5:51:20 PM PDT
doodah man says:

... Thanks for the heads-up on the broadcast, I enjoyed it and would have missed it but for your post. Good show.

The Family Stone recently played here in so. Calif., doing the casino venues. I missed it myself, but a friend of mine went and said it was a very good show, even without Sly.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 5:54:04 PM PDT
Dee Zee says:
In case of the Sly fans here don't have it, I'd highly recommend Sly & TFS Woodstock Experience. It a 2 CD set with the album Stand and the complete unedited Woodstock performance.
Sly & The Family Stone: The Woodstock Experience

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 8:21:07 PM PDT
Totally man. You said it better than me. I agree.

My favorite of the three is totally Sly. I really, really love all three. But i guess when i think of James Brown I put him in the really iconic important music people. Like Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Blilly Holiday and to me just as important as Elvis. James just an inventor, really his own Mt. Rushmore. To me he is real important and on his own as far as influence.

Doodah they played here too and rocked it.

Dee Zee i have that set. The Woodstock show is so great. They reissued all Sly's stuff with extras. The sound is great and the extras on Fresh really stand out.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 9:40:25 PM PDT
@ Doodah're welcome man.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 9:44:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 28, 2012 9:53:50 PM PDT
@ Dee Zee...yeah, that 2 CD set is awesome!
S & TFS live and at the height of their powers before it all began to go south.
It's funny, those songs are all 40-plus years old, but they still inspire and move you.
Sly's music, like E,W & F, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, etc., just makes you feel good.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 9:52:54 PM PDT
@ Fernandez,
I completely get what you're saying and you're right about James.
But on my "Mt. Funkmore"---James, Sly, George, and I would even count
Hendrix in many ways, because he was a proto-funker if you listen closely to his stuff.
Yeah, he was psychedelic, bluesy, spacey, most defintely rock...but being that he played rhythm behind
The Isleys, Little Richard, and all those early R&B / Soul kats....he was extremely funky too!
So that's my "Mt. Funkmore" (-:

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 6:24:28 AM PDT
Dee Zee says:
I was lucky to see Sly & TFS live in 1970 at Winterland in SF. Great show.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 6:30:24 AM PDT
Shining Star says:
"Regarding your theory on the evolution of funk:"

Nicely said, I don't think Sly gets enough credit for being really a bridge between the gut-bucket, primal funk of James Brown to the more ethereal, hard funk/rock stylings of George Clinton. And I think that bridge was needed as a perfect transition from one to the other making the genre more accessible to a wider audience.

From that "tree" came the artists that you mentioned and others like Earth, Wind and Fire, The Isley Brothers (especially the 3+3 lineup), Stevie Wonder and Rick James, amongst others, all of whom brought strong elements of funk into their music.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 6:37:37 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 29, 2012 6:47:54 AM PDT
@ M. Jones:
You are correct! And let us not forget The Ohio Players, Mandrill, WAR,
Tower of Power, Prince, and many more.
Then of course, you have everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers,
Depeche Mode, and others across later genres who have mentioned the influence
of James, Sly, and George in interviews down through the years.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 6:40:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 29, 2012 6:41:20 AM PDT
Shining Star says:
Yes sir!

Oh man, i LOVE The Ohio Players! Madrill, WAR & Tower of Power are essential as well.

His Royal Purpleness goes without saying. :-)

On a side note, can you think of any other artist who is as closely associated with a particular color as Prince is to purple?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 6:47:13 AM PDT
No, not right off hand anyway. LOL

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 6:51:02 AM PDT
Shining Star says:

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 7:00:18 AM PDT
Lots of great funkateers. Maybe Sammy Hagar with red and Black Sabbath with black? But not like the purple ones all encompassing purpleness.

The Isleys are so cool. What a range of styles they covered. Love 3+3. How about Kool and the Gang another great funk ensemble. I also really love Cold Blood and the great Tower of Power too.

That sixties and early seventies time period funk was just in the air and water even pop and hard rock had that funky drum breakdown in there. Cool stuff. Then it all evolved as it always does.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 7:05:40 AM PDT
Shining Star says:
Hi Anthony,

Forgot about Sammy "The Red Rocker" Hagar! I love The Isleys as well, I was listening to The Heat Is On last night and it brought back some GREAT memories.

Kool and the Gang were fabulous, I loved their early incarnation too. The instrumental "Summer Madness" is fantastic!

The sounds of the sixties and seventies truly were special and I'm so glad I was able to experience it.

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 8:19:27 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 29, 2012 8:23:38 AM PDT
Nice M. Jones, love me some Summer Madness, i remember reading that Sylvester Stallone really dug this tune a lot, had to have it in his movie.

How about Bobby Blue Bland, the bluesman?

Another guy a little like the Isleys in that he totally changed his style and had a career that came out of the fifties and went into funk was, the great, Johnny Guitar Watson. He had a crooning phase, real bluesy, and also rockin' guitar, then later he totally changed himself into a funky pimp of a bluesman, total funk.

Dee ZEE wow!! What a cool show to have seen, Sly at Winterland in '70. I guess after seeing in the documentary how many concerts they missed it was a gamble to buy a ticket for their shows. Lucky you, i'm jealous.

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 8:25:19 AM PDT
Shining Star says:
Hey Anthony,

Bobby Blue Bland & Johnny Guitar Watson are both fantastic, I really appreciate hard working artist like that who are always striving and pushing themselves. Guitar Watson & the Isleys have always held a special place for me cause they came out in the fifties and rode every major musical wave from that time period into the heavy funk influenced era of 1970's. And each always found their niche and were able to produce some great songs.
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  29
Initial post:  Jun 25, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 7, 2012

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