Sly & The Family Stone Want To “Thank You”

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(Photo courtesy of last.fm)

(Photo courtesy of last.fm)

Thanksgiving is tomorrow!

And to celebrate, Jack FM is serving up a slice of funk courtesy of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Sly and the Family Stone[/lastfm].

We guarantee it’ll taste better than your mother-in-law’s stuffing.

In his 1998 book For the Record: Sly and the Family Stone (An Oral History), author Joel Selvin wrote, “there are two types of black music:  black music before Sly Stone and black music after Sly Stone.”

Brothers Sly and Freddie Stone made music history in December 1966 when they decided to merge their bands and form Sly and the Family Stone.  Made up of family members and friends, Sly and the Family Stone were one of the first bands in America to feature an integrated, multi-gender lineup.

In 1967, the rock/funk/soul band from San Francisco released their debut album, A Whole New Thing.  The album received mixed reviews from critics, but failed to make a commercial impact.

Shortly after, CBS Records executive Clive Davis approached Sly Stone and persuaded him to write and produce a more pop-friendly record.  At first, the band was hesitant, but in January ’68 they released the single “Dance to the Music.”  It was an instant hit, climbing all the way to #8 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.  An album of the same name followed three months later.

In May 1969, Sly and the Family Stone scored their biggest success yet with the release of Stand!  Considered by many to be the band’s artistic high point, Stand! sold more than three million copies and landed at #13 on the Pop Albums chart.  “Everyday People” was the lead-off single, and it spent four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Following a much-talked about performance at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival, the band released the single “Hot Fun in the Summertime.”  It, too, became a Top 5 hit and was featured on Sly and the Family Stone’s 1970 Greatest Hits album, along with “Everybody Is a Star” and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).”  The latter reached the top spot on both the pop and soul charts and is also Jack’s Song of the Day.

Sly and the Family Stone released three more albums, including the platinum-selling There’s a Riot Goin’ On, before disbanding in January 1975.  However, Sly Stone continued performing and recording under the band’s name until he was arrested and convicted of cocaine possession in 1987.

In ’93, Sly and the Family Stone were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and are ranked 43rd on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Here’s Sly and the Family Stone performing a medley of “Everyday People” and “Dance to the Music” on the old Smothers Brothers TV show.  Wow, white people really can’t dance, can they?

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