Thursday, 26 November 2015

Vale Cynthis Robinson, Sly and the Family Stone

It would be remiss of any music blog NOT to mark the passing of Cynthia Robinson, co-vocalist and trumpet player in Sly and the Family Stone.

Sly and the Family Stone were one of the first (and only) truly integrated and egalitarian bands to ever exist. They integrated male and female members, people of different races, and made some of the most vibrant and joyous music ever, at the height of the Woodstock era when there the Vietnam War was sapping everybody's faith in humanity.

Cynthia was at the forefront of this, sharing lead vocals with Sly Stone on many of their tracks, such as "I Want To Take You Higher", "Dance to the Music" and "Sing a Simple Song". She was the one exhorting us all do dance or, if you didn't feel like then "All the squares go home!"

She was also a formidable instrumentalist. Her trumpet solo on "I Want to Take You Higher" is a thing of beauty.

After 1970 Sly Stone became heavily addicted to various substances and the music became quite dark at times, however Cynthia's contributions never diminished. After the band imploded in 1975 she went on to play for former Family Stone member Larry Graham's Graham Central Station and with George Clinton.

Her contribution is underrated and deserves more attention. Vale Cynthia, you will be missed.

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