Freddie Stone (Sly and the Family Stone)

African-American pastor and musician Freddie Stone Was born June 5, 1947, Vallejo, California). His childhood years were spent in Vallejo, California. His parents were Christians and they attended the Pentecostal church. They also were musicians with his father playing violin, harp and guitar and his mother playing guitar as well as piano. His early years were spent at church and without racial inhibition. His mother would babysit the children in the neighborhood who happened to be of all colors. He started playing music when he was twelve.

As a result of fighting at the Vallejo School, he was expelled and thus had to attend Benicia High School. He did quite well there and in his junior year he was MVP on his basketball team. In his senior year he was president of the student body. Not long after he graduated, the Stewart family along with Freddie moved to San Francisco.

Freddie Stone is best known for his role as co-founder, guitarist, and vocalist in the band Sly and the Family Stone, the frontman for which was his brother Sly Stone. His sisters Rosie Stone and Vet Stone were also members of the band. Sly and the Family Stone was an American band from San Francisco. Active from 1966 to 1983, the band was pivotal in the development of funk, soul, rock, and psychedelic music. The group’s core line-up was led by singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Sly Stone, and included Stone’s brother and singer/guitarist Freddie Stone, sister and singer/keyboardist Rose Stone, trumpeter Cynthia Robinson, drummer Gregg Errico, saxophonist Jerry Martini, and bassist Larry Graham. The band was the first major American rock group to have an “integrated, multi-gender” lineup.[1]

Formed in 1966, the group’s music synthesized a variety of disparate musical genres to help pioneer the emerging “psychedelic soul” sound.[2][3] They soon found commercial success, recording a series of Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits such as “Dance to the Music” (1968), “Everyday People” (1968), and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” (1969), as well as critically acclaimed albums such as Stand! (1969), which combined pop sensibility with social commentary In the 1970s, the band transitioned into a darker and less commercial funk sound on releases such as There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1971) and Fresh (1973), proving as influential as their early work.By 1975, drug problems and interpersonal clashes led to the group’s dissolution, though Sly Stone continued to record and tour with a new rotating lineup under the name “Sly and the Family Stone” until drug problems forced his effective retirement in 1987. After leaving the band in the mid-1970s, Freddie Stone signed a short recording contract with Motown Records.

The work of Sly and the Family Stone greatly influenced the sound of subsequent American funk, pop, soul, R&B, and hip hop music. Music critic Joel Selvin sums up the importance of Sly and the Family Stone’s influence on African American music by stating “there are two types of black music: black music before Sly Stone, and black music after Sly Stone”.[8] In 2010, they were ranked 43rd in Rolling Stone list of “The 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time,” and three of their albums are included in the Rolling Stone list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

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