Graham Central Station
|Origin||Oakland, California, United States|
|Years active||1973–1979, 1997–1998, 2012|
|Labels||Warner Bros., WEA, Star Maker, P-Vine, Rhino|
|Past members||Larry Graham|
Patryce "Chocolate" Banks
Graham Central Station was an American funk band named after founder Larry Graham (formerly of Sly and the Family Stone). The name is a pun on New York City's Grand Central Terminal, often colloquially called Grand Central Station.
The band's origins date from when Santana guitarist Neal Schon formed the band Azteca in 1972 along with Larry Graham (bass guitar) and Gregg Errico (drums), both from Sly and the Family Stone, and Pete Sears (keyboards), from Hot Tuna and Jefferson Starship. Santana bass guitar player Tom Rutley moved into the bass spot with Azteca. That band, like Santana with heavy Latin influences, eventually morphed into Graham Central Station, while Schon formed Journey. The invention of electric slap bass is attributed by many (including Victor Wooten and Bootsy Collins) to Graham, which influenced many musical genres, such as funk, R&B and disco.
In 1974, they released the single "Can You Handle It?". It peaked at number 9 on the R&B charts and number 49 on the Billboard Hot 100. Graham Central Station's biggest hit was "Your Love", which charted at number 1 on the R&B charts in 1975. The same year they issued a cover version of the Detroit Emeralds 1972 hit "Feel the Need in Me". It reached number 18 on the R&B charts and this would be the bands only hit in the UK peaking at number 53. The group also integrated gospel music into their repertoire, and played with the dichotomy between the funk/rock star image and the "sanctified" gospel group image. Some of their recordings feature the Tower of Power horn section.
- Larry Graham – vocals, bass, guitar, clavinet, organ, piano, drums, percussion
- Lenny Williams – vocals
- Patryce Banks – vocals, electric funk box (Maestro Rhythm King), tambourine
- Ashling Cole – vocals, electric funk box (Maestro Rhythm King)
- Tina Graham – vocals, electric funk box (Maestro Rhythm King)
- David Vega – vocals, guitar
- Gail Muldrow – vocals, guitar, electric funk box
- George Johnson – vocals, guitar
- Wilton Rabb – guitar
- Freddie Stone – guitar
- Gemi Taylor – guitar
- Hershall Kennedy – vocals, clavinet, trumpet
- Robert "Butch" Sam – vocals, piano, organ
- David Council – vocals, keyboards
- Jimi McKinney Jr. – vocals, keyboards
- Rose Stone – vocals, organ, electric funk box
- Cynthia Robinson – trumpet
- P. CaboOse – tenor saxophone
- Jerry Martini – saxophone
- Dennis Marcellino – saxophone
- Willie Sparks – vocals, drums
- Manuel Kellough – drums
- Noel T. Closson – drums
- Gaylord Birch – drums
- Brian Braziel – drums
- Milt Holland – percussion
|Year||Album||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Label|
|1974||Graham Central Station||48||20||Warner Bros|
|1975||Ain't No 'Bout-A-Doubt It||22||4|
|1977||Now Do U Wanta Dance||67||12|
|1978||My Radio Sure Sounds Good to Me||105||18||WEA|
|1979||Star Walk||136||44||Warner Bros|
|1997||By Popular Demand||—||—||P-Vine|
|1998||GCS 2000 (produced with Prince)||—||—||NPG|
|2012||Raise Up||—||65||Moosicus Records|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart.|
- Live in Japan '92' (1992) Star Maker – manufactured by PIA Corporation & Edoya Records Inc. (Tokyo, Japan)
- Live in London (1996) – Funk24 (London, England)
- Can You Handle This? (2003) – Kezar Stadium – 1975, Big Fro Discs (Japan)
- The Best of Larry Graham and Graham Central Station, Vol. 1 (Warner Bros, 1996)
- The Jam: The Larry Graham & Graham Central Station Anthology (Rhino, 2001)
- Greatest Hits (Rhino Flashback, 2003)
|"Can You Handle It?"||9||49||―|
|1975||"Feel the Need"||18||―||53|
|1976||"Entrow (Part 1)"||21||—||―|
|1977||"Now Do-U-Wanta Dance"||10||—||―|
|"Stomped Beat-Up and Whooped"||25||―||―|
|1978||"Is It Love?||65||―||―|
|"My Radio Sure Sounds Good to Me"||18||―||―|
|1979||"(You're a) Foxy Lady"||37||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart.|
- Wynn, Ron (n.d.). "Graham Central Station: Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
- Dove, Ian (February 15, 1975). "Three Soul Groups Sing at Music Hall". The New York Times. p. 16. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
- Fagan, Kevin (February 13, 2011). "Transbay Terminal hurdle: hard-core homeless". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Liebman, Jon (October 2012). "Interview - Larry Graham". For Bass Players Only. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
In the beginning, it was really built around the girl vocalist, Patrice Banks. We called her Chocolate, so we called the group Hot Chocolate. I was intending to be the writer and producer of the group. One night they were doing a gig at this nightclub in San Francisco called Bimbo's and I knew the music well that the band was playing because I wrote and arranged a bunch of it. Towards the end, with the urges of the crowd and everything, I ended up going on and playing with the band and I guess something happened that night. It was like we all knew that something had just happened there and it ended up being my band, with me just replacing the bass player.
- "Graham Central Station Page". Soulwalking.co.uk. Retrieved October 5, 2007.
- BLAKE, MARCUS (August 27, 2013). "RAISE UP EVEN HIGHER: Larry Graham on Graham Central Station & Sly And The Family Stone". Blurt Magazine. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- Vincent, Rickey. "The Jam: The Larry Graham & Graham Central Station Anthology - LINER NOTES". rhino.com. Archived from the original on September 16, 2003. Retrieved September 16, 2003.
- "Graham Central Station Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography". Music VF. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
- "Review: Prince's Welcome 2 America Tour". Culturebrats.com. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
- "Vallejo musicians inducted into West Coast Blues Hall of Fame". Timesheraldonline.com. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- "Graham Central Station's David 'Dynamite' Vega has passed away". Prince.org. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- "Larry Graham – Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
- "Larry Graham – TOP R&B/HIP-HOP ALBUMS". Billboard. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
- "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". RIAA. Retrieved November 2, 2018.