Talk:Sly and the Family Stone

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Former featured article Sly and the Family Stone is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on February 18, 2007.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
April 13, 2005 Featured article candidate Promoted
February 15, 2007 Featured article review Kept
November 30, 2009 Featured article review Demoted
Current status: Former featured article

first paragraphs, nonsensical transition[edit]

In those first paragraphs, there is a sudden transition from summary to early life. Now it reads: "...after which he went into effective retirement.[6] After the Stewarts moved to Vallejo, California, the youngest four children...." After that [6] that section should receive a new heading, or be moved down into the Early Years section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:27, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

"F***ed" Up?[edit]

The actual Rolling Stone article quoted doesn't use the asterisks and used the term "fucked up". Should Wikipedia be censoring a primary source? (talk) 19:53, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Nope, you're right... WP is not censored - (talk) 15:41, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

I moved this page from what was under "Sly Stone" because the text primarily covers the band, and really isn't a biography for Sly. Although the histories of both Sly & the band are, of course, very much intertwined, there should be seperate articles: one that focuses on Sly, and one that focuses on the band. The Sly article will be expanded to talk about his work & life before and after Sly & The Family Stone. --b. Touch 15:09, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Great job, Wikipedians![edit]

This band is so underrated that it should be a crime. Fantastic job! PennyGWoods 18:34, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Great job with the article. All band and musician articles should be written like this one. Nhl4hamilton (talk) 06:30, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Stone Flower[edit]

Stone Flower redirects to Sly & the Family Stone, but currently has no pages linking to it! There is a notable 1972 album by Antonio Carlos Jobim called Stone Flower, and i'd like to create that in it's place. Are there any objections? Gareth E Kegg 09:34, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Chart singles[edit] 19:55, 8 November 2006 (UTC)"Everybody is a Star" was not a #1 hit, according to Joel Whitburn's numerous Billboard chart books. The song is listed as "F," meaning a "flipside" that also received measurable airplay.

"I Want to Take You Higher" did not hit the Top 40 as a B-side; it took the Woodstock film to push the 1970 re-release to #38.

"Thank You" isn't considered the first full-fledged funk single in general; James Brown had had Top 10 funk singles in 1965. But "Thank You" was the first to hit #1 on the Hot 100.

For whatever reason, musicologists considered James Brown's 1960s work "proto-fnk", and had pegged "Thank You" as the first "Funk song". Nevertheless, that sentence is out of the article now. --FuriousFreddy 01:07, 5 February 2007 (UTC)


Sly has influenced a lot of rappers. Arrested Development is alright, but the Black Eyed Peas are weak. There are much more important hip hop artists who have been influenced by Sly and the Family Stone.

Larry Graham is one of the most prolific bassists of all time, and never "slapped" his bass. Larry Graham was to music what Alexander Graham Bell was to the phone. He revolutionized sound as well as guitar technique when he invented the THUMP & PLUCK - the very bass method that gave birth to funk.


The caption underneath the photo of the group was unreadable; all of the text was on top of each other. I edited it out. It has a cleaner look to it, now. Slater79 09:12, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Multicultural claim[edit]

The opening paragraph describes the band as the "first major American rock band to have a multicultural lineup". I wonder about Booker T. & the M.G.'s -- a strong case could be made that they were the first. (Or is the difference "rock" vs. "soul" music?) Perhaps the article should be amended to say "multi-racial and multi-gender" or something like that?Vandelay 18:08, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

It original went into an overly detailed description in the lead, but I got the impression that it just wanted to say multicultural. I think that's a fair proposal. — Deckiller 04:51, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Another multicultural rock band was Love (band)... oddly, Arthur Lee had certain similarities to Sly Stone. snug 08:30, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
With Love, although hugely influencial, they only had one minor hit. I was thinking the same thing, i.e "but what about Love?", but I think as far as mainstream success, they are rather minor. Likewise, Booker T. is mainly famous for one song, plus being the backing band for several acts. Sly & the Family Stone had several major hits and are for the most part a household name. Freshacconci 23:00, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
I think Love had pretty good mainstream success, enough to qualify as `major,' although Sly and the Family Stone obviously sold way more records, played at Woodstock, etc. Lots of the SF Psychedelic posters featured Love, and even I remember `Little Red Book,' from AM radio, although I was only 8 when it came out. The Doors' original goal, I believe, was to be as popular as Love. Nice video of Love in 1966. But I can see your point... I wonder, however, if the existence of Arthur Lee ended up helping convince Sly Stone that he could succeed with his band. snug 21:13, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Another multicultural band before Love was The Paul Butterfield Blues band. 06:53, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Another well-known,multicultural band is the Jimi Hendrix Experience. —Preceding unsigned comment added by StuckinDC (talkcontribs) 17:01, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

I guess it may depend on your definition of "multicultural" (which really means your definition of "culture"). The cited Rock and Roll Hall of Fame reference actually states Sly and the Family Stone was "Rock’s first integrated, multi-gender band" (as alluded to in the first paragraph of this talk section) which I guess means they had blacks, whites, and women. I'm not sure how you get "first major band to have a multicultural lineup" from that. The Jimi Hendrix Experience was certainly a major band and multicultural, and was founded the previous year (1966 v. 1967). I think these kind of statements that involve judgments are pretty useless anyway. Who cares if Sly and the Family Stone or the Jimi Hendrix Experience are/were multicultural? Is that why they were popular or made good music? --hulmem (talk) 01:20, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
hulmem-- thanks for fixing the dead link, which contained better phrasing. I've put quotes around the Hall of Fame phrase, which, since it's a direct quote from a referenced source, obviates any concerns over editors inserting their own meanings. MayerG (talk) 04:32, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Mothers of Invention? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:53, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

Section 2.2 says "at a time when integrated performance bands were virtually unknown", though the bands listed above were all integrated as were the Allman Brothers Band and Little Feat and the Jerry Garcia Band and, sometimes, John Mayall's band. If "multicultural" isn't a fig leaf for "integrated" or "multiracial", I'd like to see a full explanation for its meaning.

Booker T and the MGs were published and promoted by a major label, they toured nationwide, and they were influential everywhere rock and roll was played. There is no credible argument that they were not a major group. My preference would be to remove the word "major" and to not try to describe Sly and the Family Stone as being unique in that they were integrated. Densely (talk) 01:08, 28 April 2017 (UTC)


Shouldn't it say Sly and the Family Stone "was" an American Rock band in the first sentence in place of Sly and the Family Stone were and American Rock band? Sly and the Family Stone is one, singular band.

- -

"Sly and the Family Stone" is/are a band that's slated to appear in a "Back in the Day" concert on 7 July 2007 in Arena Green Park, San Jose, California. Technically speaking you're right since the music world so often recognizes official band names to include the "and" or "featuring" as part of the band's title. And sometimes the band uses the name of the lead singer or leader as its name. I think both tenses are OK.

DonL 23:17, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Use of first name throughout article[edit]

I believe that Wiki policy is to use full and then surnames. I realise that with various family members this may have been troublesome, but not impossible, to circumvent. Of course, as this has passed FA, this may have already been addressed. LessHeard vanU 15:13, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually, the guideline is to use first names when dealing with family members and surnames otherwise. ShadowHalo 17:50, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Sly, KDIA and Sly's "Buttermilk" song[edit]

My recollection is that in the early Sixties Sly Stone was a DJ at KDIA (1310 AM), Oakland, California's soul music station. Sly had an early evening spot that often featured live phone calls from the Bay Area. He good-naturedly accommodated long, extended calls, with sometimes a dozen or so people, taking turns talking on the same call. Each one ended with "Sly, my little (cousin/brother/sister) wants to talk to you!" The callers' voices would sound younger and younger until the 4 year olds were on the line. All this, to the catchy music bed of "Buttermilk," an instrumental that Sly had cut, featuring himself on organ, bass, drums, and harmonica (and electric guitar, too?). Buttermilk is an old-school hangover remedy. The bassline in "Buttermilk" was used in "2120 South Michigan Avenue," an instrumental on the first U.S. Rolling Stones album, "12 x 15." The Stones said in an interview that the title was inspired from the address of a music studio in Chicago but that doesn't determine who used the bassline first.

I don't remember Sly being a KSOL DJ. Since I once was a broadcast engineer and still live in SF I may be able to contact folks who know. The Wiki article on KSOL has a history that doesn't mention the KSOL AM predecessor to the FM KSOL.

DonL 23:17, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

How to spell the name?[edit]

Quick (and probably rather anal) question (found nothing skimming the article): I've ripped a CD with a track of this band, and the all-capitalized inlay card isn't helpful (also, unlike the article title, it uses an "AND" instead of an ampersand). - How should I name my file?

  • Sly & the Family Stone
  • Sly & The Family Stone
  • Sly and the Family Stone
  • Sly And The Family Stone

Is there an official/preferred/most common variant of the spelling and capitalization, or is it simply a matter of your individual interpretation of context and grammar? Thanks in advance, 11:29, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

"Sly & the Family Stone" is the Wikipedia standard (unless the band is explicitly named otherwise, all "So-and-So & the Whatevers" groups are supposed to use the ampersand, according to Wikipedia:WikiProject_Music/MUSTARD#Titles_and_section_headings.

2007 appearances?[edit]

First popular recording with drum machine?[edit]

What's the source for this statement? Consider that Dick Hyman's 1968 hit "The Minotaur" used a electronic rhythm box that might well be considered a "drum machine." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:47, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Nonfree images[edit]

The posted photo was shot by Stephen Paley. (talk) 20:06, 23 January 2009 (UTC) I removed all but one of the album covers; using them as the article was doing is not considered good fair use. Otherwise it looks like a good article. --John (talk) 03:12, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

==Suggest an article on Stephen Paley. I am a friend of his or I would write it. He is notable for photography (especially of musicians), talk radio and motion picture music production. Ecolect1 (talk) 20:12, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Texan Gerry Gibson who had been the drummer for Roy Head and The Traits (of "Treat Her Right" fame) from 1957 - 1966.[1] Gibson made significant contributions to some of Sly's "funkadelic" recordings. Especially the great drum part on "There's A Riot Going On." (talk) 22:03, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Black Panthers[edit]

This article: is cited in this section: but it seems like BS to me? I took a look at the Black Panthers article and it sounds like they were busy falling apart during that time period. The linked article -does- vaguely say that black militants pressured Sly Stone, but certainly says nothing about the Panthers. Does anyone have additional sources? If nobody speaks up I may just "be bold" or I may get motivated and look at the edit history first. (talk) 15:41, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Gregg Errico vs Greg Errico?[edit]

This article spells the name Gregg, but the man's biography spells it Greg. I see that Sly & the Family Stone albums spell the name Gregg (which is probably why this article does). Should there be a note in this article about the spelling? Should Greg Errico be moved to Gregg Errico (currently a redirect)? Should the spelling in this article be corrected? Thoughts? — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 23:55, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

No idea, and the original editor is no longer around. Are you willing to just be bold and do something with it?  :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:58, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Sure, I'll do something this weekend. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 00:16, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Malik, if you're able to finish up this article (it's close to retaining featured status, while Joyce is still a ways), would you drop a note on the FAR? FARs can be held open longer if the article is being brought to standard. Thanks so much for all of your work!! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:19, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was} move all Anthony Appleyard (talk) 10:36, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Sly & the Family StoneSly and the Family StoneWP:&, and is preferable to an ampersand (&). Labattblueboy (talk) 14:24, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

  • Comment Of the band's eight albums on Epic Records, the name is spelled with an ampersand on four and with "and" on three. As far as I know, the eighth (Riot) doesn't have the band's name on the cover. The recent box set is named Sly and the Family Stone: The Collection but the spine of each CD uses the ampersand. On each CD, the stylized name "Sly and the Family Stone" is printed above a typeset "Sly & the Family Stone". Since the band's record company doesn't know the "proper" spelling of the name, I think we should stick with one spelling and be consistent with it, I don't see any particular reason to change, but I'm not opposed either. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 20:35, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
I also noticed the inconsistent use of one method or the other. If they were consistent using "&" then WP:& would suggest we leave it be. However the artists appear to use both so standardizing under full english seem appropriate.--Labattblueboy (talk) 20:24, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment News articles here and here refer to a trademark of "Sly and the Family Stone" filed (although fraudulently by their former manager) with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. --hulmem (talk) 03:51, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Missing Song - "Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa" (or 'About Africa')[edit]

"Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa" (or 'About Africa')

It WAS on Sly and the Family Stone Greatest Hits, but was replaced, along with "Babies Makin' Babies" in later editions.

The song used a melange of their other songs, notably Thankyoufalletinmebemyself, in a more politicized context [Cf: which doesn't have album identification information either]

I can't seem to located which original album it was on, if it was on an album before 'greatest hits'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:17, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Sid Page Violin[edit]

I have noticed two deletions of Sid Page in the members section. Sid Page formerly of Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks was an actual member of Sly & The Family Stone. Not only is he featured all over the Small Talk album, he toured with them as well.

Here is one of the 6 examples of Sid Page in Sly & The Family Stone that I have seen live clips of

I can't understand why someone would want to delete him out of the member list.

Sorry I forgot to sign off last time (Mr Real Natural (talk) 07:52, 19 March 2011 (UTC))

Recording Rights and Royalty Ripp Offs[edit]

Who owns the catalog now? Michael Jackson bought some of it from Sly in the 80s when Jackson was buying up all the publishing rights he could. I understand that Sylvester Stewart is seeing none of the money. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:11, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Abaco Dream[edit]

Abaco Dream re-directs to this page, and the article (without a source) claims that Abaco Dream and song "Life And Death in G & A" is actually the Family Stone. However, Whitburn's book Top Pop Singles states that the song was written by Sly Stone, but that the band members were Paul Douglas, David Williams, Dennis Williams, Frank Maio, and Mike Sassano, none of whom were members of the Family Stone according to the article. Should not Abaco Dream have it's own article as an independent musical group? Thanks. 78.26 (talk) 16:15, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Hearing no discussion, I created an article from the re-direct. 78.26 (talk) 15:54, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Picture names[edit]

Listing the names "from top clockwise" is confusing since there are people in the middle. I had to check out the article on Sly Stone to appreciate that he was not the guy in the middle. Perhaps enumerating the names from "from top" which sorts better and has only one potential confusion between a man and woman.

Just saying. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:19, 11 March 2012 (UTC)


The allmusic article Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart states his birth year as 1943, whereas allmusic article Sly & the Family Stone states his birth year as 1944. Since this edit [1] was the one that added the birthdate to the article - as 1944 - I suggest we leave it as 1944 until and unless an authoritative source can be found which states otherwise. --hulmem (talk) 06:57, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Reliable sources don't agree whether he was born in 1943[2] or 1944[3]. That's no reason for Wikipedia to have information on two pages (Sly and the Family Stone and Sly Stone) that's inconsistent. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 01:08, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Why arbitrarily choose 1943 then? As I said above, the original edit to add the birthdate to this article used a year of 1944 and you have not provided a rationale for changing it. You have only agreed that the birth year cannot be reliably established with the sources identified to date. Since this article (Sly and the Family Stone) is about the band, there is no compelling reason to include Sly Stone's birthdate in this article, so I will edit it out. If at some future time, someone can authoritatively resolve the discrepancy, they can add it back in. --hulmem (talk) 02:14, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

The (still active) Family Stone[edit]

I'm slightly confused that the article indicates that the band ceased to exist entirely long ago aside from a couple of concerts in 2006 & 2012 -- because the band didn't stop touring after Sly left, just became The Family Stone. Perhaps one of the article's regular editors could fix that in the article intro & infobox, so visitors don't get the wrong idea? (I saw them a while back and had an awesome time; I'd hate to think someone that's already a fan might miss out due to thinking they're not active.)  —xyzzy 09:53, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

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