Tag Archives: Sly and the Family Stone

Family Stone Cynthia Robinson

Family Stone Cynthia Robinson

Remembering Cynthia Robinson

January 12, 1944 – November 23, 2015

Cynthia Robinson was born in Sacramento, California. She played brass instruments in her high school marching band and was an original member of Sly Stone’s short-lived band The Stoners.

After that group broke up, she stayed with  him as part of the Family Stone.

According to the Family Stone home page,  he career included “Playing with P-Funk maestro George Clinton, Larry Graham, Prince, and Sinbad’s Aruba Summer Soul Festival with fellow S & TFS members, Rose Stone, Jerry Martini, Larry Graham & Graham Central Station.  In 2006, she along with the Original Family Stone members performed at the Grammy Awards in an All Star assembled band paying tribute to Sly & The Family Stone.

Family Stone Cynthia Robinson
Cynthia Robinson
Cynthia Robinson (photo from: https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/g2gb/cynthia-robinson-cancer-care-fund?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=fb_sharer&utm_campaign=php_fundraiser_main-smurfs&og_action=hug&fb_ref=sharer-smurfs&t=3)

She is the only female, African-American trumpet player ever to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

In 2006, she began playing with the Family Stone which included her daughter , Sylvette Phunne Robinson, also known as Phunne Stone.  She and her daughter sang lead vocals on “Do Yo Dance,” a single released by the group the summer of 2015.

When asked in 2011 what she thought the future held for the band and her, she responded, “As long as we all stay healthy, it’s going to be a motha’! I love these guys…and girl. And we all care about each other off the stage. When we’re in our separate cities and our separate homes. We still care about each other.” Robinson died of cancer in Carmichael, California at the age of 71.

Family Stone Cynthia Robinson

It does not get much better than the classic “I Want to Take You Higher” from the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Cynthia is prominently featured:

Family Stone Cynthia Robinson

Rolling Stone magazine obit


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Jerry Martini

Jerry Martini

Happy birthday

Born October 1, 1942

Thank you for taking us higher and higher.

Jerry Martini

Jerry Martini was born in born in Shamrock Mine, Colorado in 1942. When he was two, his family moved to San Francisco so his father could join the Navy.

 His first counter-cultural experience was visiting  North Beach in the 50s. There he saw beatniks and Beat poets reciting poems, playing bongos, or a flute.

Sly and the Family Stone

Martini met Sly Stone when they were teenagers. Of an age (Stone was 5 months younger), Stone surprised Martini because Sly was so into Bob Dylan. A black guy into Dylan was not the norm, but Martini says that Stone was never the norm.

Organizing a band with blacks and white, men and women, and different ethnic groups was Sly Stone's conscious goal. It didn't just happen and later people realized what happened.

That band's mix was deliberate did not mean that others accepted that mix. Venues were still racially divided as well as politically. Black Panthers told Stone that the band should be all black. Stone counter-argued and won.


Although the band was good enough to make it on its own, their recorded and filmed performance at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair supercharged their fame. Jerry Martini's memory of the event was that, "It was a mess. A total mess. We had to wait six hours to go on. It was three in the morning before we got out there. After every act, they’d have to tear down and set up. Took forever. By the time we got out on-stage, people were in sleeping bags. But we got ‘em up. Something happened between us and that audience. Half a million people or however many it was, they were just totally into what we were doing. That’s a feeling you couldn’t scrape off you. It was Love City."

Post Woodstock and Sly

After the band broke up in 1975, Jerry Martini continued playing. He performed on Sly Stone's solo album, High On You and later performed on the bassist of Family Stone, Larry Graham's Now Do U Santa Dance album

He also worked with Prince, who was a big fan of Sly and the Family Stone. After the 2006 tour with Prince, Martini helped reorganize the band with Greg Errico,  Alex Davis, and Phunne Stone who’s the daughter of Sly and Cynthia Robinson. 

Cynthia Robinson was also part of that reband, though she died in 2015. 

Included in his credits, Martini has also played with Mike Bloomfield, Carlos Santana, Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, Robert Cray, Willie Lomax, and Van Morrison. 

Related link >>> http://flowerpowercruise.com/news/jerry-martini-of-the-family-stone-talks-to-the-bell-bottom-bulletin

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