Tag Archives: Sly and the Family Stone

Rose Rosemary Stewart Stone

Rose Rosemary Stewart Stone

Happy birthday
Woodstock alum
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee

Rose Rosemary Stewart Stone
Rosie Stone (bottom left) with Sly and the Family Stone
Rose Rosemary Stewart Stone

Slim pickings…

When most Boomers here the word stone there is one of two things they think of and one of them is Sly and the Family Stone, the band that got 500,000 people to their stomping feet in the middle of the night at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.

Rose “Rosie” Stone was part of that band.

I gleaned the information here from her Wikipedia entry and a few other varied sources. None are too extensive and 2007 seems to be the closest we can get to the present.

Rose “Rosie” Stone was born on March 21, 1945. She is best known as one of the singers and keyboardists with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, Sly and the Family Stone. Sly and band member Freddie are her brothers.

Rose Rosemary Stewart Stone

Reluctant Member

From a 2007 NPR interview, Rose said, “I was the last one to get in the group. I had been basically in the family band all my life. We started when we were five and six years old. So when I got in the group it was like, you know, it was like pulling teeth, in a way of speaking, because I was just so happy with being out of the musical group. 

Farai Chiideya was the host of that interview and asked whether the band felt that “something magical” was happening at the Woodstock festival?

Rose answered, “Well, we knew something magical was happening. I think after we realized that it was a sea of people in front of us. It was about 5:00 AM when we went on and it was dark, and we were playing, we were playing our best.”

It is always interesting to hear a Woodstock performer’s account of their experience. On tours at the Museum that sits near that famous field, we sometimes refer to inaccurate memories as part of the Woodstock Haze.

In this case, Sly and the Family Stone came on stage around 3:30 AM, not at 5. A minor detail, but one we try to softly point out in the interest of clarity.

Rose also recalls the sun coming up while they were playing. Since the Who came on after Sly and in the Woodstock movie one can clearly see the sky beginning to lighten as they played, the sunrise belongs to them (and Jefferson Airplane).

We all need answers to oft-asked questions and sometimes we do our best to create one that is close enough rather than have no answer at all.

Rose Rosemary Stewart Stone

Post Woodstock

After the band broke up in 1975, Rosie married Sly Stone’s former manager/co-producer, Bubba Banks. She later recorded a solo album on Motown Records, billed as Rose Banks.

Rose worked as a backup singer appearing on recordings by Michael Jackson, Phish, and Ringo.

She was apparently part of the Family Stone in 2003 according to a Billboard article that read in part: Undaunted by the absence not only of Sly but also of his cousin Graham on bass guitar, five of the original members of the group have been in the studio recording some 16 new songs. The new tracks are being written and sung mostly by Sly’s brother Freddie Stone and sister Rosie Stone. Freddie Stone and Errico are producing the album, which does not yet have a label home.

Rose Rosemary Stewart Stone


She does have a site, but it is difficult to be sure of how old the information is. In lead sentence of the site she says, “I’m doing my part to make the world a better place.”

Site also talks about her “latest project,” her “Already Motivated” album. She released that album in 2007, so…

Rose Rosemary Stewart Stone

Rose Stone

Today, Rosie Stone is today part of the musical department at her brother Freddie’s church. She returned to her gospel roots in 1983 when she sang on Sandra Crouch’s album We Sing Praises, soloing on the old hymn “Power in the Blood.”

Rose appears at 1:16 in the video below:

In 2011 and 2012, Stone and her daughter Lisa toured with Elton John as members of his vocal backing group. The list of artists she has worked with is a long one (All Music credits)

Rose Rosemary Stewart Stone
Please follow and like us:

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


Please follow and like us:

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

Please follow and like us: