About Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
Bass legend Larry Graham is one of the most accomplished and influential personalities in the R&B world. From his early days with Sly and the Family Stone and Graham Central Station to his celebrated solo career and recent work with Prince, Graham’s iconic “Thumpin’ and Pluckin’” style has inspired countless artists. Graham’s sound is certainly one of the defining characteristics of modern R&B and soul music.
Growing up in Oakland, Graham grew up in a musical family: both of his parents were professional musicians, and one of Larry’s first regular gigs was playing guitar with his mother’s band, the Dell Graham Trio. When the trio lost their drummer, Graham switched to bass and compensated for not having a drum set by “thumping” the strings for the bass drum part and “plucking” them for the snare part. Graham had grown up playing piano, drums, guitar and organ, but with this discovery he focused on his bass playing.
Graham joined Sly and the Family Stone in 1968, and his contributions to those early records catapulted the band to international stardom. Sly’s singles like “Dance to the Music” and “Everybody Is a Star” are still some of the most celebrated examples of funk music. Graham left the band in 1972 to produce a band called Hot Chocolate, which he then joined and renamed Graham Central Station. GCS had a string of R&B/funk hits throughout the 1970s.
Larry went solo in 1979, again reinventing himself as the creator of soulful ballads. He had another string of hit singles in the 1980s, selling millions of records and receiving Grammy nominations. His debut solo single “One In a Million You” was a crossover hit, reaching Number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980. Larry toured with the band Psychedelic Psoul in the 1990s, which featured singer/comedian Eddie Murphy. Graham also re-formed Graham Central Station, which featured fellow Family Stone members Cynthia Robinson and Jerry Martini. GCS has been featured as an opening act on several Prince tours over the last fifteen years, and Graham joined Prince’s band from 1997-2000.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“…part of the very genealogy of funk music.” -Telegraph UK
“Graham’s bass skills still wow and his vocals remain smooth and sassy. Damn right, he’s funky.” -Metro UK
“Simply put, there’s bass before Larry Graham, and there’s bass after Larry Graham.” -Bass Player Magazine
“Larry is as funky as nine cans of wet magic shave.” -Sly Stone, cover of 1968′s Dance to the Music