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Happy Birthday To Larry Graham!

Sly & The Family Stone

It in no way minimizes Sly Stone’s genius to state that the primary instrumental force of Sly and the Family Stone was Larry Graham. Larry, who turns 66 today, was a true pioneer of the bass guitar: through that instrument he invested Sly’s songs with a power unheard of in pop music, and he is credited with inventing the “bass slap,” a crucial element in all funk music. Larry is also beloved for his baritone vocal interjections: “I’m gonna add some bottom!” Here he is, far right, with the band in 1970.