Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 14 Aug. '46, Beaumont TX) As bassist with Sly and the Family Stone one of the most influential in history of rock, undulating yet hard-edged patterns practically inventing much of the dance music of the '70s; then he formed funk band Graham Central Station; then emerged as ballad singer. Family moved to Oakland CA when he was two; by his teens he could play guitar, bass, drums and harmonica, sang with a three-octave vocal range; played in his mother's trio, later in backup bands for Jackie Wilson, Jimmy Reed, the Drifters etc while attending college. Recruited by area disc jockey Sylvester Stewart (Sly Stone) for Sly '67--72; smooth voice was good foil for Stone's. Formed Graham Central Station from US band Hot Chocolate (no connection with UK band of same name): Hershall Kennedy, keyboards; David Vega, guitar; Willie Sparks, drums; Patrice Banks, percussion; added ex-Billy Preston keyboardist Robert Sam. Dance music earned Grammy for Best New Group, top 40 pop hit ('Your Love' '75), seven LPs in pop album chart '74--9, incl. Ain't No 'Bout-A Doubt It '75 (best showing at no. 22), Mirror '76 (entirely written by Graham), Now Do U Wanna Dance '78; last two credited as 'Larry Graham and Grand Central Station': My Radio Sure Sounds Good To Me '78 (with wife Tina added vocalist), Star Walk. Turned solo balladeer: four LPs charted incl. first solo One In A Million You '80, no. 26 album chart with top ten pop title track, but Just Be My Lady (no. 46), Sooner Or Later, Victory did less well. Sales in black charts always good: 'I Never Forgot Your Eyes' made no. 34 on black singles chart '83; the multi- talented Graham has made a lot of fans happy.