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Larry Graham

Graham Central Station was a showcase for the revolutionary pop-and-slap bass guitar of Larry Graham, an alumnus of Sly & the Family Stone largely responsible for originating the percussive groove which typified the progressive funk sound of the '70s. Born August 14, 1946 in Beaumont, Texas, Graham was raised in Oakland, California; by his teens he was adept not only on bass but also guitar, harmonica, and drums, and at the age of 15 began performing with the Dell Graham Trio, his mother's lounge act. While attending college, he served as a supporting musician with the likes of John Lee Hooker, Jackie Wilson, Jimmy Reed, and the Drifters; in 1968 he joined Sly & the Family Stone, appearing with the group during the halcyon period which gave rise to such classic albums as Stand! and There's a Riot Goin' On, as well as smash singles like "Dance to the Music" and "Everybody Is a Star," both of which prominently feature Graham's cavernous baritone in addition to his enormously influential thumping bass style. In the wake of behind-the-scenes turmoil, Graham exited the group in late 1972; after initially agreeing to produce a band named Hot Chocolate (not the same act famed for hit singles like "Emma" and "You Sexy Thing"), he eventually joined their lineup, renaming the unit Graham Central Station. A propulsive, infectious funk ensemble, their original roster also included guitarist David "Dynamite" Vega, keyboardists Robert "Butch" Sam (formerly with Billy Preston), and Hershall "Happiness" Kennedy, percussionist Patryce "Chocolate" Banks, and drummer Willie "Wild" Sparks. The debut Graham Central album, an eponymously titled effort released in 1974, proved highly successful, launching a minor pop hit with "Can You Handle It." Another hit, "Feel the Need," emerged from Release Yourself, issued later that same year; the third GCS LP, 1975's Ain't No Bout-A-Doubt It, yielded the single "Your Love," a Top 40 pop hit which also topped the R&B charts. Mirror followed a year later. With 1977's Now Do U Wanta Dance, Graham Central Station scored another R&B smash with the title track; by the release of 1978's My Radio Sure Sounds Good to Me, Graham's wife Tina had signed on as a vocalist, but pop crossover success remained elusive, and after Star Walk the following year, the group disbanded. Graham then turned solo, moving from funk to soulful ballads; his debut effort, 1980's One in a Million You, reached the Top 30, the title track becoming a Top Ten hit. 1981's Just Be My Lady yielded another hit with its own title cut, while 1982's Sooner or Later was also successful. However, after 1983's Victory, Graham's career took a downward turn, with 1985's Fired Up released solely in Japan. Aside from 1987's "If You Need My Love Tonight," a minor hit duet with Aretha Franklin, he was largely out of the public eye in the years to follow, instead working as a songwriter and sideman. By the early '90s, Graham was leading Psychedelic Psoul, a nine-piece band which toured with comedian/singer Eddie Murphy; he also toured with the Crusaders. Following Sly & the Family Stone's 1993 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, he re-formed Graham Central Station, eventually bringing into the fold former Family Stone bandmates Cynthia Robinson on trumpet and Jerry Martini on saxophone. Throughout Graham's lean years, one of his most vocal supporters remained the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, who readily acknowledged the influence of GCS not only on his music but also on his flamboyant stage show; by 1997, Graham Central Station was ensconced as the regular supporting act on Prince's extended Jam of the Year tour, with the group also issuing a Japanese album titled By Popular Demand. Sessions with Prince at Paisley Park yielded GCS 2000 (1998), released during Graham's stint as the purple one's bassist. While he wrote and toured on and off for several years, he didn't release another album with Graham Central Station until 2012, when Raise Up arrived on the Moosicus label. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Stations Featuring
Larry Graham

    Smooth Vocals

    Smooth Vocals
    2 songs

Albums by
Larry Graham

Top Songs by
Larry Graham

  1.   Song
  2.   One in a Million You
  3.   Just Be My Lady
  4.   Fired Up
  5.   Now Do-U-Wanta Dance
  6.   You've Been
  7.   Movin' Inside Your Love
  8.   Just Call My Name
  9.   My Radio Sure Sounds Good to Me by Graham Central Station
  10.   The Jam
  11.   Hair
  12.   Sunshine, Love and Music
  13.   When We Get Married
  14.   There's Something About You
  15.   Stand Up and Shout About Love
  16.   I Feel Good
  17.   Still Thinkin' of You
  18.   Loving You Is Beautiful
  19.   Victory
  20.   I'm Sick and Tired
  21.   Don't Think Too Long
  22.   Is It Love? by Graham Central Station
  23.   Your Love
  24.   Can You Handle It?
  25.   We've Been Waiting
  26.   I'm So Glad It's Summer Again
  27.   Sweetheart
  28.   Hold Up Your Hand
  29.   Walk Baby Walk
  30.   You're My Girl
  31.   Don't Stop When You're Hot
  32.   Love All the Hurt Away
  33.   Cruisin'
  34.   Let's Go
  35.   How Does It Feel
  36.   That's Why I Love You
  37.   Nobody's Gonna Steal You Away
  38.   For Your Love
  39.   What We All Need Is More Love
  40.   Remember When
  41.   Feels Like Love
  42.   Can't Nobody Take Your Place
  43.   Our Love Keeps Growing Strong
  44.   Baby, You Are My Sunshine
  45.   I'd Rather Be Loving You
  46.   I Just Can't Stop Dancing
  47.   Sooner or Later
  48.   Tearing Out My Heart
  49.   Let Me Come into Your Life
  50.   Easy Love
  51.   I Just Love You
  52.   Forever Yours
  53.   No Place Like Home
  54.   Time For You and Me
  55.   I Never Forgot Your Eyes
  56.   Baby
  57.   Guess Who
  58.   My Radio Sure Sounds Good to Me
  59.   Is It Love?
  60.   (You're A) Foxy Lady
  61.   Star Walk
  62.   By Popular Demand
  63.   Can You Handle It? by Graham Central Station
  64.   Feel the Need by Graham Central Station
  65.   Just Be My Lady by Graham Central Station
  66.   Feel The Need by Graham Central Station
  67.   Don't Stop When You're Hot by Graham Central Station
  68.   When We Get Married by Graham Central Station
  69.   One in a Million
  70.   Now D-U-Wanta Dance by Graham Central Station
  71.   Mobody's Gonns Steal You Away
  72.   Movin' Inside Your Eyes
  73.   We've Been Waiting by Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
  74.   Can You Handle It? by Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
  75.   Hair by Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
  76.   Your Love by Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
  77.   It's Alright by Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
  78.   Don't Stop When Your Hot
  79.   The Jam by Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
  80.   POW by Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
  81.   Boogie Witcha, Baby by Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
  82.   Turn It Out by Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
  83.   Mr. Friend by Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
  84.   Are You Happy? by Larry Graham & Graham Central Station