Born: August 14, 1946 in Beaumont, Texas
By the age of 15, Larry Graham was performing with the Dell Graham Trio, his mother's lounge act. While attending college, he served as a supporting musician for John Lee Hooker. In 1968, he joined Sly & the Family Stone, the first rock band to be racially integrated and include women. The band showcased Graham’s pop-and-slap bass guitar and his flamboyant showmanship. Graham can be heard in singles like "Dance to the Music" and "Everybody Is a Star.”
In the wake of behind-the-scenes turmoil, Graham exited the group in 1972 and formed Graham Central Station. His debut album in 1974 launched the pop hit "Can You Handle It?" "Feel the Need," emerged later that same year. In 1975 "Your Love" reached the Top 40, followed by “Now Do U Wanta Dance” (1977), “My Radio Sure Sounds Good to Me” (1978), and “Star Walk” (1979). The group disbanded in 1980 and Graham turned solo, moving from funk to soulful ballads. His solo debut “One in a Million You,” was the title track and reached the Top 30-in 1981 “Just Be My Lady” yielded another hit. Aside from 1987's "If You Need My Love Tonight," a duet with Aretha Franklin, Graham was largely out of the public eye in the years that followed, working instead as a songwriter. Following Sly and the Family Stone's 1993 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he reformed Graham Central Station, including Family Stone bandmates Cynthia Robinson on trumpet and Jerry Martini on saxophone.
Prince readily acknowledged the influence of GCS on his music and his flamboyant stage show. In 1997 Graham Central Station became a supporting act on Prince's Jam of the Year tour. Graham still performs occasionally at festivals.