As you may recall, my sister Leslie had a terrible bicycle accident on June 4, 2018. In case I had forgotten, she recently sent me a picture of her, taken about day 12 of her month-long stay in the hospital.
After a few more operations and treatments, she is well on the road to recovery. She’s not 100%, but she is SO much better.
Besides the accident being all sorts of scary, that narrative all but obliterated the great time she and her daughter Rebecca Jade had just a couple week earlier. Rebecca was touring on a fortnight of cruises with Dave Koz and his band throughout Scandinavia, starting in Copenhagen.
Leslie participated in the “So You Think You Can Jam” talent contest. She has been singing about as long as I’ve known her, from the MAZET Singers in AME Zion Church in Binghamton, to various school choirs, to the Green Family Singers. She performed in a bunch of gigs in the Northeast – Crystal Ship! – and then for over a half dozen years in Puerto Rico.
She STILL sings in church and occasional local gigs. Every interview that Rebecca Jade has done, she’s rightly credited her mom to get her to sing harmonies as well as the melody.
When Leslie and Rebecca got to jam with Larry Graham, that was very cool. Larry, in case you didn’t know, was the bass player for Sly and the Family Stone. Then he fronted his own group, Graham Central Station.
So, for Leslie’s XXth birthday, I thought I’d link to some Larry Graham music. Happy birthday, sis. Enjoy the tunes.
Sly and the Family Stone
Dance to the Music, #8 pop, #9 RB in 1968 – “I’m gonna add some bottom”
Everyday People, #1 for four weeks pop, #1 for two weeks RB in 1969
Sing A Simple Song, #89 pop, #28 RB in 1969 – “I’m walkin’, walkin’ walkin’, walkin’, walkin’ in the street”
I Want to Take You Higher, #38 pop in 1970, #24 RB in 1969 – “Music’s gettin’ longer too”
You Can Make It If You Try – “Dig a little deeper”
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin), #1 for two weeks pop, #1 for five weeks RB in 1970
Everybody Is a Star, b-side, 1970 “‘Til the sun that loves you proud When the system tries to bring you down”
Family Affair, #1 for three weeks pop, #1 for five weeks RB in 1971
Graham Central Station
We’ve Been Waiting
Can You Handle It, #49 pop, #9 RB in 1974
Chart action per Billboard; RB = R&B/soul