Monday, July 8, 2013

Larry Graham--One In a Million You (1980)

     Bass player Larry Graham was born in Beaumont Texas, but was raised in Oakland from the age of five. He started out playing the drums, but his father gave him a guitar at the age of 11 and within a few years added bass and harmonica to his assortment of instruments. At 15, he joined his mother's band, "The Dell Graham Trio". It was here he began to develop the thumping style that became known as the "slap-pop" method which would become a staple of funk music.
     Larry joined Sly and the Family Stone in 1968 and remained with them until Sly's drug use and increasing paranoia led him to leave the band in 1972. Soon after he joined a group called, "Hot Chocolate" (not the British band who had some hits later in the decade), and renamed them Graham Central Station. They had had a string of chart entries during the mid-70's.
     He departed for a solo career in 1979 and made a turn towards more ballad type material. This proved to be a good choice at the beginning as his first solo outing turned out to be his most popular song. "One In a Million You" reached the top 10 in the late summer of 1980. He had a couple more songs in the top 100 over the next couple of years. In recent days, he reformed Graham Central Station in 2011 to tour with Prince.


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