Larry Graham

From Prince Vault
Jump to: navigation, search

Larry Graham

Artist details

  • Birth name: Larry Graham Jr.
  • Date Of Birth: 14 August 1946, Beaumont, Texas, USA
  • Occupation : Singer, bass player, producer
  • Endorsements:
  • Activity with Prince:

Musical Career

Early Life

Graham was Born in Texas, but raised in Oakland, California. At the age of 5 he to tap dance and soon thereafter started taking piano lessons. He also played drums in his junior high school band. At age 11 he got his dad's guitar. He taught himself how to play and made his first recordings at age 13, playing drums, piano, guitar, bass and harmonica. At age 15 he joined his mother's band The Dell Graham Trio, with his mother playing piano, Larry on guitar and Ruben Kerr on drums. By the same time one of the nightclubs where they performed regularly had a house organ available that had bass pedals on it. Larry taught himself to play the bass pedals while playing the guitar and singing, all at the same time. One night the organ broke down leaving the band without the bass sound they had become used to. So Larry went on to play a rented St. George bass until the organ was repaired. When the trio became a duo with just bass and piano, Larry compensated for not having a bass drum by 'thumping' the strings, while made up for not having a snare drum by 'plucking'” them. It is said he wasn’t concerned with playing the so called “correct” over hand style method of playing the bass since this was only temporary until the organ could be repaired. But he stuck to it.

Before working with Prince

In 1966 Larry joined Sly and the Family Stone, who soon released their debut album A Whole New Thing. He stayed with the band until 1972 and made a number of records with them as well as performing live, amongst others on the infamous Woodstock festival.
After Larry left Sly and the Family Stone he started producing a band named Hot Chocolate (not to be confused witnthe Britsh band of the same name), which he eventually joined and renamed it Graham Central Station. The group included guitarist David "Dynamite" Vega on guitar, Robert "Butch" Sam on organ, Hershall "Happiness" Kennedy on keyboard, Patrice "Chocolate" Banks vocalist/ percussionist, and Willie "Wild" Sparks on drums. In 1974 the group released their eponymous titled debut Graham Central Station which included the hit "Can You Handle It." Later in 1974 the next album “Release Yourself” yielded the hit "Feel The Need". That same year Graham Central Station was nominated for a Grammy for “Best New Artist”. In 1975 the third album “Ain't No Bout-A-Doubt It”, went gold and included the single "Your Love" and “The Jam”. In 1976 then Graham Central Station released the album “Mirror” which included the hit “Love Covers A Multitude Of Sin”. The title track of the 1977 album “Now Do U Wanta Dance” was alo a hit on the R&B charts. The final two albums that Graham Central Station released were “My Radio Sure Sounds Good to Me” and, in 1978, “Star Walk”.
From 1979 onwards Larry also release a number of solo albums “One In A Million You” came out in 1980. Larry was also nominated for another Grammy for “Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male”. The album “Just Be My Lady” was released in 1981. Then 1982 saw the release of “Sooner or Later”. In 1983 Larry released his album “Victory “and in 1985 he released an album in Japan “Fired Up”. In 1987 Larry recorded a duet with Aretha Franklin named "If You Need My Love Tonight”. <br. In the 1990’s, Graham Central Station featured Larry’s former Sly and the Family Stone band members Cynthia Robinson and Jerry Martini. After a stint of playing support acts on Prince's Jam Of The Year World Tour. Graham and [[Prince grew very close, and Graham and his family even moved to Chanhassen.

Input in Prince's Discography

Input in Prince's Live performances

Live performances