It’s the mid sixties, you want to play in band, you are female, you are black and your instrument is the trumpet. Somehow Cynthia Robinson made the impossible happen by joining up with Sly Stewart in 1966. Huge success followed with hit singles like, Dance To The Music, Everyday People and Family Affair as Sly And the Family Stone’s career soared. One of the first bands to have black and white, male and female members, musically and sartorially they paved the way for artists like Prince. On Dance To The Music, Robinson is the voice urging you to do so. She made seven albums with the band had two children, one of them with Sly and went on to play with Larry Graham after he left the band and yes she also joined Prince (no brainer).
There’s two video clips here, one earlier, one later but both with Cynthia. The first is from Ed Sullivan with Sly, sister Rose and brother Freddie, Larry Graham on bass, Greg Errico on drums, Jerry Martini on sax.
In the second clip is from Soul Train, it’s Sly, sister Rose on clavinet, sister Vanetta on keyboards, brother Freddie on guitar, Rusty Allen on bass, Bill Lordan on drums (later joining Robin Trower), violin player Sid Page on violin and Pat Rizzo on sax.
Cynthia Robinson died of cancer on November 23rd, she was 71 years old. She broke all the rules playing with one of the great bands of our era, may she rest in peace. Condolences to friends and family.