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Featured Memorial | Cynthia Robinson

Cynthia Robinson Obituary

1/12/1944 - 11/23/2015| Visit Guest Book
Cynthia Robinson (Photo by Earl Gibson III / WireImage)
Cynthia Robinson (Photo by Earl Gibson III / WireImage)
Cynthia Robinson, a trumpet player and original member of the groundbreaking psychedelic-funk-soul group Sly and the Family Stone, died Nov. 23 in Carmichael, California, according to multiple news sources. She was 71. The cause was cancer, Jerry Martini, a friend and bandmate, said.

Robinson first joined Sly Stone in a short-lived group called Sly and the Stoners in 1966. Soon after, he asked her to be a member of the Family Stone, whose lineup of black and white musicians of both sexes and its hippie sensibilities closely reflected the ideals of the counterculture.

She supplied the funky trumpet sounds and also contributed vocals. She is part of the "hey, hey, hey" chorus in the group’s song, "I Want To Take You Higher."

Robinson had known Stone in high school by his real name, Sylvester Stewart, and had followed him when he was a disc jockey at the San Francisco radio station KSOL. When they met up again in the mid-1960s, she did not realize that "Sly Stone" was her former friend. By then he was a musician and record producer who wanted to form a musical group.

The Family Stone's first album, "A Whole New Thing," released in 1967, went nowhere, but "Dance to the Music," released the following year, scored a top-10 hit with the title song. Other popular songs were "Everyday People," "Stand," "Hot Fun in the Summertime" and "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)."

The group broke up in 1975, but Robinson continued to record with Stone into the next decade. She played with the funk band Graham Central Station, led by her cousin and fellow Family Stone member Larry Graham, and worked with George Clinton and Prince. In 2006, she began playing with a new version of the Family Stone, which included her daughter with Stone, Sylvette Phunne Robinson, also known as Phunne Stone.

Robinson leaves another daughter, Laura Marie Robinson, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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Published online on November 23, 2015 courtesy of Tributes.com
Cynthia Robinson, a trumpet player and original member of the groundbreaking psychedelic-funk-soul group Sly and the Family Stone, died Nov. 23 in Carmichael, California. For full obituary and... Read Obituary
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