4 Songs You Didn’t Know Sly Stone Wrote For Other Artists

Funk trailblazer Sly Stone pushed all the boundaries in order to invent his explosive style as bandleader of the group Sly & The Family Stone. He merged rock, soul, and psychedelia in the 1960s and ’70s to soundtrack a movement, one that saw beyond racial divides, gender restrictions, and the societal confines of the era.

Videos by American Songwriter

[RELATED: Behind the Band Name: Sly and the Family Stone]

Stone’s voice echoed beyond that, reverberating throughout others in the songs he penned. Here are 4 songs you didn’t know Sly Stone wrote for other artists.

1. “Underdog” – The Beau Brummels

Written by Sly Stone

When the rock outfit The Beau Brummels were signed to Autumn Records, Sly Stone produced some of their first studio sessions. Founding member Sal Valentino has credited the funk legend’s guidance for much of the band’s early success, telling Goldmine, “He had a lot to do with making our music relatable and anticipating how our records would sound on the radio, particularly on the bottom, rhythm end.”

The group was the first to record Stone’s “Underdog” in 1965, however, it would be several decades before their version was released. Stone’s own group, Sly & The Family Stone, release their rendition of the song two years after the original’s recording.

2. “Advice” – Billy Preston

Written by Sly Stone, Billy Preston

Billy Preston’s 1966 album, Wildest Organ in Town!, was arranged by Stone and also featured several songs he co-wrote with the virtuoso on the keys. The co-penned tracks, “Advice,” “It’s Got to Happen,” and “Free Funk,” were included on the release. Sly & The Family Stone would drop their own version of “Advice” a few months after Preston’s album release.

3. “C’mon and Swim” – Bobby Freeman

Written by Sly Stone, Thomas Coman

The dance-craze tune “C’mon and Swim” was first recorded by R&B singer Bobby Freeman in 1964 and released on his album of the same name. Co-authored by Stone and Thomas Coman, “C’mon and Swim” became a highly covered song throughout the ’60s.

4. “You’re the One, Part 1” – Little Sister

Written by Sly Stone

Little Sister was a group that provided background harmonies for many of Sly & the Family Stone’s studio recordings and live performances. The group consisted of Mary McCreary, Elva Mouton, and Stone’s own little sister Vet Stewart.

The trio had a brief recording career on their own. During that time, they were the first to record the Stone-penned “You’re the One” parts one and two.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

Behind the Name: How Jay-Z Got His Musical Moniker