Sly and the Family Stone Trumpeter Cynthia Robinson Dead at 69

sly_and_the_family_stone_cynthia_robinson_02As a live band they were remarkable and a large part of that fever surrounded Cynthia Robinson. The trumpeter died of cancer on Monday (November 23, 2015). She was 69. Robinson was one of the first female black trumpeters to gain notoriety in a major recording act.

Robinson joined an earlier incarnation of the band called Sly and the Stoners in the mid-60. She would go on to play with Sly and the Family Stone on all credited to the original band, 1967’s “A Whole New Thing,” including 1969’s “Stand!” and 1971’s “There’s a Riot Goin On” and ending with 1974’s “Small Talk.” She even continued recording with Stone after the Family Stone broke up. He called her “one of the best trumpeters in the world”

She told Sly and the Family Stone biographer Joel Selvin, “I used to hear all these guys on 78s at my mother’s when I was a teenager…I used to daydream that I was onstage playing the solos; I’m playing with B.B. King and I’m playing with Lowell Fulsom, Jimmy McCracklin. And I literally ended up being in a band that backed them up at different clubs. It was like a dream come true, but that was as big as I could dream.”

Along with Stone she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Robinson was the mother of two daughters: Laura Marie and Sylvyette Phunne Stone (with Sly Stone).