Sly and the Family Stone played a crucial role in introducing black church aesthetics to popular music audiences in the late 1960s.
In the foreground of Stone’s work are the recording Stand! (1969), particularly the single I want to take you higher. The band’s demographic—black and white, men and women—and the message that everyone needs to work together in harmony all represent the epitome of post-Civil Rights culture.
This according to “Sly Stone and the sanctified church” by Mark Anthony Neal, an essay included in The funk era and beyond: New perspectives on black popular culture (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).
Today is Sly Stone’s 70th birthday! Below, a performance of I want to take you higher from 1969.