Freddie Stone Founding member of Sly & The Family Stone, Reverend Frederick Stewart was born June 5, 1947 in Vallejo, California. He is the fourth of five children born to Alpha & K.C. Stewart. All the Stewart siblings recall music being a part of their lives as far back as they can remember. Rooted in The Church of God In Christ, the first family music group was called The Stewart Four. All five siblings were in the group. Loretta, the eldest played piano while the younger four; Sylvester, Rose, Frederick and Vaetta sang. They first recording was made in the early 1950's on a 78 rpm entitled, "On The Battlefield For My Lord/Walking In Jesus Name." "Freddie" as he was called, began playing wind instruments around the third grade. The Stewart household was steeped in Gospel music. Growing up, Freddie and his siblings sang in the choir that his mother directed. His dad played the washboard and violin. On any given Sunday his sister or a cousin would play piano. The Stewart children's early perception was that all families were steeped in the music of the Lord. As Freddie and his brother Sylvester or "Sly" became teenagers they started playing the popular music of the time, Rock & Roll. They made records as The Stewart Brothers. They both studied music theory and composition and started their own individual groups only to come together in 1967 as Sly & The Family Stone. As their first album proclaimed, they were "A Whole New Thing." Several hit records later they were one of the most celebrated groups in the world, culminating with their electrifying appearance at The Woodstock Art & Music Festival in 1969. Not so long after the reality of too much too soon took their toll upon the group. The use of drugs played a large part in the disbanding of the group. Freddie continued a descent into darkness until a series of Holy Ghost experiences brought him back to The Light. He began preaching in 1986 and pastoring Evangelist Temple in Vallejo in 1994. In 2000 he released his first Gospel CD, "Everywhere You Are" to critical acclaim. So much so in fact that original copies of "Everywhere You Are" are now a collector's item since the CD has been repackaged with a new title, "Right Now." Reverend Stewart is currently finishing his current CD project and plans to appear at selected appropriate venues in support of it. You read it here first!

T. Watts