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The Staple Singers

The Staples' story goes all the way back to 1915 in Winona, Mississippi, when patriarch Roebuck "Pops" Staples entered the world. A contemporary and familiar of Charley Patton's, Roebuck quickly became adept as a solo blues guitarist, entertaining at local dances and picnics. He was also drawn to the church, and by 1937 he was singing and playing guitar with the Golden Trumpets, a spiritual group based out of Drew, Mississippi. Moving to Chicago four years later, he continued playing gospel music with the Windy City's Trumpet Jubilees. A decade later Pops Staples (as he had become known) presented two of his daughters, Cleotha and Mavis, and his one son, Pervis, in front of a church audience, and the Staple Singers were born.

The Staples recorded in an older, slightly archaic, deeply Southern spiritual style first for United and then for Vee-Jay. Pops and Mavis Staples shared lead vocal chores, with most records underpinned by Pops' heavily reverbed Mississippi cotton-patch guitar. In 1960 the Staples signed with Riverside, a label that specialized in jazz and folk. With Riverside and later Epic, the Staples attempted to move into the then-burgeoning white folk boom. Two Epic releases, "Why (Am I Treated So Bad)" and a cover of Stephen Stills' "For What It's Worth," briefly graced the pop charts in 1967.

In 1968 the Staples signed with Memphis-based Stax. The first two albums, Soul Folk in Action and We'll Get Over, were produced by Steve Cropper and backed by Booker T. & the MG's. The Staples were now singing entirely contemporary "message" songs such as "Long Walk to D.C." and "When Will We Be Paid." In 1970 Pervis Staples left and was replaced by sister Yvonne Staples. Even more significantly, Al Bell took over production chores. Bell took them down the road to Muscle Shoals, and things got decidedly funky.

Starting with "Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom)" and "I'll Take You There," the Staples counted 12 chart hits at Stax. When Stax encountered financial problems, Curtis Mayfield signed the Staples to his Curtom label and produced a number one hit in "Let's Do It Again." The Staples went on to continued chart success, albeit less spectacularly, with Warner, through 1979. One more album followed on 20th Century Fox in 1981. After a three-year hiatus, they signed a two-album deal with Private I and hit the R&B charts five more times, once with an unlikely cover of Talking Heads' "Slippery People."

The Staple Singers found a new audience in 1994 when they teamed with Marty Stuart to perform "The Weight" on the Rhythm, Country & Blues LP for MCA. Sadly, Pops passed away on December 19, 2000, shortly after suffering a concussion due to a fall in his home. Cleotha died in February 2013 after a decade with Alzheimer's disease. Throughout the 2000s and early 2010s, Mavis released excellent solo material for the Alligator and Anti labels. ~ Rob Bowman, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Chilling. Listing to my. Girl Mavis on my. Birthday
I wish I was back in Shiner Texas miss the home land
dragonlady60 8 8
SING IT.......... !
19sandy62
Take me by my hand........ . . . . . . . . . .
UPCOMING BIRTHDAY WISH TO CHICAGO MARVIS STAPLER MAY GOD BLESS YOU WITH MANY MORE LOVE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND BEAUITFUL MUSIC OVER THE THE YEARS THANK YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FOR MANY SOUNDTRACK MOVIES IN THE 70S SMILE...
aqilalim21 Truly And Icon .
Old school music it's been a long time ago hearing from the Staple Singers.... wow my Dad and mom. .play it all the time growing up listening to there music. .....
My life is
I will take you there, is the song that turned me onto R&B/ Blues/Funk,, , I havent looked back yet,, I remember I when I heard that song on AM radio,, It stole my heart, and Im still looking for it,,
the Staple Singers? more than a staple in American Gospel music, perhaps better called Sacred Rhythm & Blues bringers of literal joy to the soul. Thank you all...
Llkkmmmm!j tb. ??!.o! A BBB is oqû
HELLO MS. MARVIS STAPLER LOVE U AND YOUR FAMILY MUSIC AND THANK YOU ALL FOR THE SOUNDTRACK FOR DIFFERANT MOVIES IN THE 70S SMILE....
Great music and what a great group of people
OOOOOOWWWWWW W W ! ! ! ! ! :-D =-O :-D =-O :-D =-O :-D =-O :-D!!!
Go Mississippi
Weight on me
The world is a ghetto*978*5 m 1 4 y ~
The disciples of gospel and soul music. Blessed and sanctified in the word of God. This is the first family of gospel.
real love
classic motown
frederica.br i d g e t t e
Take me back ya,
harleycat62
This song bring out my imagination, the words create a wealth of images!! love it!!
The Staples Are Truely An Icon Group I truely love thier Music Rip Papa n cleotha n pervis thank God for u guys Mavis keep Singin
Take me there... Haha Lyin to the races
God I love this song...let me take you there.
KEEP YOUR FAMILY MUSIC ALIVE MARVIS STAPLER SMILE..
CHICAGO THRID FAMILY OF GOSPEL RI.P POPS STAPLER AND CLEOTHA , PERVIS LOVE YOU ALL SMILE..
IF...we were to live anywhere close to the words of this song would'nt it be a better place to live ?
Take me Take me pleeeeeese.
Negro spirituals
frederica.br i d g e t t e
You black women stay strong hold your head up
frederica.br i d g e t t e
Respect your self waling around that peoplke. Owe you something
frederica.br i d g e t t e
I love this I. Song mom use to listen to it
Good to my soul
Great to my spirit
Good old fashion music. Aint nothing like it.
Every day peoples.
Come on with..Staple s on the scene.
Old school jame my parents brought me. Up on this type. Music in the 601
Many saturday morning watching soul train as a kid and listening to SOUL MUSIC!
Yep thats right.
TRULY A FAMILY AFFAIR
RESPECT URSELF!!!! GIVE IT ND U SHALL RECEIVE. LOVE IT!
they say that a family that prays together stays together and thats what this family was ,I hope more will fallow in todays world
ispepell
Love this song...I run this on my ipod.
Yeesss. Kinda naughty in a respectable girl kind of way.
lisamitchell 1 7 5
This is real soul stirring music
The Singers & (or) Groups really didn't get the right amount of 'Respect',th a t was really due to them. I am 'Grateful' for Pops Staple & his Family. I have pass it down.
Serious... retro.... and stil banging!!!!!
Respect yourself!
Love this song :-)
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