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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. In 2015, Concord released a four-disc Staples box set, Faith and Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976. ~ Rob Bowman
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Best Of The Vee-Jay Years

1. Uncloudy Day

2. I Know I Got Religion

4. I'm Coming Home (Parts 1 & 2)

5. Help Me Jesus

6. Low Is The Way

7. So Soon

8. Will The Circle Be Unbroken

9. Pray On

10. Too Close

11. Let's Go Home

12. I've Been Scorned

13. Swing Low

14. Sit Down Servant

15. Stand By Me

16. The Day Is Passed And Gone

17. This May Be The Last Time

x

Track List: Stax Profiles

1. I'll Take You There

2. Respect Yourself

3. If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)

4. Be What You Are

5. Are You Sure

6. Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom-Boom)

7. Oh La De Da (Live)

8. Touch A Hand, Make A Friend

9. You've Got To Earn It

10. Everyday People

11. My Main Man

12. City In The Sky

13. Long Walk To D.C.

14. The Weight

x

Track List: In The Spirit

1. Will The Circle Be Unbroken

2. Pray On

3. Uncloudy Day

4. This May Be The Last Time

5. Don't Drive Me Away

6. I Know I've Got Religion

7. Let's Go Home

8. Don't Knock

9. If I Could Hear My Mother Pray

10. Calling Me

x

Track List: The Best Of The Staple Singers

1. Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom)

2. You've Got To Earn It

3. Love Is Plentiful

4. This World

5. (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay

6. The Weight

7. Respect Yourself

8. We'll Get Over

9. I'll Take You There

10. Oh La De Da

11. Be What You Are

12. This Old Town (People In This Town)

13. If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)

14. Touch A Hand (Make A Friend)

15. My Main Man

16. City In The Sky

x

Track List: Be Altitude: Respect Yourself

1. This World

2. Respect Yourself

3. Name The Missing Word

4. I'll Take You There

5. This Old Town (People In This Town)

6. We The People

7. Are You Sure

9. I'm Just Another Soldier

10. Who

x

Track List: Soul Folk In Action

x

Track List: Freedom Highway

1. Will The Circle Be Unbroken

2. Move Along Train

3. Are You Sure

4. Wade In The Water

5. If I Could Hear My Mother Again

6. Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!

7. The Lord's Prayer

8. Jacob's Ladder

9. Why? (Am I Treated So Bad)

10. Praying Time

11. For What It's Worth

12. Hammer And Nails

13. Freedom Highway (Live 1965)

14. What You Gonna Do? (Live 1965)

15. Samson And Delilah

16. Nobody's Fault But Mine

17. Be Careful Of Stones That You Throw

18. This Train

Comments

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I am glad&resourc e f u l . T o be labled"SPIRI T U A L L Y MINDED".
Because there are other catagories ,such as;DISTURBIN G L Y DIFFERENT... . . . . . . . . M A T E R I A L I S T I C . . . . . . . . . U N - G R A T E F U L . . . . . . S E L F - C E N T E R E D . . . . . . . . . . U N - R E S P E C T F U L o r SLEEPERS COMFORTING SLEEPERS.... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Let's do it again Sweetie!!
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Good oldies lyrics & instruments!
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I'll.....Tak e U.....There. . . . X X X X X O O O X X O O O O O
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williamjsmar t
I'll Take You There, one of those few songs I sing to myself on the road--bass line included. What a shame it wasn't released when I played in Vegas in the early 1960s. Northside, baby.
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I really love their music, and Mavis and Pops always made it happen, you just feel good when you listen to the whole group, just wonderful music. Nothing else like it.
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HELP MEY!
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Calling Mercy
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The stax legends...
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In our "cookie-cutt e r " S O C I E T Y . The most interesting. B e c o m e what people refer to as . "On-point",o r going with a motion.
I've been humbled . To experience .Both catogories.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Every time I hear I'll take you there I now think of the movie Secretariat! LOL! Seriously tho, Pop Staples was a trip! But this group was one of the most chart topping never heard a lot about them groups in music. They are truly the pioneers of what is now called Grown Folks Music.
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i love this band
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Let's be the change we want to see in the world!!! Thanks for the renew energy to the cause.
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Love you
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Love it
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dcusmc
Sweet tune
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modernlycorr e c t
Okay...i think madonna samples a part of this song in Express yourself
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You're all very blessed to have such a gifted voice praise God God's gifts
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deep
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Staple singers did they thing
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mariaviccica
Timeless
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Who can name the songs of The Staple Singers that were part of movies sound tracks?
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Where?
Really!
Good Music!!
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Such beautiful and classic music I'm dancing in my shower.
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❤❤❤❤❤
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❤❤❤❤❤
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❤❤❤❤❤
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Hey my Friend they were a great example of how music and families stay intact Amen CjRamsey jr
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I Love how they sing - I'll Take You There
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This is a message from God. The messengers.. . T h e Staples...
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Butterfinger ��
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Brings back memories doesn't it?
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Love this song!!
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I remember seeing the Staple Singers on tv in the 60's. Been groovin ever since.
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Beautiful music right here yall!
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Percy sledge. First you cry. Love it. A good friend of mine got me to hear that. And I listen to that every night thank you George. Hope your life is blessed with the goodness of God.
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Love this song still sound good you no.The beat sound good
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This is what real music sounds like! =)
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~I'll Take You There~ this song reminds me of my childhood family gatherings, hopscotch, playing jax, cookouts.... f u n hot summer days filled with good times, friends, family and love!
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Just get out the way and let the gentleman do his thing
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angie63061
I am everyday people.
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Respect Yoself....!! !
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dragonlady60 8 8
Excellant
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My Father the best dad n the world loved Motown music n I have found that same love for music the words mean so much this is the best love songs ever made RIP DADDY ILL LISTEN TO MOTOWN EVERYDAY!!ju s for u!!
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Yes indeed
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THIS IS MUSIC THAT TELLS REAL LOVE STORIES
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Love this song still sound good you no.
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I grew up with this beautiful music...but was way too kool
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This really take me back wen my mother used to listen to this
Show more

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