The Staple Singers!

There have been a lot of  family groups and singers.  Johnny Cash, had the Carter Family; there was The Partridge Family (mother & son), The Cowsills, and so on.  And then there was this group I just loved –  Bought their records and loved their music,  from the State of Mississippi one of the truly great Gospel and R&B family groups…
The Staple Singers

Roebuck ‘Pops’ Staples (b. 28th December 1915, Winona, Mississippi, U.S.A. d. 19th December 2000, Dolton, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.)

Mavis Staples (b. 10th July 1939, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.)

Pervis Staples (b. November 1935, Drew, Mississippi, U.S.A.)

Cleotha Staples (b. 11th April 1934, Drew, Mississippi, U.S.A.)

(Yvonne Staples (b. 23rd October 1938, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.)

Video: 1972 I’ll Take You There

Video: If your Ready


  1. Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom)/ Stax 0083 / March 1971/ #27
  2. Respect Yourself/ Stax 0104/ November 1971/ #12
  3. I’ll Take You There/ Stax 0125/ April 1972/ # 1 (1) R&B #1 (4)
  4. This World/ Stax 0137/ August 19/ #38
  5. Oh La De Da/ Stax 0156/ March 1973/ #33
  6. If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me)/ Stax 0179/ November 1973/  #9
  7. Touch A Hand Make a Friend/ Stax 0196/ March 1974/ # 23
  8. Let’s Do it Again/ Curtom 0109/ November 1975/ #1

The Staple Singers were a United States gospel, soul, and R&B singing group. Pops Staples, the patriarch of the family, formed the group in 1951, signing with United Records, then Vee-Jay, Riverside and, finally, Epic Records.

It was on Epic that the Staple Singers began moving into mainstream pop markets, with “Why (Am I Treated So Bad)” and “For What It’s Worth” (Stephen Stills) in 1967.

In 1968, the Staple Singers signed to Stax and released two albums with Steve Cropper and Booker T & the MG’s – Soul Folk in Action and We’ll Get Over.

By 1970, Al Bell had become producer, and the family began recording at the famed Muscle Shoals studio, moving in a more funk and soul direction. The first Stax hit was “Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom)”.

In 1972, the group had a No. 1  hit in the United States with “I’ll Take You There.” Their 1972 recording on Stax of “Respect Yourself,” written by Luther Ingram and Mack Rice, was #2 on the R&B charts and a Top 40 pop hit as well. The song’s theme of self-empowerment had universal appeal, released in the period immediately following the intense American civil rights movement of the 1960s.

The Staple Singers then signed to Curtom, Curtis Mayfield’s label, and released “Let’s Do It Again”, produced by Mayfield; the song was a huge hit. After this, however, they were not able to regain their momentum, releasing occasional minor hits.

In 1994, they recorded a duet with Mary Stuart (“The Weight”, The Band), somewhat re-establishing an audience. Pops Staples died of complications from a concussion suffered in December 2000

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2 responses to “The Staple Singers!

  1. Don’t forget their appearance on the last waltz

  2. Pingback: Edwin Hawkins Singers | Russ & Gary's "The Best Years of Music"

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