The Staple Singers were a family group and an example of gospel and soul music crossing over to major pop acceptance. Roebuck “Pops” Staples (1914–2000), and his children Cleo, Pervis, Yvonne and Mavis along with Pop’s distinctive Delta guitar and socially conscious lyrics became trademarks of the group’s distinctive sound.
The Staple Singers began recording in the early fifties in an acoustic gospel style for various labels before signing with Epic Records resulted in their first hit, “Why? (Am I Treated So Bad)” and a remake of the Buffalo Springfield hit “For What It’s Worth”.
In 1967, The Staple Singers signed with Stax. Pervis left the group and was replaced by Yvonne and producer Al Bell recorded them in Muscle Shoals in a more soul and funk direction. Their Stax Hot 100 hits included “Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom)” (1971) ”Respect Yourself” (1971), “I’ll Take You There” (1972) and the million selling “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)” (1973).
In 1999, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Pops Staples died of complications from a concussion suffered in December 2000. In 2005, the group was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Lead singer Mavis Staples, who began to record as a solo artist in the early 70s, continues to record and perform.
View official Mavis Staples website here.