The Staples

"Let's Do It Again" - STAPLE SINGERS

The only number one 2-stepper as far a I know although Barbara Streisand may had one, After Sex is a stunningly dreamy tune from this album that was used behind PCRL's Radio Black Hero programmes in the late 1990's to good effect.

The Staple Singers spent most of their career as a gospel group and one of the most unique of family groups of all time. Father Roebuck 'Pops' led the group with a style of pre-war Mississippi Delta blues. Pops had grown up in Winona in 1915 and moved to Chicago in 1935. Curtis Mayfield must have loved family groups and tried to involve them in his output. Mama & Papa Stairstep sang with their siblings on more than one occasion there'll be more about the Stairsteps later.

Pops had been getting his family ready for singing in a group in the late 1940's he built the group around Mavis's contralto and his own tenor alto. From 1953-55 the group recoded at Leonard Allen's United/States labels but when they moved to Vee Jay five albums between 1954-60 with pop/folk style writings they were big in the gospel circles.

Then Riverside and Epic Records through the 60's and ending with Stax in 1968. Respect Yourself (1971), I'll Take You There (1972) and If You're Ready (Come Go With Me) (1973) were big crossover soul hits but Stax folded in 1975. Great footage of them was captured on the Wattstax film singing respect yourself and is now on DVD. Also this year a documentary film about Stax (Respect Yourself) was in selected cinemas and is also now on DVD. When The Staples came to Curtom via Warner Brothers they had been recording for 25 years. It was the soundtrack for Let's Do It Again a film directed and featuring Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby. Mayfield wrote it and it was Number 1 for eighteen weeks. This was also to be the groups all-time best seller. Pops died on 19th. December 2000 aged 85 after singing with his family for 40 years!

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