Throwback: The Staple Singers/Mavis Staples-I’ll Take You There
Mavis Staples started singing with her family as a little girl in church under the tutelage of her father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples. Mr. Staples assembled his wife Cleotha, daughters Mavis and Yvonne and his son Pervis into The Staple Singers in 1948. The Chicago singing group is where Mavis learned to be a professional by singing for Martin Luther King, Jr. and having their first hits in the ’50’s with “Uncloudy Day” and “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.” In the late ’60’s they signed to Stax Records and made a full movement from gospel to soul. “I’ll Take You There” featured Mavis as the lead vocalist, was written and produced by Al Bell, who was the co-owner of Stax Records, was recorded at the famed Muscle Shoals studios and had horns and strings arranged and recorded by Johnny Allen in Detroit. The song became one of their signature tunes and put Mavis and The Staple Singers into the American pop canon. Mavis started making solo records in the late ’60’s with the single “Crying In The Chapel.” She recorded an album for Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom label in the ’70’s and was the solo voice of “Melody Cool” for Prince’s Grafitti Bridge soundtrack. He also produced two albums for her on his Paisley Park label in the ’90’s. In 2011, she won a Grammy award for Best Americana Album for her You Are Not Alone album. Staples released her 14th studio album, Livin’ On A High Note in February of 2016 and the HBO documentary, Mavis! will air Monday night at 9PMEST.