She was already touring hard with her father, Roebuck (known as Pops), and siblings Cleotha, Pervis and Yvonne as the Staple Singers.During the ’50s and ’60s, they sang gospel, and in the ’70s, they turned up the funk, scoring No.Staples felt she was too young, and she turned him down, but the pair remained friends, creating music together throughout the turbulence of the civil rights movement.In 2016, at the cusp of a new movement of social change, Dylan approached Staples with one more proposal; Playing the opening act on a month-and-a-half-long tour to support his latest album, . Sharing the same stage (but not at the same time) at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on July 14, the duo seemed, in theory, like the perfect balm to sooth the soul of a wounded world, or at least stir up a spark of change.A few years ago I was reading a People’s Magazine article about Bob Dylan and his works of art.Behind him was a picture of a woman that looked eerily similar to myself.She had shoulder length hair with delicate hands barely covering her voluptuous breasts and was unmistakably black.
The general outline of her life and career is well enough known: She started singing as a child when her father, Pops Staples, organized her and her siblings into a band that moved from their roots in the church in the 1950s to the front lines of the struggle for Civil Rights in the ’60s, before finding crossover commercial success in the ’70s with hits including “I’ll Take You There” and their appearance in the Band’s landmark concert movie The Last Waltz. The family’s home on the South Side of Chicago served as a headquarters for traveling entertainers, and Mavis’ mother, Oceola Staples, hosted the likes of Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Redd Foxx and Aretha Franklin, who often used the Staples’ place as a refuge as her career took flight. Otis Redding wanted to work record with the Staples. During a lull in her career in the ’80s, Mavis Staples phoned the Jheri curl company and offered to record a jingle. Be What You Are includes an uncredited guest musician.
It’s anyone’s guess who actually wrote “I’ll Take You There.” Though Al Bell, then co-owner of Stax, took sole credit for the 1972 song, Mavis Staples says she and Bell worked out the lyrics together, and members of the rhythm section at Muscle Shoals in Alabama say they built up the arrangement from scratch in the studio. The incident informed “My Own Eyes” on We’ll Never Turn Back, Mavis’ 2007 album with Cooder. The blues label Alligator later released the album.
By the time she was 13, Mavis Staples was practically a music biz veteran.
1s with “I’ll Take You There” and “Let’s Do It Again.” Now 76, Staples, who released a new album, “Livin’ on a High Note” (produced by M.
Ward), earlier this month, and still tours, is the subject of an HBO documentary, “Mavis! In her long career, she’s met a lot of interesting people.
Like Tina Turner, also born in 1939, Staples makes 76 look like the new 35. ” She is still here, and her performance was an impressive show of energy and consistency that serves as a reminder not just of her own role in the civil rights movement, but Dylan’s too.