Monday, January 26, 2009
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Staple Singers
Album:Music From The Motion Picture Crooklyn
The 1971 hit Respect Yourself was the first of several crossover hits by the legendary gospel group The Staple Singers. Of course they were led by Roebuck "Pops" Staples (born Dec. 28, 1914 in Winona, MS). Pops first formed the group with his daughters Cleotha, Pervis, Yvonne & Mavis in 1948. They would sing and he would back them up on guitar. Later on, Mavis Staples (born July 10, 1939 in Chicago) would emerge as the lead singer and is acknowledged today as one of the all time greats of black music. The Staple Singers recorded gospel for labels like VeeJay, Riverside & Epic in the 50s & 60s. But the turning point came when they signed with Stax in 1968. They recorded their first two Stax albums with Booker T & The MGs but then new Stax co-owner and producer Al Bell decided to take them in a funkier direction to Muscle Shoals, AL. Bell didn't try to change their music but thought the musicians at Muscle Shoals would give a more contemporary backdrop. The album was called Be Altitude:Respect Yourself and Respect Yourself was the first single and reached #2 on the R & B charts and #12 on the pop charts. The song was written by Luther Ingram (If Loving You is Wrong I Don't Want To Be Right) & Sir Mack Rice (Mustang Sally). If You're Ready (Come Go With Me) also scored in 1973. The Staple Singers left Stax in 1975 when Stax went broke and signed with Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label. They scored a #1 hit in 1975 with the theme from the film Let's Do It Again. That was the end of their run and then Mavis Staples started to emerge as a solo artist. She just released a new solo album produced by Ry Cooder. Respect Yourself got a big boost when Spike Lee used it in his 1994 film Crooklyn and there are plenty of soul classics on the soundtrack. Pops Staples got a lot of acclaim for his 1992 album Peace In The Neighborhood and he died as the result of a fall off a ladder on Dec. 19, 2000 at age 85. The Staple Singers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1999. They're one of my favourite groups. Here's The Staple Singers performing Respect Yourself in the 1972 film Wattstax.