Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Staple Singers
The Staple Singers were a United States gospel, soul, and R&B singing group. Pops Staples , the patriarch of the family, formed the group in 1951, signing with United Records, then Vee-Jay, Riverside and, finally, Epic Records.
It was on Epic that the Staple Singers began moving into mainstream pop markets, with "Why (Am I Treated So Bad)" and "For What It's Worth" (Stephen Stills) in 1967. In 1968, the Staple Singers signed to Stax and released two albums with Steve Cropper and Booker T & the MG's - Soul Folk in Action and We'll Get Over . By 1970, Al Bell had become producer, and the family began recording at the fame Muscle Shoals studio, moving in a more funk and soul direction. The first Stax hit was "Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom)". Their 1972 recording on Stax of "Respect Yourself," written by Luther Ingram and Mack Rice, was number 2 on the R&B charts and a Top 40 pop hit as well. The song's theme of self-empowerment had universal appeal, released in the period immediately following the intense American civil rights movement of the 1960s.
The Staple Singers then signed to Curtom , Curtis Mayfield's label, and released "Let's Do It Again", produced by Mayfield; the song was a huge hit. After this, however, they were not able to regain their momentum, releasing occasional minor hits. In 1994, they recorded a duet with Mary Stuart ("The Weight", The Band), somewhat re-establishing an audience. Pops Staples died due to a concussion from a fall in 2000.
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