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YouTube Gold: Mavis Staples Takes You There

One of the great classics of American popular music

Photo of Staple Singers
The Staple Singers live

The Staple Singers were a pretty unique American group. Formed in 1948 when Roebuck Staples formed a gospel group with his children, they later sang R&B and soul as well, but gospel was never far from the surface. They recorded classics like Tear This Building Down and Uncloudy Day, which Bob Dylan said had a profound effect on him as a young artist.

They also did a stunning cover of the Carter Family’s Will The Circle Be Unbroken.

When they recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, the sound moved in a more secular direction and by then, daughter Mavis had become the breakout star.

Then in 1972, they came up with their enduring masterpiece, I’ll Take You There.

It featured an amazing vocal performance by Mavis and perhaps the most famous base solo in popular music history. Pops Staples was nearly 60 at the time.

It still sounds fresh more than 50 years later.