December 20, 2007


roebuck "pops" staples was born in mississipi in 1914, moved to chicago in 1935, & formed the staples singers with his son pervis & daughters cleotha, yvonne & mavis in 1948, but he didn't get around to starting a solo career until the early 90s...when he did though, he made all those years of preparation are a couple tracks from his second & final solo album, 1994's father father, including one that'll sound familiar to widespread panic fans...listen for his daughters singing background vocals, as they were never very far from their father throughout his life, making it easy to see why with all his musical accomplishments & accolades, spending time with his family & spreading the message of peace, love & happiness were what were most important to pops...he passed away seven years ago yesterday.

download: pops staples - father father
download: pops staples - hope in a hopeless world
download: widespread panic - hope in a hopeless world
download: widespread panic ft. mavis staples - hope in a hopeless world (11/16/02)

related: mavis staples' we'll never turn back was one of my favorite albums of the year & while there are subtle mentions of pops throughout, maybe one of the most noticeable tributes she makes to her father is opening the album with a take on "down in mississippi", a traditional blues song that pops sang on his 1992 solo debut, peace to the neighborhood...interestingly, both versions were produced by ry cooder...also, i couldn't mention peace to the neighborhood without posting my favorite track from it, "pray on my child", in which mavis takes the lead vocals...i'm not a very religious person, but sometimes mavis makes me think i could be.

download: mavis staples - down in mississippi
download: pops staples - down in mississippi
download: pops staples ft. mavis staples - pray on my child

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