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King wouldn't want me to marry a white guy." Dylan has referred to Staples ever since as "the love that I lost." Staples was briefly married to a mortician named A. "Ain't no stopping me, I will sing," Staples declared in a recent interview.
"You know, you'd have to come and scoop me off the stage.
After a day of hard labor in the fields—for 10 cents a day—Pops took solace in the Delta blues, learning guitar from the great blues pioneer Charley Patton.
In 1936, three years before Mavis was born, Pops moved to Chicago and landed a job in a meatpacking factory.
People were betting that I was not a little girl." The Staple Singers toured the country and developed an impressive grassroots following, but they limited their concerts to weekends until Staples graduated from high school in 1957.
They recorded two more national hits in the late 1950s: "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and "This May Be the Last Time," a song later adapted by The Rolling Stones.
Mavis Staples was born July 10, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois.
Then in 1957, having signed with Vee-Jay Records, the Staple Singers scored their first major hit with "Uncloudy Day," with Staples' shockingly mature vocals reaching national audiences.
After they received an enormous ovation, Staples recalled her father saying, "Shucks, these people like us. " Although she was the youngest member of the band—a quartet consisting of Mavis, Cleotha, Pervis and Pops—Mavis soon became its lead singer with a logic-defying voice that more properly belonged to a woman several decades older and many times larger.
She recalled her father telling her, "Mavis, listen, your voice is a God-given gift. You don't even know what key you sing in." Staples added, with a laugh, "And I still don't know what key I sing in."In 1953, the Staple Singers dropped their first single, "These They Are," under the Royal label.
The meeting had a profound effect on the group's direction, and for the next several years they wrote songs exclusively in support of the American civil rights movement.
"I really like this man's message," Pops Staples said of King.
"We sing about what's happening in the world today, and whatever's wrong we try to fix it through a song," Staples recalled her father explaining. And while she released eight solo albums during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, all of which received high praise from those critics who noticed, none of her solo material found much of an audience.