“I’ll Take You There”, Civil Rights Soundtrack

“As long as we in the south can go to restrooms, go to restaurants and sleep in hotels, we can say things have improved. But you never know who is waiting to drop you off again.”


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Mavis Staples (Chicago, 1939), the youngest of The Staple Singers and the only surviving of that entire family of musicians who combined gospel, soul, people, and rhythm and blues, made these statements while Donald Trump was in white. a house.

I knew what he was talking about. Her family came from Mississippi and grew up in the Southern Bible Circle in the 1950s, and by the 1960s, she was going to put her immense talent to work for civil rights. A historical period of changes in the United States that music was largely evoked.

It will go down in history as one of the great anthems of the African-American struggle for civil rights.

Their father, Pops Staples, recruits siblings Cleota, Pervis, Yvonne, and Mavis to form a gang. On the day they met Martin Luther King at the Presbyterian Church, he said to his children, “I love this man, I love his message. And if he can preach it, we can sing it.”

This is how the family began writing songs calling for freedom. Freedom Highway forward. s Why am I being treated so badly? It turned out to be a favorite of Dr. King. “You’re going to sing my song tonight, right?” The evangelist who was preaching and the Mables playing the tune: Love, Self-Esteem, A New Awakening… His songs would become the soundtrack to the Resistance. And it will end up being inspired by them.

staple singers

The Staple Singers, a family band led by Patriarch Pops Staples

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Mavis remembers decades later that she has not lost faith in humanity, despite the brutally oppressive response by the establishment and police forces. God was on his side…

He recently said in an interview with rolling rock .

In The Staple Singers she was the one responsible for making people shake. Mavis’s voice, determination, and stylistic compromise were the guarantee that my father’s popular good – respect yourself And so on – it will end up thrilling the masses. This is how they will go down in history as they unleashed one of the greatest anthems of the African-American struggle: I’ll take you there .

“I’ll take you there / To a place where no one cries / Where no one gets worried / There are no smiling faces / Lying to the races.”

Mavies are invited to reach the sky using only two strings. Using the gospel formula for call-and-response between the soloist and chorus, the theme built a fictional world in which civil rights triumphed. The battle was successful. The theme was part of the album Stand high: respect yourself from 1972, the year of the great harvest of folk music, as this series reminds us of vanguard .

They recorded it at the legendary Alabama studios opened by a handful of session musicians, where the Stones recorded Brown Sugar.

But as it sometimes happens with big hits, that song had a lot of Frankenstein. For starters, the recognizable bass line matches a reggae song that Harry Johnson wrote three years ago. In addition, Staples recorded it at the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound studio in Alabama, which was opened by a group of extraordinary musicians. These white boys accompanied Aretha Franklin on her first big hit, I’ve never loved a man (the way I love you), The Rolling Stones had just given birth there Brown sugar so is wild horses .

They attracted artists from across the United States and Great Britain – from Wilson Beckett to Paul Simon to Cat Stevens – because these musicians possessed the soul of rhythm and blues. In fact, they are the ones who play instruments I’ll take you there . They are responsible for eliminating all the echo of the Kumbaya.

The “feeling good” vibe that took the song straight to the top of the bestseller on May 7

The song retains the three sisters’ singles and bobs, but when Mavis is heard saying “Dad, now, dad!” , which led to the guitar solo, was Eddie Hinton who performed it. Just as David Hood assumes the bass or Terry Manning puts on the harmonica and electric guitar, Roger Hawkins plays the drums and Barry Beckett plays the keyboard. Trumpets were recorded at Artie Fields in Detroit and mixed at Ardent Studios in Memphis. That was a bomb.

The “feeling good” vibe that made the song topped the May 72 bestseller list. rolling rock It placed it among the 500 greatest songs of all time. The most iconic and successful single of Staples’ career over half a century was also Mavis Staples’ breakout track.


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