Posts Tagged ‘Pops Staples’

“Private Space”- Available at the Principle Gallery, VA

Oh, they tell me of a home where my friends have gone
Oh, they tell me of that land far away
Where the tree of life in eternal bloom
Sheds its fragrance through the unclouded day

Uncloudy Day, Josiah K. Alwood 

Still on a semi-hiatus here on the blog but wanted to continue playing my Sunday Morning musical selection. This week I am going way back with a gospel tune called Uncloudy Day, written by Josiah K. Alwood in 1879. We’re not going back quite that far for this week’s pick but it’s still pretty old, taking us back to 1956 when The Staple Singers first recorded what is probably the definitive version of this song. 

This is a powerfully performed song, with the droning bite of the undertone from the electric guitar of Pops Staples and an emotional vocal lead from Mavis Staples. It’s hard to believe but Mavis was only 16 years old when she recorded this.

It’s reported that this song was a huge influence on a young Bob Dylan. His appreciation didn’t stop at the song as he pursued and proposed to Mavis Staples in the early 1960’s. She turned him down but they have maintained a close friendship and working relationship to this day, recording and touring together periodically over the many decades that followed.

Anyway, it’s a song that always stops me in my tracks and I think anything that makes you stop to listen is a good song to kick off a Sunday. 

Be careful out there and have a good day.

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Mavis StaplesFinding some sort of joy in one’s life might well be the answer to most of life’s questions.  It nourishes us and gives meaning to the moments of our lives.  It makes us want to face the new day.

That state of joy is a mighty potent force.

There are people who exude that joy from their very being and I think singer Mavis Staples is one of those people.

Had a chance to see her show last night in Corning and her joy in this world and her music seemed obvious to me.  At age 76, she has a new album, Livin’ On a High Note,  coming out in February and she just rolls on.  Over sixty years of performing and the effects of advancing age can’t diminish her in any way on that stage.  Just a powerful force.

One of the highlights of the show was her performance of Freedom March, a song written back in 1963 by her father, Pops Staples, to mark the famed Freedom March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in that year.   For this Sunday Morning Music, I thought I’d share an performance of it from a few years back. Good stuff.

Have a great Sunday and try to find a little joy of your own…



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