Posts Tagged ‘The Staple Singers’

“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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GC Myers- In the Window- Worlds Beckon smLast week, we watched the HBO documentary  Mavis! which is, of course, about the career of singer Mavis Staple.  Ever since I have been going to YouTube to listen to her early gospel work with her family, the Staple Singers, in the 1950’s.  It’s just great stuff, a little gritty and blues-edged beneath with her vocals soaring above it all.  It seemed so ahead of the time, especially given what was being played on pop radio at that point.

I thought for this Sunday morning music I would keep this simple and play one of my favorites, I’m Coming Home from 1959.  I think it’s a great example of what they were doing then.

I picked the painting above for this song.The painting at the top is from my In the Window series from back in 2005 and is titled In the Window: Worlds Beckon.  I chose it for this post because it reminded me of the thought of going home in the way of this song, that there is another world beyond this one.  We may exist in this room, this life,  now but there’s a whole different one just outside the window.  That’s how this painting always struck me and it jibes with the song, at least for me.

Anyway, enjoy and have a great Sunday.

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GC Myers  The ListeningWell, I’m still on the road but I should be home and back in the studio tomorrow morning which is always a relief.  Back to the routine that I really like and can thrive in.

As I drive I listen to my iPod, usually just leaving it on shuffle so that anything can pop up.  Sometimes things come on that I haven’t heard in a while and it’s always a pleasant surprise.

Here’s one that always makes me wish I could sing.  It’s from Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz which is a documenting of The Band‘s last concert.  It’s a great film and this is a great version of The Weight with a lot of help from the Staple Singers.


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