The Staple Singers
avis Staples was talking to a British reporter after the Staple Singers had their first number one single, "I'll Take You There." "You know, since we became 'stars,' whatever that is, it's been pretty hectic and everything moves fast. 'Be What You Are,' 'I'll Take You There,' "If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)' -- our records are kinda funky but we still do message songs. But we had to move with the times."
With the demise of Stax Records, the Staple Singers moved on to Curtom. The label was owned by Curtis Mayfield, former lead singer for the Impressions ("People Get Ready," "Amen") and now a major solo artist in his own right.
Mayfield wrote and produced the exciting score to Let's Do It Again, a 1975 black action-comedy starring Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby. The Staples' recording of the title song entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 68 on October 25, 1975, and was the number one song in America just nine weeks later.
Pop admitted the slightly suggestive innuendo of the song -- a plea from one partner to another to "do it again" -- gave him some misgivings at first. "A little girl said to me, 'It sounds so much like sex. Is that where y'all comin' from now?" he recalled for Vernon Gibbs in Essence. "It knocked me out," he laughed.
The Staple Singers only placed one more single on the Hot 100 after "Let's Do It Again." Another track from the movie, "New Orleans," edged its way up to number 70. They continued to record for Warner Brothers, 20th Century and Private I, cutting a cover version of the Talking Heads' "Slippery People" for the latter. Although they haven't repeated their triumphs from the first half of the '70s, the bond that has kept the family together is as strong as ever.
"For as long as I can remember, (Mom and Pop Staples) instilled in us that we must love and treat one another as sisters and brothers," Mavis told Gibbs. "Pop was very strict. He'd whip us good, and Mom would always leave it up to him. We've grown up with togetherness in the family. A lot of people have asked us, 'How do three sisters get along? How can you stay together like that?' It's just the way we were brought up."
- Fred Bronson, The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Billboard, 1988.
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