Written by Brooke Filsinger
“I respected and loved Aretha Franklin, and still do. But she wasn’t Mavis Staples.”
That’s a pretty bold statement. And when it comes from Al Bell, co-owner of the famous Stax Records, it’s also a statement that can’t just be dismissed lightly.
So who is this ‘Mavis’ that so commands Bell’s respect?
She has worn many labels — gospel singer, civil rights activist, self-funded artist, Bob Dylan’s ‘lost love’ — but she will no doubt be remembered as the breath-taking centre-piece of The Staple Singers, one of America’s greatest family bands, and one of the greatest voices of the 20th century.
Listen along with a special Spotify Playlist right here.