Tapestry

Tapestry at 25: gospel singer Mavis Staples

We chased Staples for two years before the singer agreed to an interview. This 2011 conversation is rich with her reflections on the power of music to lift the human spirit, stories about her family’s close connection with Martin Luther King, Jr.

The gospel singer reflects on the power of music to lift the human spirit

Our conversation with gospel singer Mavis Staples was immediately a listener favourite. Staples reflects on the power of music to lift the human spirit, her family's close ties with Martin Luther King, Jr., and her faith. (Chris Strong)
Listen30:44

Originally broadcast in January 2011

Produced by Nicola Luksic and Tina Pittaway

The Staples Singers' music was once described as "joy and thunder."

Mavis Staples brought both into the studio, when she appeared on Tapestry in 2011.

Our CBC Radio colleague Erin Pettit chased Mavis for two years before the singer agreed to an interview. The resulting conversation immediately became a listener favourite. It is rich with Staples' reflections on the power of music to lift the human spirit, stories about her family's close ties with Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement, and intimate revelations about her faith and connection with her father, Pops Staples.

The interview was recorded as Mavis Staples was just releasing the album You Are Not Alone. 

Due to copyright issues, we've had to remove the music that ran through the original broadcast. But you can enjoy all those songs in the playlist below: