Path 27

Mavis Staples throws a party at Apollo Theater

Path 27

NEW YORK (AP) — Her fans stood and cheered from the moment Mavis Staples appeared on stage and stayed on their feet until she left. They sang “Happy Birthday” and joined in the chorus of “I’ll Take You There.” Couples embraced and held hands as if caught up in the warmth and spirit of a singer who never failed to hug her many guest performers.

Staples, two months shy of turning 80, threw a party Thursday night at the Apollo Theater.

“All of my friends have come to help me,” she called out as she welcomed David Byrne, Norah Jones and Maggie Rogers among others for a nearly 90-minute show. “You’re talking about one happy girl.”

With enthusiasm to be envied at any age, Staples told stories and pumped her fists and danced in place as she sang, shouted and sometimes roared through “I’ll Take You There,” ”The Weight” and a mix of rock and gospel songs. Staples had knee replacement surgery a few years ago, but only briefly did she sit down or even acknowledge the boundaries of age, joking “She wore me out” after a hot duet with Valerie June on “High Note.” Byrne joined her for Talking Heads’ “Slippery People,” and Jones added keyboards and vocals for “You Are Not Alone.” Stephen Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste took over on keyboards for “I’ll Take You There.”

Staples was first known as a member of the Chicago-based Staple Singers, featuring her father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples and siblings Cleotha, Yvonne and Pervis. They were deeply involved in the civil rights movement, starting from the time the family saw the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speak at a church in Birmingham, Alabama. Introducing their classic “Freedom Highway,” Mavis told the Apollo crowd that back at their hotel, “Pops” told his children “If he can preach it, we can sing it.”

Trending:
Wisconsin Election Official Says Zuckerberg-Funded Group Seized Control of 2020 Election

Staples remembered “Pops” teaching her the hymn “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” She also recalled the first time she ever stepped inside the Apollo, in 1956. Her family and friends didn’t believe she had gone.

“We didn’t have those little telephone cameras, so I couldn’t prove it,” she said, as hundreds in the audience held up phones and recorded her.

“But I knew it.”

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Path 27
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation