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Critically acclaimed biographer and "Chicago Tribune" music critic Greg Kot cuts to the heart of Mavis Staples's music, revealing the intimate stories of her sixty-year career. From her love affair with Bob Dylan, to her creative collaborations with Prince, to her recent revival alongside Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, this definitive account shows Mavis as you've never seen her before. "I'll Take You There" was written with the complete cooperation of Mavis and her family. Readers will also hear from Prince, Bonnie Raitt, David Byrne, Marty Stuart, Ry Cooder, Steve Cropper, and many other individuals whose lives have been influenced by Mavis's talent.
Filled with never-before-told stories, this fascinating biography illuminates a legendary singer and group during a historic period of change in America.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-10-21
- Reviewer: Staff
Chicago Tribune music critic Kot lets popular music icon Mavis Staples, lead singer of the Staples Singers, have her say in this rousing, chatty bio of 60 years of performing. Written with the cooperation of Mavis and family, this down home tale begins with Mavis’s ambitious father, Pop Staples, breaking away from a hardscrabble life in the Mississippi Delta, gathering his young family around him to start an upward climb through the Southern gospel circuit of the ’50s and ’60s, featuring Mavis, the skinny little girl with the grown-up voice. Along the way to stardom and sales of more than 30 million records, Mavis and her musical brood, based on Chicago’s South Side, crosses paths with such legends as Mahalia Jackson, Sam Cooke, Lou Rawls, and Aretha Franklin, while making their indelible mark with inspiring songs about the civil rights struggle. Teasing the reader with Mavis’s abbreviated romance with Bob Dylan, her teaming with the reclusive Prince, and her recent association with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Kot’s effort remains clear and respectful and takes us deep into the golden age of Mavis and her marvelously talented group. (Jan)