Mavis Staples is 72

“I loved Bobby enough to marry him, but I just was not ready to get married.”


One of the great voices in music is Mavis Staples. First as the lead singer of the Staples Singers, with hits such as Respect Yourself and I’ll Take You There, and currently, with her blues/gospel fusion, she’s still performing.

This segment from CBS Sunday Morning in April 2011 noted that she STILL doesn’t know what keys she sings in, even after 60 years of performing. The story also revealed this:

Mavis Staples has a lot of stories to tell, but here’s one you probably didn’t see coming: Bob Dylan asked to marry her.
“That’s true. It’s true. I may as well tell it now,” she said.
Yes, love was apparently in the air for the teenage singers. They “courted” (as Mavis puts it) for 3 years or so. But finally, Mavis says, she called it off.
“I didn’t think I wanted to get married right then,” she said, “And then another thing, you know, I would wonder about what would Dr. King think about me marrying a white guy?
“And so I told Pops about that, and Pops said, ‘Mavis, didn’t you see all them white people marching with us?’ All white people weren’t bad back then. I loved Bobby enough to marry him, but I just was not ready to get married.”

Some songs by Mavis Staples:
99 and 1/2
Eyes on the Prize
You Are Not Alone, acoustic version with Jeff Tweedy