Hey DivaGals! This #MainEventMonday, we bring you Mavis Staples. Now, if you haven’t heard of the The Staple Singers, you’re in for a major treat tonight! HBO is airing MAVIS!, the documentary chronicling the life of gospel/soul/R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who is still wowing audiences across the nation with her smoky vocals at age 76!
Invited to a special screening of the film, TV DivaGal chatted with Mavis’ tour manager, who was gently cradling the honey elixir Mavis loves to chug before hitting the stage, and learned that this woman still loves to perform!
Then it was on to the screening. The 80-minute doc is an uplifting, hand-clapping retrospect of Mavis’ life. We get to see how she first started singing with her father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples – in the family group mentioned above. While their music had roots in gospel, Pops brought the blues to their music, a perfect complement for Mavis’ smoky vocals.
We discover which family song was a fave of Dr. Martin Luther King and how the group’s music sound-tracked the civil rights era. The veil is lifted on Mavis’ brief solo career, and her brief tete-a-tete with Bob Dylan! We also learn what famous singer helped revive Mavis’ career and put her back in the spotlight (let’s just say he’s a Prince!). I learned that The Staples Singers are the original voices behind the hit, ” “I’ll Take You There.”
Once the doc ended, Mavis did what she does best – hold an intimate performance for the crowd. And we got to take home Mavis’ newest CD, Livin on a High Note.
Make sure you catch MAVIS! Monday, Feb, 28 at 9 p.m. on HBO!
photo credit: HBO