photo by Myriam Santos

The Watauga Democrat

Long-time Staples guitarist Rick Holmstrom gives scoop on playing with a legend

by Derek Halsey

While the Staple Singers would go on to produce some of the most important soul music to ever hit the turntables and airwaves in the 1970s, the family band was making their mark with gospel hits in the previous decades. With guitar-driven songs like “Uncloudy Day,” a cut released in 1959 that influenced artists like Bob Dylan and more, the Chicago-based Staple Singers traveled extensively while on tour, including in the South in the time of Jim Crow Apartheid.

Back in the day, Mississippi was the home of Pops and Oceola Staples, a young couple who eventually moved north to Chicago so Pops could work in the mills and plants of Illinois. It was there that Mavis, Pervis, Cleotha and Yvonne Staples were born in the 1930s. As the kids grew up, and with Pops perfecting his soon-to-be-famous tremolo guitar style, the family band went from their beginnings in the church to recording on record labels such as Vee-Jay Records, United Records, Checker Records and eventually the Epic Records label.

Full story HERE.