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Monday, February 21, 2011

The Staple Singers Cover "For What It's Worth"

One of the more interesting little factoids to emerge from the recent Tribute to Neil Young at Carnegie Hall, New York City, 2/10/11 was that Bettye LaVette covered "Heart of Gold" back in 1973.

Well, here's another interesting factoid -- The Staple Singers covered Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" back in 1967.

Here's a remarkable playback of the original 45RPM single.

The reason we find this interesting is that both Bettye LaVette and Mavis Staples have been on somewhat of a revival in recent years and to find out they both covered earlier Stephen Stills and Neil Young songs that didn't exactly fit their audiences' niche is somewhat ... remarkable.


At 2/24/2011 11:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it... Jeffry from IBM

At 3/02/2011 11:40:00 AM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

This version is incredible; even more remarkable when you consider when it was recorded. Mavis still performs this sometimes in concert and it's always to joy to hear.

It's been over ten years now since Pops' passing, and with each year it becomes ever more apparent how important and vital this man was to American music. In my book, there are three immortals who stand at the very pinnacles in the world of jazz/blues/gospel: Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters and Pops Staples. They were the bridge that took us from there to here and beyond.

In his obituary for Pops, Ted Drozdowski remembered Pops' last appearance at The Newport Jazz Festival. Playing solo and returning to the blues music where he first started, Pops spoke about leaving Mississippi to start a new life. He had saved for years just to afford the bus fare and he was very happy to be going...and yet he still felt incredible sadness as he stared out the back of the bus, watching his home disappear into the background. If there's ever been a better metaphor for life and what it's like to live it, please let me know.

Pops Staples played with Son House, Charley Patton and Robert Johnson. He pretty much invented at least a couple types of music, while remaining perhaps the most humble artist America has ever produced. And he performed, taught, mentored and loved his daughter Mavis who is one of the two most gifted natural singers of 20th century America (Sara Carter is the other one).

Whenver I'm feeling a bit down and pessimistic, there's no better cure than listening to Staples music. Check the link below for Swing Down Chariot, my favorite one of all. When I'm gone, there are three songs I want played at my sendoff: Comes A Time, Submarine Bells (by The Chills) and this song. I'll be seeing Mavis again later this month for (at least) two of her shows in a tour with Billy Bragg, and I'm sure it will be a wonderful time. Thank you so much!

At 3/02/2011 12:34:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Mr H! i'll check out the vid. You're right about the timing of them covering back in the 60's and still to this day.

there's something happening here....

At 3/02/2011 01:12:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

What a fellowship
What a joy divine
Leaning on
The everlasting arms

What a blessedness
What a peace is mine
Leaning on
The everlasting arms

Leaning, leaning
Safe and secure
From all alarms

Leaning, leaning
Leaning on
The everlasting arms
--Elisha J. Hoffman and Anthony J. Showalter

Thanks T...maybe we can find our future somewhere in the past.


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