Cleotha was the first born child of Roebuck “Pops” Staples and his spouse Ocelola. Rather than re-hash the group’s and Cleoetha’s story I will link you to The Associate Press Obituary that can be found here at Billboard. com and the NY Times Obituary that can be found here.
Once you have read all about her life and passing (after suffering for a dozen years with the dreaded Alzheimers) let’s listen to Miss Cleedi sing with her gospel folk family group and celebrate the musical legacy she left us.
Respect Yourself/ I’ll Take you There
This is a live performance is from The Staple Singers 1999 Induction into the rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cleedi, as always, stood right next to her father while they performed. Her strong soprano was said to be his guide to his guitar playing. Miss Cleotha herself said that she was the backbone of the group.
This video is Pops Staples‘ thank you speech at the induction that was worth posting for all to see. I am awfully glas that the family got inducted while all members were alive to enjoy the and appreciate the honor.
I wanted to also share this particular videos of one of the many Staples performances on Soul Train, so that you could see not on Cleotha’s musical talent but her talent in design. She went to trade school for design and made the outfits for her siblings. I think they are wonderful and way ahead of their time. Miss Cleotha probably could of had a great career as a designer if she ever chose to break away from the family business of singing — don’t you think?
And last but not least …
…”Cleotha was featured with Eddie Floyd (of “Knock on Wood” fame) on “It’s Too Late” from the 1969 Stax Records duets LP Boy Meets Girl. Her velvety soprano was powerful and dynamic on the bluesy ballad about a lost love. ” (from The Black Gospel Blog)”
You can listen to this gem at “Keep The Coffee Coming”
R.I.P. Cleotha Staples. We will never forget you