Edited by Azizi Powell
This post showcases the Staple Singers performing the 1972 Soul record "I'll Take You There".
The content of this post is presented for cultural, inspirational, and aesthetic purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to the Staples Singers for their musical legacy. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.
INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SONG
"This was the first of two #1 hits for the Staple Singers. The other is "Let's Do It Again." The Staple Singers were among the first groups to move from Gospel to inspirational Soul music. Said lead singer Mavis Staples: "When we heard Dr. Martin Luther King preach, we said, 'If he can preach this, we can sing it.'"
Stax Records vice-president Al Bell (born Avertis Isabell) wrote this after attending the funeral of his little brother, who was shot to death. Says Bell: "I went out in the backyard in my father's home. He had an old school bus there parked that was not running. I went back there and sat on the hood of that bus thinking about all that was happening. And all of a sudden, I hear this music in my head. And I heard these lyrics: 'I know a place, ain't nobody worried, ain't nobody crying, and ain't no smiling faces lying to the races, I'll take you there.' I heard it, and I heard the music. And it wouldn't leave, it stayed there. kept trying to write other verses, but I couldn't. Nothing worked - there was nothing left to say."
Bell brought out this song at the end of a recording session with the band. Says Bell: "Mavis couldn't get into it, she couldn't feel it, so I stood there on the floor and tried to sing it to the guys, as they got the music and they got into it. After getting it down, later on, I came back and sat with Mavis and, after a while, she started feeling it and giving in to that rhythm. Of course, she took it to heights that only a Mavis Staples can take it. Nobody else could do it justice, and I guess it was supposed to be that way."
Al Bell singed The Staple Singers in 1968, after they had been released from Epic Records - Bell was an old friend of the family dating from his time in the '50s as a concert promoter in Little Rock, Arkansas. At this point, The Staples moved away from protest songs and recorded what they called "message music." .... At Muscle Shoals, the Staples found the sound that would make them stars, and in August, 1971, they recorded their hit "I'll Take You There."
Many elements of this song, including the famous intro, were based on a Jamaican instrumental song called "The Liquidator" by the Harry J Allstars*, which was a #9 UK hit in 1969. Al Bell, who had made frequent trips to Jamaica, brought the record into the session and played it for the band, who used it as a template. They thought the record was a demo Bell made, and didn't find out until many years later that they lifted an existing song. David Hood, who played bass on this track, told us: "The Liquidator thing, we didn't know what that was. As I recall, he came in and brought what they call a dub. It was like an acetate or something, a disk that you put on the record player and play. And it had no lyrics on it. We just thought it was an instrumental track that somebody had done for a song. And it was only years later when I found out that that had been a record."
The Reggae influence on this song is also a result of Hood and Muscle Shoals drummer Roger Hawkins, who had just toured with the British rock group Traffic. Bob Marley and the Wailers were signed to Traffic's label, and every night on tour, Traffic would play the Wailers album Catch A Fire, which Hood and Hawkins absorbed. Additionally, Muscle Shoals guitarist Jimmy Johnson was coming off a vacation in Jamaica, and he brought back a bunch of records which he distributed to the other musicians."...
*Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/01/harry-j-all-stars-liquidator-1969.html for a pancocojams post on The Harry J All Stars - "The Liquidator".
Also, click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/01/tony-scott-what-am-i-to-do-ska-classic.html for a pancocojams post on Tony Scott's song "What Am I To Do".
SHOWCASE VIDEO: Staple Singers I'll Take You There
chanpara, Uploaded on Sep 13, 2009
performance on 15th Grammy
LYRICS: I'LL TAKE YOU THERE
(Songwriter: Alvertis Isbell aka Al Bell)
Oh mmm I know a place
Ain't nobody cryin'
Ain't nobody worried
Ain't no smilin' faces
Mmm, no no
Lyin' to the races
Help me, come on, come on
Somebody, help me now (I'll take you there)
Help me, ya'all (I'll take you there)
Help me now (I'll take you there)
Oh! (I'll take you there)
Oh! Oh! Mercy! (I'll take you there)
Oh, let me take you there (I'll take you there)
Oh-oh! Let me take you there! (I'll take you there)
Play your, play your piano now
All right Ah do it do it
Come on now
Play on it, play on it
Daddy daddy daddy
All right now
Baby, easy now
Now, come on, little lady
Sock it, sock it
Ah, oh, oh!
I know a place, ya'all (I'll take you there)
Ain't nobody cryin' (I'll take you there)
Ain't nobody worried (I'll take you there)
No smilin' faces (I'll take you there)
Uh-uh (Lyin' to the races) (I'll take you there)
Oh, no Oh! (I'll take you there)
Oh oh oh! (I'll take you there)
Mercy now! (I'll take you there)
I'm callin' callin' callin' mercy (I'll take you there)
Mercy mercy! (I'll take you there)
Let me (I'll take you there)
Oh oh! I'll take you there (I'll take you there)
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