Panel + Conversation
Legendary gospel and blues singer Mavis Staples was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 as a part of her family’s group, The Staple Singers. Director Jessica Edward’s documentary on Ms. Staples’ life, “Mavis!”, celebrates her wide-ranging career. Following the screening of “Mavis!”, Ms. Staples sits down with Stephen Colbert to discuss music, family and touring the South during the Civil Rights era.
Recorded Friday, May 11, 2015 at Wellmont Theatre
- At Stephen Colbert’s prompting, Mavis Staples entertains the audience with the first song she learned, “A turkey is a funny bird, wobble, wobble, wobble…” and her favorite gospel song, “Amazing Grace”.
- Mavis Staples tells Stephen Colbert about being punished as a young girl for singing the Blues. Staples also explains how blues and gospel songs are interchangeable and demonstrates with a gospel standard.
- Stephen Colbert asks Mavis Staples about her experiences touring in the South during the Civil Rights era and prompts her to tell about the day she “accidentally integrated a laundry mat.”
- Stephen Colbert and Mavis Staples discuss her informal musical development. With humor, Staples also lovingly reflects on Pop Staples’ influence on her.