Gospel Legend Mavis Staples Comes 'Full Circle' by NPR Staff

Jun 28, 2013

From small country churches to the stages of the civil rights movement to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, ' career has spanned more than 60 years.

The gospel legend has shown no interest in retirement. Her new album, One True Vine, is her second collaboration with 's Jeff Tweedy.

"It's a totally different CD," Staples tells NPR's Neal Conan. "It's a return to my beginning. As far as I'm concerned, it's brought me full circle. I've gone from the strictly gospel to folk to country, and here I am right back at home where I began."

Staples began singing with her family band The Staple Singers when she was 13. She says her latest album reminds her of singing with her family, and that she always tries to sing at least one song written by her father, Roebuck "Pops" Staples, who died in 2000. One True Vine includes "I Like the Things About Me," a song in which her dad used to sing the lead.

Staples says it was a challenge to sing his part: "Pops, he was a singer's singer. I loved to hear my father sing. He just was so laid-back and cool. I always wished I could sing like Pops."