Pervis Staples, a co-founder of The Staple Singers, has passed away aged 85. According to Adam Ayers, a spokesman for Staples’ younger sister, Mavis Staples, Pervis died at his home in Dalton, Illinois, on May 6th.
The Staples Singers were formed in 1948 by Roebuck’ Pops’ Staples, the father of Pervis and his three sisters, who were also in the group. Pervis was in the group alongside Mavis, Cleotha and Yvonne. The group started off making gospel music. However, they later found chart success as they delved more into soul music and R&B. The group broke out with hits in the ’70s such as ‘Respect Yourself,’ ‘If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me),’ and Curtis Mayfield produced, ‘Let’s Do It Again’.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Mavis Staples said: “Pervis was one of a kind—comical and downright fly. He would want to be remembered as an upright man, always willing to help and encourage others. He was one of the good guys and will live on as a true Chicago legend.”
“He liked to think of this period of his life as setting the stage for all that he wanted to do in life,” she added. “Some of Pervis’ best friends as a youngster included Sam Cooke, Lou Rawls, and Jerry Butler. Pervis and the guys would stand under the lamp posts in the summertime singing doo-wop songs.”
The Staple Singers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and were given a lifetime achievement award at the 2005 Grammy Awards. Mavis Staples is now left as the sole surviving member of The Staple Singers.