DOLTON, IL (CelebrityAccess) — Pervis Staples, who, along with his father and sisters was co-founder of the gospel and R&B group The Staples Singers, has died. He was 85.
According to a published obituary, Staples died at his home in Dolton, Illinois on May 6th but the details of his passing were not disclosed.
The Staples Singers formed in Chicago in the late 1940s, appearing first at local churches while Pervis and his sisters were still teenagers. In 1952, the group signed their first professional contract and soon began reporting folk gospel music with a variety of local labels, including Checker and VeeJay, where they scored early hits with “Uncloudy Day” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”
According to the obituary, it was Pervis who convinced his father and siblings to venture into secular and protest music and he occasionally contributed lead vocals to their work, such as with the folk song “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.”
Staples left the group in 1968 after he was drafted into the U.S. military and performed with the U.S. Army Choral Group.
Pervis Staples, along with his family was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.
In a statement, 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.”