Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Candi Staton - 1960s and 1970s Gospel Icon

Candi Staton Candi Staton via last.fm

Candi Staton Gospel Music Career Profile by Richard Blake

Candi Staton is a talented gospel and soul artist whose career began in the 1950s, spanning five generations during which she stamped her mark indelibly upon millions of pop and gospel music fans.

Staton was born on 13th March 1943 in Hanceville, Alabama and grew up within rural country surroundings in a farm. She began singing at the tender age of four and from an early age recognized that she had a quality in her voice that can captivate, inspire and even bring adults to tears; a situation which the young Staton had difficulty coming to terms with. She says "At the time, I didn't even know why they were crying. Once, I remember, the audience got so emotional, throwing their pocket books at my feet and so on, that I got really scared and ran off to my mother."

Staton's household was headed by an alcoholic father who abused her mother and Staton's own musical development began following her parents' divorce. Just prior to becoming a teenager, the young Candi, along with her sister Maggie, was sent to the Jewel Christian Academy in Nashville.

Her vocal repertoire was quickly recognized and she, along with her sister were selected into the Jewel Gospel Trio. This gave Staton invaluable musical education and exposure to leading exponents of gospel music, including Aretha Franklin, the Staple Singers and the Soul Stirrers, whom the Jewel Gospel Trio had the opportunity to accompany on tours.

Staton worked for six years with the Jewel Gospel Trio before leaving in search of a new direction in her life. Soon after leaving the Jewel Gospel Trio, she entered into a relationship with Joe Williams, whom she married and bore four children. Bearing similarities with her parents' marriage, Staton's marriage also eventually ended after prolonged abuse. Left alone to tend to her four children, Staton began to rekindle her musical career by singing in nightclubs.

Her big break came in 1968 when she was spotted in a talent contest by soul star Clarence Carter, who put her through to his producer, Rick Hall, owner of Fame record label. Staton entered into marriage with Carter and later signed to Rick Hall's Fame label. Her first recognised hit came in 1969 with the song "I'd Rather Be an Old Man's Sweetheart (Than a Young Man's Fool)."

Staton worked with the Fame label for the next five years during which she drew inspiration from country music and recorded sixteen chart singles. By the mid 1970s, she had divorced Carter for infidelity and directed her music towards the increasingly popular disco beat. She joined Warner Brothers label, releasing 5 albums including the popular 1976 release "Young Hearts Run Free" and "Nights on Broadway" along with other successful releases that gained her permanent international acclaim among dance music fans, many of whom will forever remember her for her collection of classic disco hits during the seventies era.

Staton's career went from strength to strength and in the late seventies she received an invitation to perform at the White House for President Jimmy Carter. However, unknown to many, she had become increasingly dependent on alcohol to the point where it eventually threatened her career.

Staton's salvation came when she re-aligned her musical and spiritual expression towards gospel music throughout the eighties period and well into the 1990s. She remarried to John Sussewell, a former drummer and hosted Say Yes! a popular religious television show. Her popularity within the gospel music fraternity led to two Grammy nominations.

In 2007, she was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame. Candi Staton has an enviable marathon career spanning almost half a century during which she worked with six record labels, releasing numerous gospel and pop hits, a feat that bears testimony to her rare and enduring ability to appeal to both secular and gospel audiences alike.

You can view gospel song lyrics online. You can also view Candi Staton gospel lyrics, play and download her songs in mp3 format.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Richard_Blake


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