Winona in Montgomery County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
Roebuck “Pops” Staples
Roebuck “Pops” Staples, one of the foremost figures in American gospel music as a singer, guitarist, and patriarch of the Staple Singers family group, was born on a farm near Winona on December 28, 1914. Staples began playing blues as a youngster in the Delta, but by the time he left for Chicago in 1936 he had embarked on a gospel singing career. He and the Staple Singers later enjoyed crossover success in the rhythm & blues and pop fields. Staples died on December 19, 2000.
Staples fused old-time religion and the blues with an activist commitment to peace, equality, and brotherhood to create inspirational “message songs” that transcended the traditional boundaries of gospel music. Under his guidance, the Staple Singers not only earned the title “the first family of gospel music,” but also developed followings among blues, soul, folk, rock, and jazz audiences. Staples traced his style back to the hymns and spirituals he learned from his grandfather and the blues he heard in Mississippi. Roebuck and his older brother Sears, the last two of fourteen Staples children, were named after the Chicago mail order company that numbered many rural African Americans among its millions of customers. Another Staples brother, David, played blues guitar before
Staples’ children Cleotha and Pervis were born at Dockery, followed by Yvonne, Mavis, and Cynthia after the family moved to Chicago. Staples put the guitar aside for several years while he worked as a laborer to support his brood, although he sang locally with the Trumpet Jubilees. Around 1948 he decided to put together a family group, and soon the Staple Singers were performing at area churches and gospel shows. Their 1956 recording of “Uncloudy Day” brought them widespread attention, both within and outside the gospel world. Among their many later hits, most of
Erected 2010 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 120.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail marker series.
Location. 33° 29.039′ N, 89° 44.254′ W. Marker is in Winona, Mississippi, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Summit Street 0.1 miles west of U.S. 51. Touch for map. Marker is located to the right of the Montgomery County Courthouse. Marker is at or
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway (approx. ¼ mile away); Winona Confederate Monument (approx. ¼ mile away); Montgomery County Confederate Monument (approx. half a mile away); Ensign William Devotie Billingsley (approx. half a mile away); The "Final Spike" (approx. 0.6 miles away); Kilmichael: B.B. King's Roots (approx. 10.1 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia article on Pops Staples. (Submitted on October 27, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Pop Staples website. (Submitted on October 27, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 27, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 188 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 27, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.