Photo: Candi Staton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Candi Staton

Born: Mar. 13, 1940 Hanceville, AL

A Candi Staton sings soul, pure, clear, soul, but she likes seeing some of the gospel numbers making the charts "because, really, soul music is born of gospel." And Candi Staton knows about gospel because she started singing when she was five, singing in the church with her six-year-old sister and two other little girls, standing on chairs so the congregation could see them. And then when she was ten, she started touring with the Jewel Gospel Trio, traveling around the country raising money for the old Jewel Academy and Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee.

Now, of course, Candi is singing soul on Fame Records, but the five years she spent with the Trio, and a half dozen releases on the old Nashboro label, taught her 6 lot about her own music, about what she likes -- "symphonies to jazz, everything, really" -- and about what she must sing -- "soul, because that's where I can find my own place, because it's such a personal expression, because through soul I can give of myself."

And Candi does give of herself, generously, through her music, but early in 1968 she was still singing gospel -- and playing piano in the choir at the Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama. "Gospel...that's all I could do. I only knew one other song." But one night in February one of her three brothers insisted on taking her to the 27-28 Club in Birmingham, and Candi was called. on stage to sing. She performed her one soul number, "Do Right woman," and given a standing ovation by a packed house. "But I couldn't give an encore because I didn't know anything else"

After promising the owner that she would sing again the following week, Candi started buying albums and putting a small show together. "I finally learned about four songs and figured that would have to do." But when she returned to the club, she found she was going to appear with another act -- Clarence Carter, a singer on the Atlantic label. Candi stole the show, and Clarence asked her to join him, "but I was still going to nursing school in Nashville, and I just wasn't ready." It was nearly a year later, at the end of 1968, that Candi decided to go on the road with Carter and give up her nursing career. ("Someday, I'll finish. I like working with people; it's a good way to help.")

Shortly after Candi started touring with Clarence, he introduced her to his producer, Rick Hall of Fame Records. Rick auditioned her and immediately signed her on Fame, his own label, but for some time Candi continued touring regularly with Clarence. A few years later Candi and Clarence became man and wife and were married for several years.

"Clarence has been the single greatest influence on my career, helping me both musically and in business. He's taught me how to 'entertain' an audience, and that's why I really like working with him. You know, there's a big difference between singing in a church and doing a professional show in a club... you have to put a lot more across, the audience expects a lot more than just a song. They know about the song -- they've come to see what you can do with it They want to be entertained."

And Candi does entertain. She carefully suits her style and her material to her audience. Her third Fame single, "I'm Just a Prisoner," was for a young audience, and she is delighted by the response the record has gotten from high school kids. "You know, the kind of thing where they call the station and ask to have it played again, 'for Bobbie and Jackie'." She feels a club audience would be more responsive to her first Fame hit, "I'd Rather Be an Old Man's Sweetheart." "That's the kind of song they can identify with. You have to relate to your audience, create a feeling, a mood, with your music."

There have been other influences, too. Candi used to sing in churches with Aretha Franklin when they were both in their early teens, and she much admires Aretha's style. And while Candi was still singing with the Jewel Gospel Trio, she became close friends with Lou Rawls, then a young singer with the Pilgrim Travelers. The friendship and mutual respect from those early days continue.

Essentially, however, Candi accredits her success to the spirit of soul music itself. "It's real. Gospel, then soul, was basically born of slavery and the need for human beings to express themselves, to express pain and abuse and. joy, too. The more I personally experience, the better I can perform -it's because I can put more emotion, more truth into my singing. An audience, if it's with you at all, can't help but react to that emotion."

Feeling as intensely as she does about her music, Candi is naturally not always content with singing the lyrics written by someone else. Although she gets most of her material from Rick, her producer, she tries writing some things herself, usually when she is in the solitude and tranquillity of her home in Hanceville, Alabama, where she was born in 1945. "Usually I'm tired and it's three in the morning, and I'm sitting at the piano and not trying to think. That's when it comes, then I can write easy." The lyrics may come easy, but the melodies... "Oh, well, mine must seem to sound alike. I need a melody line, then I can put the words to that. Someday I'll get it all together."

Her first album, "I'm Just a Prisoner," may not feature any of Candi's own compositions, but it reflects her many moods and dimensions as a singer. And Candi identifies with her listeners as readily on records as she does in person.

Candi likes the satisfaction of being part of Fame, and she loves the atmosphere of the Muscle Shoals studios. "It's easy, informal, relaxed. We work hard, but it's always creative, there's a togetherness between all the people on the session -- Rick, the engineers, the Fame Gang, me...

It's productive, and it makes Muscle Shoals something really important." Muscle Shoals, the town that is not a town, the rivers and farms that you go through almost before you see them. "Besides, I love the South. It's always been my home, and I feel a part of it even when I'm on tour, much as I like to travel.

So Candi Staton, youngest girl in a family of six, daughter of a coal miner who died in 1958 and a mother who lives next door in Hanceville, and now an important new singer, lives in and loves the South, loves and lives her music, and loves living. Candi Staton, good people and good music on Fame Records.

Candi had disco hits on the Warner label in the late '70s and has done gospel work since 1982. Her weekly music show on the Trinity Broadcasting Network is "New Direction." Staton is one of the overlooked interpreters of Southern soul ballads in the Muscle Shoals sound. Serious listeners will appreciate her hoarsely coarse vocals on such sensual, sassy cuts as "That's How Strong My Love Is" and "I'd Rather Be an Old Man's Sweetheart (Than a Young One's Fool)." She brings equal passion to gospel recordings now that she's exited the secular industry. - Bill Carpenter

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame


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Offical Website: Candi Staton

Candi Staton (pronounced /ˈsteɪtən/; born Canzetta Maria Staton, March 13, 1940, Hanceville, Alabama[1]) is an American soul and gospel singer, best known for her 1970 remake of Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man" and her 1976 disco hit "Young Hearts Run Free". In 2007, Staton was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame.[2]

At the age of eleven or twelve, Staton and her sister Maggie were sent to the Jewell Christian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. Her vocal abilities quickly set her apart from the crowd; the school's pastor teamed the two sisters with a third girl to form the Jewell Gospel Trio. As teenagers, they toured the traditional gospel circuit in the 1950s with The Soul Stirrers, C. L. Franklin, and Mahalia Jackson. They recorded several sides for Nashbro, Apollo, and Savoy Records between 1953 and 1963.


In 1968, Staton launched her solo career as a Southern soul stylist, garnering 16 R&B hits for Rick Hall's Fame Studios and gaining the title of "First Lady of Southern Soul" for her Grammy-nominated R&B renditions of the songs "Stand by Your Man" and "In the Ghetto".[3] Staton appeared on the September 23, 1972 edition (Season 2, Episode 1) of Soul Train. In 1975, Staton began collaborating with producer David Crawford on disco songs such as "Young Hearts Run Free", which reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart,[4] during the summer of 1976. It was remixed and re-released in 1986 reaching the UK Top 50.[4] Follow up song "Destiny" hit the Top 50 in the UK.[4] Candi's version of "Nights on Broadway" hit the UK Top 10 in 1977;[4] it had been a US Billboard hit for the Bee Gees the previous year. In 1978 she scored another Top 50 hit in the UK with "Honest I Do I Love You".[4] Other club hits included "When You Wake Up Tomorrow" and "Victim". In 1982 Candi again hit the UK chart with a version of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds".[4][5] In 1997, singer Kym Mazelle recorded "Young Hearts Run Free" for the film adaption of Romeo and Juliet.[6] Staton collaborated with Change, Luther Vandross, and Janet Jackson on her 1979 album title song "Chance" and album single "When You Wake Up Tomorrow" (co-written by Patrick Adams and Wayne K. Garfield, lyricist).

In 1982, Staton returned to gospel music. She married her fourth husband, John Sussewell (drummer for Ashford & Simpson and also Dory Previn's sixth album). Together they founded Beracah Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia with help from Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's PTL Ministries.[3] She has since recorded eight gospel albums, two of which received Grammy Award nominations.

In 1991 she returned to popular mainstream charts by lending her vocals to The Source's Top Ten British hit, "You Got the Love," a club-styled dance hit that sold two million copies and that is still considered a seminal classic of that era, leading to many remixes and cover versions being created.[citation needed] Staton signed with Intersound Records in 1995. In 2000, she released her eleventh album, Here's a Blessing. In 2004, the British record label Honest Jon's released a compilation CD of her country-soul work from the late 1960s and early 1970s, the self-titled Candi Staton, and Staton followed it up with a secular project in 2006 entitled His Hands, produced by Mark Nevers of Lambchop and with the title track written by Will Oldham. Two of Staton's children, Cassandra Hightower (background vocals) and Marcus Williams (drums), joined her on the CD. A second studio album for Honest Jon's is due out in February 2009, titled Who's Hurting Now?.

Staton's television show New Direction airs on TBN. Staton has also made appearances on the Praise the Lord telecast with Paul Crouch and his wife Jan Crouch.[5]


Staton has been married five times:

Joe Williams (1959–1968) (divorced) 4 children;

Marcus Williams

Marcel Williams

Terry Williams

Cassandra Hightower

Clarence Carter (1970–1973) (divorced) 1 child;

Clarence Carter Jr.

John Sussewell (1982–1998) (divorced)[7]

Otis Nixon



1^ - accessed July 2010

2^ Christian Music Hall of Fame Staton inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame

3^ a b "Divastation: Candi Staton". Retrieved 2008-02-02.

4^ a b c d e f g h Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 525. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

5^ a b "Candi Staton". Retrieved 2008-02-02.

6^ "Divastation: Kym Mazelle". Retrieved 2008-02-02. Kym Mazelle's cover of "Young Hearts Run Free" for the movie Romeo and Juliet.


Source: Candi Staton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Interview: Interview with Candi Staton



Discography: Candi Staton discography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Best of Candi Staton, Candi StatonStand By Your Man, Candi StatonYoung Hearts Run Free: The Best of Candi Staton, Candi StatonCandi Staton, Candi StatonThe Anointing, Candi StatonThe Ultimate Gospel Hits, Candi Staton

Listen: Candi Staton - Download Candi Staton Music on iTunes

Listen: Candi Staton: Songs, Albums, Pictures, Bios








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