Pops Staples, patriarch of the iconic Staple Singers, died in 2000. In 1999, he recorded his final tracks. Fifteen years later, daughter Mavis Staples teamed up with her collaborative partner Jeff Tweedy (who produced her albums You Are Not Alone and One True Vine) to finish the recordings. They will be released as Don’t Lose This on February 17 via Wilco’s dBpm imprint and Anti-.
Mavis detailed the album’s origins in a press release, saying the initial idea was that they were going to record the final Staple Singers album.
It was meant to be our last work, but my sisters and I decided to let Pops sing, to let him have this one. … One day, Pops told me, ‘Mavis, bring that record up here, I want to hear it.’ I brought it up to the bedroom and he listened. When it was over, Pops told me, ‘Mavis, don’t lose this here.’ I said, ‘OK, Pops, I won’t lose it.’ And he just smiled. It was a moment I’ll never forget. He had this glow after listening to it; he loved it. So I kept it.
I always said I was going to get it out there because Pops told me not to lose it. When he said, ‘Don’t lose this,’ that meant: ‘Let it be heard.’
Stream “Somebody was listening and watch studio footage below.