The Staple Singers were an American gospel, soul, and R&B singing group. Roebuck "Pops" Staples is the dad who put the group together with his children Cleotha, Pervis and Mavis. His daughter Yvonne replaced her brother when he joined the U.S. Army, and again in 1970. They are best known for their 1970s hits "Respect Yourself” and "I'll Take You There". The family name is actually Staples, but they use "Staple" in their band name.
They started by singing in churches. Roebuck’s brother was a vicar. Some of their songs have that gospel feel and have a religious theme.
The song ‘respect yourself’ made it to number 2 in the American R&B billboard charts. It was released just after the American Civil Rights movement and its message of self-empowerment appealed to people. The message tells you that no one is going to respect you if you don’t respect yourself. If everyone took care of themselves, issues like racism wouldn’t exist.
It even tells the listener to ‘put your hand on your mouth when you cough, that’ll help the solution’ and not to swear, ‘think that’ll make you a big ol man?’. It is the little things that can make the difference.
“Respect yourself, respect yourself. If you don’t respect yourself, ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na.”