1974 The Staple Singers – Touch A Hand (Make A Friend)
Roebuck “Pops” Staples worked in steel mills and meatpacking plants in Chicago while he and his wife raised four kids, all of whom became singers. His brother, the Rev. Chester Staples, was the pastor of the Mount Zion Church where Pops and his kids had their first public performance. They signed their first recording contract in 1952 and worked for a series of record labels. Their sound became more accessible to non-gospel music fans when they began recording for Epic Records in 1965. One of their early charting singles was a cover of the Buffalo Springfield hit For What It’s Worth, which the Staple Singers took to #66 on the Hot 100 in 1967.
The group reached #12 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart with Respect Yourself in 1971. They did even better the next year when the single I’ll Take You There topped both charts.
The group had two more top five singles on the R&B chart before again topping the R&B chart with If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me), a single that peaked at #9 on the Hot 100. They followed that with Touch A Hand (Make A Friend). The record peaked at #23 on the Hot 100, but reached the top five on the R&B chart.
The group sang the title song from the film Let’s Do It Again. The single again put them at the top of the Hot 100 and the R&B chart in 1975. After that, the group never again got close to the top forty on the Hot 100. They continued to place minor hits on the R&B chart, but that ended with their last album in 1985.
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