Watch the Staples Jr. Singers Perform Live at The Paris Review Offices


On Music

A.R.C. Brown, Annie Brown Caldwell, and Edward Brown. Photograph by Eliza Grace Martin.

On the evening of Friday, April 22, the staff of the Review tidied our desks, tucked away our notebooks and computers, ordered pizza, and welcomed the nine members of the band known as the Staples Jr. Singers to our Chelsea office for a very special performance. The band’s music was introduced to us by our friends at Luaka Bop, who are today rereleasing the Staples Jr. Singers’ 1975 record, When Do We Get Paid. The Staples Jr. Singers (who named themselves after Mavis Staples) formed in 1969, when the original band members—A.R.C. Brown, Annie Brown Caldwell, and Edward Brown—were still teenagers; they sold that first, glorious record on the front lawn of their home in Aberdeen, Mississippi. Almost fifty years later, to celebrate the rerelease, the original members drove the seventeen hours from Aberdeen to New York City, children and grandchildren in tow, for a weekend of gigs in New York City. We at the Review were thrilled to host the band’s first-ever concert in the city, and we are delighted to share a clip from that performance with you.