Whaaat? Mavis Staples Reveals The Rock Legend She Dated & Almost MARRIED!

Posted On : March 14, 2016
mavis now
Mavis Staples

Okay ILOSM fam,’ we’ve seen a lot of things in our day, but we would have NEVER called this union! The legendary Mavis Staples (of the soulful gospel group, The Staple Singers) recently revealed that she and a very popular rock-folk legend were in love and even came this close to getting married. These two couldn’t have been more opposite on the outside, but apparently they had something in common, because they had a romantic chemistry that clicked well and kept them together for a few years.

The Staple Singers
The Staple Singers

They are still very good friends and are even on tour together right now. We’re not sure if they still have a thing for each other these days, but back in the day, Mavis said the romance was real and the relationship was beautiful. So who is this cat that had Mavis all in a frenzy you ask? He’s none other than the legendary Bob Dylan! NOPE this is not a typo, nor a misprint, this is the real deal!

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan

They say love is blind and you can never tell who your heart is going to fall for, and those truths couldn’t be more accurate for this fire and water romance. Check out what Mavis Staples revealed to TheSpec.com about her former lover below:

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan

The Staple Singers were in demand on the folk circuit. Pops Staples and his three singing children — Cleo, Yvonne, Pervis and Mavis — gave an authentic gospel sound to a genre that was otherwise dominated by white college kids.

The Staple Singers
The Staple Singers

Dylan was a newcomer on the scene, with a song that was just starting to draw notice.

“We were doing a TV show up in New York for General Electric. There were so many of us on the show, a lot of folksingers. There came a point where everybody was at lunch. We were all in line. My family, we were at the front of the line, and Dylan, he was in back. All of a sudden Dylan yelled out, ‘Pops, I want to marry Mavis.’

“And pops yelled back, ‘Don’t tell me tell Mavis. We started a little courtship, and he did, he asked me to marry him.”

Bob Dylan

At the time, both Dylan and Mavis were barely out of their teens. Although she was a year older than Dylan, Mavis didn’t think she was ready for marriage.

“I call that my lost love,” Mavis says in a phone interview from her home in Chicago. “The love I lost because I didn’t go and marry him. I was just too young. My sisters weren’t married.

“I was the baby of the family. I didn’t know how to cook. I didn’t know about being married. Both of us were very young.

“We stayed friends, we courted for a few years and then we kind of drifted off. We used to write letters back and forth.”

Of course, Mavis wasn’t the only one Dylan had eyes for at the time. There was also Joan Baez and Suze Rotolo, the girl on the cover of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan album.

“Oh, yeah,” she laughs slyly. “Dylan was a player.”

Mavis Staples and The Staple Singers

While Pops Staples may have lost out on having one of the greatest songwriters of the modern era as a son-in-law, he never lost sight of the songs, especially the one Dylan sang that night he blurted out his proposal from the lunch line.

Bob Dylan

“Bobby was saying ‘how many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man.’ It was so real to Pops because when he was in Mississippi and he was walking down the street, if a white man came walking down the same street, Pops would have to cross the road. He said, ‘We can sing that.’ We came home and learned Blowin’ In The Wind.”

“It was so close to gospel,” Mavis says. “In fact, I feel most of those folk songs are close to gospel music because they tell such a positive story. Bob’s lyrics were always good for us. We recorded at least six of his songs. We felt it was spiritual and inspiring, so why not sing it?”

We don’t know about Mavis’ dating history, but we do know that the relationship with her wasn’t Dylan’s only interracial relationship. He’s had at least one other and that is with his former background singer, Carolyn, who is also the mother of his half African American daughter. Here is a pic of the three of them…

Bob Dylan; his daughter; and her mother, who is a former background singer for Dylan
Bob Dylan; his daughter; and her mother, who is a former background singer for Dylan

I tell ya, we learn something new around here everyday.

The Staple Singers…

Bob Dylan…


-ILoveOldSchoolMusic, old school news with a new point of view

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