During the period when Clarence Carter was beginning to develop his singing and song-writing career at FAME, he introduced Candi Staton to Rick Hall, who helped to launch her major solo career as a Southern soul stylist. She recorded over sixteen Soul and R&B hits for Rick Hall’s FAME Studios and gained the title of “First Lady of Southern Soul” for her Grammy-nominated R&B renditions of the songs “Stand by Your Man” and “In the Ghetto”.

Staton’s most successful recordings came after she departed from Muscle Shoals FAME organisation and signed a contract with Warner Brothers Records in 1976. Staton began collaborating with producer David Crawford on disco songs such as “Young Hearts Run Free”, which reached number one on the Billboard Top Soul Singles Chart week–ending June 5th 1976 (1 week), Pop number two on the UK Official Singles Chart and also went into the Top Twenty on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. The song gave Staton her first gold-certified million-selling disc from the RIAA. The single “Young Hearts Run Free” was also awarded a silver disc by the BPI for a quarter of a million copies sold in the UK.

Candi Staton 2008
Photo: Phil King
Image on Flickr
(Wikimedia Commons)