Mavis Staples named this year’s Lawrence Public Library 780s Series storyteller, will visit Lawrence this spring

Mavis Staples performs at the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Franklin, Tenn. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

Celebrated R & B and gospel singer Mavis Staples will visit Lawrence this spring to share stories from her 60-plus years in the music business, the Lawrence Public Library recently announced.

Staples, 78, has been chosen as the library’s 2018 780s Series music storyteller and will make her Lawrence appearance April 4. A time and location for the event have yet to be determined.

Staples began her career with her family’s gospel group, The Staple Singers, in the 1950s. Their music, which eventually shifted into the soul genre, become a staple of the 1960s African-American freedom movement and folk music scene, according to the library’s news release. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

More recently, Staples won her first Grammy Award in 2010 for her album “You Are Not Alone.” Her 16th studio album, “If All I Was Was Black,” has received mostly positive reviews since its November 2017 release.

“The 780s Series with Mavis Staples” will be free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

Named for the Dewey Decimal range for music, the Lawrence Public Library’s 780s Series is made possible by the Harrison Family Fund of the Douglas County Community Foundation. The series brings prominent music storytellers to Lawrence each year to share the stories behind their work. Previous 780s Series guests have included Booker T. Jones, Kim Gordon and Jimmy Webb, among others.