Happy Birthday: Candi Staton

Thursday, March 13, 2014
Happy Birthday: Candi Staton

Candi Staton first made a splash with her covers of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man” and Elvis Presley’s “In the Ghetto,” and in recent years she’s left secular music behind to such a degree that she’s been inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame, but it’s the songs she produced between those two eras that we’re going to celebrate on this, her 74th birthday.

Born in Hanceville, Alabama in 1940, Canzetta Maria Staton found her voice in a big way while attending the Jewell Christian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. Joining forces with her sister Maggie and another student, Naomi Harrison, Staton was part of the Jewell Gospel Trio, touring and recording together for more than a decade, but she embarked on a solo career in 1968, with the aforementioned Wynette cover climbing to #4 on the R&B charts and #24.

Staton’s biggest hit came during the disco era, thanks to a David Crawford song called “Young Hearts Run Free” which, in addition to providing the title track of her 1976 album, topped the R&B charts and gave Staton her lone top-20 pop hit. That’s not to say that she didn’t score several other successes on the R&B charts: in total, she had 20 songs hit the R&B top 40, and if you’re looking for a solid sampling of her time on Warner Brothers, there’s a top-notch best-of collection called – shocker! – Young Hearts Run Free: The Best of Candi Staton. We’re actually offering up a slightly more substantial collection of Staton’s work in today’s playlist, however, so if you like what you hear, don’t be afraid to dig a bit deeper into her back catalog.