Pops Staples did not release a record of his own until 1992, but his name has been synonymous with country-flavored Gospel and blues since he and his daughters started putting out records as the Staple Singers in the 1960s. His much-imitated, spectral guitar lines have been echoed by the most respected purveyors of American Roots rock, from Steve Cropper to Robbie Robertson to CCR. Staples' vocal style is the link between Mississippi John Hurt and Curtis Mayfield -- high-register, refined, and shrouded in deep Soul. In the latter days of the Civil Rights movement, the Staple Singers were outspoken in their commitment to change, performing uncompromising music that confronted and discussed the social upheaval enveloping the country at the time. Pops' career began as far back as the 1930s, and over the years he's worked with just about everyone from Robert Johnson to the Band. He's one of a handful of musicians who, without really being a household name, is among the most important figures in American music.