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CL Recommends: Candi Staton

Candi Staton
Source: Alex Marshall, Wikipedia

A rare Sunday post from me. I think every now and then about featuring best chump songs, and we’ve done playlist posts, but I had to share that I’ve fallen completely in love with four-time Grammy nominee and gospel great, Candi Staton.

As I get older, it’s rare to for me to make new discoveries of music that just knocks my socks off. I adore classic soul, I revere Aretha Franklin, and how I never knew of Candi Staton before is shameful and ignorant of me. So I have to spread the gospel now and share her with you.

The woman has been married six times and left more abusive relationships… which she is completely frank about.

Back in the day, women couldn’t speak out, they they couldn’t talk. Check this out: We had to do songs like “Baby please don’t leave me. I’m on your pant leg, dragging you as you drag me to the door. … I’m just your slave.”

Those are the kind of songs the DJs would play, until my friend, Gloria Gaynor, came out with “I Will Survive” and that seemed to hit the glass ceiling and we all followed suit. “Young Hearts Run Free” came after that and a whole bunch of others. So we were getting there to that place where we can say, “We’re not gonna be silent anymore. You’re not gonna treat us like this anymore.”

Check out her interview in the Guardian.

I was in quite a few abusive relationships in the early days. As an artist, you meet people that want to get into the industry and they are looking to spend your money. They come at you with champagne, roses and compliments and then suddenly they change. They say if you leave them they will kill you and come after your children. I’d think: “Maybe I should just kill him.” But my Christian voice would pipe up … Young Hearts Run Free is about getting out.

Her voice is mightiness personified. Check out Freedom Is Just Beyond the Door.

Ironically for one so mighty, one of her greatest hits was that ultimate unicorn torch song — Stand By Your Man. Truly one of the most RIC songs ever penned — (groan) “after all, he’s just a man.” Why expect better? He’s “giving you all the love he can.” So he has “good times” while you have “bad times.” It’s just hard to understand — STAND BY YOUR MAN!

Damn her. She makes me sing along to that rot.

Next, she elevates hopium to pure genius with I‘m Just a Prisoner of Your Love. OMG THIS SONG.

He Called Me Baby — the sexiest, saddest song ever sung.

I lie here / and I die here

Crank this album UP. Go find everything Candi Staton ever sung. Feel all the feels.

What a woman. What a voice.

Candi Staton is 82 and she’s still performing. God bless her.



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  • The staccato rhythm of the horn section in “He Called Me Baby.” Just swoon.

    • I was late to the game, as well CL.
      I heard a “sample” called “Kandi” by “One Eskimo”.
      They used Candi’s track: “He called me Baby” throughout the song.
      I, too, was hooked and looked her up and was amazed.
      Thank you for this post.

  • With Candi Staton, it’s got to be: ‘You’ve got the love’. Everyone loves that song. Maybe at a push ‘Young Hearts Run Free’

  • I LOVE the Supremes…..and yet plenty of their hits were riddled with Pick Me Dance lyrics. So glad artists like Stevie Nicks, Alanis, Pink and the Dixie Chicks became the sound track of my 1980s and 1990s! (Still love the Supremes–,and Gloria Gaynor’s “I WILL Survive” has been my Chumpy theme song.)

  • For me it was Bad For Lash’s song Travelling Woman, from the Two Runs album:
    ‘Hang on traveling woman
    Don’t sacrifice your plan
    ‘Cause it will come back to you
    Before you lose it on the man
    Never fall in love with potential
    ‘Cause you can’t see with your own eyes
    All the pretty faces and sorry words
    Can take away your pride’

  • Your musical suggestions are always the best!!! I knew her from disco and now I know about this?! Thank you!!

  • Thanks for sharing! I can’t believe she wasn’t on my radar all those many years. Listened to a bunch of her stuff She’s great!!
    She sounds like quite the powerful and resilient gal, been through a lot in her life. Never kept her from singing her heart out.

  • I was youth hostelling in Cornwall when Candi released Young Hearts Run Free in 1976 (I was 17) and I fell in love with that song and her right there and then. Even as young as I was realized it was powerful to have this beautiful young woman telling others to get out and away from him!

  • Makes me think Love Addiction.
    Makes me think Will & Jada Smith. Again. And the song by Matchbox 20, Back to Good ~ as in “there’s NO getting back to good”. Plus that Erica Jong’s book (from the 80s) about being addicted to her cheating lover & listening to the blues. Was it Besse Smith?

    • ☝️Erica Jong’s book “Any Woman’s Blues” published 1990. It is Bessie Smith’s
      song lyrics (1920s & 30s)
      she quotes.

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