One could make the argument that no gospel group before or since has so successfully straddled the sacred and secular worlds as has The Staple Singers. The enormously influential blues guitar stylings of Roebuck “Pops” Staples, the astonishing, wise-beyond-their-years lead vocals of Mavis Staples, and the exalted harmonies of Cleotha, Pervis, and (later) Yvonne Staples packed a punch whether singing about salvation or civil rights. Now, Real Gone Music welcomes “God’s greatest hitmakers” into the fold with its release of two classic albums by The Staple Singers, their second and third releases and first two studio records for the Epic label, both produced by Billy Sherrill. 1965’s Amen! features the infectious title track along with Pervis’ doleful recitation on the powerful “Be Careful of the Stones You Throw,” while 1966’s Why actually scored a minor hit with the timely “Why (Am I Treated So Bad),” and highlights Mavis at her deep, moaning best on “Move Along Train.”CD debuts for both records, with annotation by Gene Sculatti and remastering by Mike Piacentini at Battery Studios in New York. Two fantastic records…get ready to move and be moved!