The Staple Singers' "If You Are Ready (Come Go With Me)" on Soul Train

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Love the Staple Singers, and this post, but was that whole thing either mostly or completely lip synced? Of the snippets I watched, they didn’t depart an iota from the released recorded version, and when they focused on the guitarist’s hands at 2:15 he was most definitely NOT playing that solo. I thought at first all the horns and percussion might be live and just offstage, but now I suspect it was all piped in. Maybe lip syncing was done routinely and openly on Soul Train? (I didn’t get to watch it so I wouldn’t know.)

I loved Soul Train, but it was always disappointing to see great acts have to lip synch. They did do it live once in a while, like with James Brown (because Soul Brother #1 didn’t play that), but I think the show had too low a budget to let them do much of that.

ETA: I think this Jackson Five performance was done live, and it’s a stone groove-


Soul Train like many of its contemporaries was usually either lip synced or used a backing track. Actual live performances were very rare.


I’m actually a little overcome with emotion watching a young Michael Jackson absolutely kill it. Such a phenom. It still looks pre-recorded to me, though.

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Definitely way groovy. Very fun to watch.

Hard to tell whether live or not; if not, they went to a lot of trouble to have the backing musicians there and such. My Shazam app recognized this as the Jackson 5 doing dancing machine; so if live, they were close enough for Shazam to think it was the prerecorded version (though I don’t know Shazam’s algorithms, I only imagine them). One thing that jumps out at me: they did a fade-out, rather than something resembling a live wrapup; that suggests it was synced. Regardless, so much fun, and Michael can move.

Very true.

Notable exceptions were James Brown, Barry White and his orchestra, and my personal fav, that time when Al Green brought the proverbial house down, performing the hit Here I Am, with a broken hand.


You might be right, but it goes quite a bit longer than the album version- around 3:14 vs 2:32, and cymbal hits line up, which is what made me think it might have been live. They could have recorded another version, though, and mimed through that. But, yeah, great stuff either way.

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