West Point, Mississippi

A true family affair, Annie & the Caldwell Singers deliver the glorious quartet gospel singing of Annie Caldwell along with her husband and five of their children. Their energetic and moving musical testimonies, blending fiery gospel sounds with the slow-burn groove of soul, have made them longtime favorites of the traditional gospel circuit. 

Annie Caldwell grew up in a church family in nearby Aberdeen, Mississippi. Caldwell was just 11 when she started a group with her brothers, known as the Staples Jr. Singers in honor of Pops and Mavis Staples’ famed Chicago soul-gospel group. The sibling act gained popularity at churches and functions throughout the South and Midwest. Since gospel events usually feature many groups, the teenage Staples Jr. Singers found themselves mentored by Mississippi greats like Lee Williams & the Spiritual QCs. 

The Caldwell Singers can be traced to the day Annie heard her daughters sing at a talent show. “They were really good. I said, ‘Let me get them before the devil gets them,’” remembers Caldwell, who during the week runs a boutique dress shop in West Point, “ because I was raised up in gospel, so I think you should use what the Lord gave you for good. I decided to try to bring them up doing what my daddy brought us up doing, which was singing for the Lord,’” remembers Caldwell. 

Some 30 years later Annie & the Caldwell Singers are still going strong. Annie and her daughters Anora, Anjessica, and Deborah handle vocals. As Annie puts it, “My family is my band,” with her husband Willie Caldwell, Sr. on guitar, and sons Willie Jr. on bass and Abel on drums. They’ve released a pair of albums for Ecko, a noted Memphis soul and gospel label. While soul music famously borrows from gospel, it’s a two-way street. One of the Caldwells’ most popular numbers, “Can’t Nobody,” turns Rufus and Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody” into a song of praise and worship, while “He’ll Work It Out” is an uplifting echo of Latimore’s “Let’s Straighten It Out.”

In 2022, the David Byrne-founded Luaka Bop label reissued the Staples Jr. Singers’ lone album, When Do We Get Paid. The resulting acclaim for its socially conscious gospel sound has resulted in multiple European tours. “God has blessed us and opened up doors that we couldn’t even see,” says Caldwell. “If I can help just one person, I know that I’m not singing in vain.”

Website and Social media:

Annie & The Caldwell Singers Facebook Group