Sharon Jones on The Morning Mix

Sharon Jones recently joined Morning Mix host Joey Spehar in anticipation for the WYEP 40th anniversary Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings concert this Sunday at the Byham Theater. Her new album, Give The People What They Want was released in the beginning of 2014 in the midst of her struggle with cancer.

Sharon was diagnosed after she had recorded the album and because of this, many of the songs took on a whole new meaning. “ ”Retreat!” changed right there in front of me while I was laying in the hospital. They talked about doing an animated video and once I saw the animated video, it was no longer me telling some guy to retreat, it was like me telling the cancer to retreat,” says Sharon.

Jones has faced a great amount of hardships and challenges since getting to her current level of success and attributes her perseverance to her faith in God. Sharon tells us she believes that God gave her a gift of a voice and she has a duty to “...stay true to the gift.”

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings have been making music together since 1996 so they’re experts when it comes to writing music together and playing off of one another. “They’d write new stuff and it was great, and the music was great. They’d write it down and give me the lyrics… and I’d make it my own.”

Jones explains that The Dap Kings have been supportive through each step of her cancer and therapy. “I thought I was going to die,” says Sharon when the cancer kept spreading and she was sent to chemotherapy. Four short months after chemotherapy, Jones was back on stage performing.

“All of the people that wrote me and said “Don’t you let that band push you” or “Don’t you go back out there” and I said “Do me a favor and don’t come to me with any negative… No one is pushing me.” The band watched me and, you know, I just love those guys to death, I’ve got one of the best bands in the world, I think.”

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings recently added a few Dappettes, Saundra Williams and Starr Duncan, who are long time friends of Sharon. The three women performed together as an Italian wedding band around 20 years ago and now Saundra and Starr sing backup vocals on Give The People What They Want and open for the band on tour. You can see Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings with the Dappettes on Sunday, April 13th at WYEP’s 40th anniversary special event at the Byham Theater and listen to the entire interview below.