LENOX — Rock icon Bob Dylan and gospel singer Mavis Staples go way back. Actually, way, way back.
Staples will be opening for Dylan on Saturday at Tanglewood as part of a national tour that started several weeks ago.
Dylan and Staples have known each other since the early 1960s. In fact, Staples confirmed in an interview with Rolling Stone in May that she and Dylan grew so close that Dylan asked her to marry him.
"But I was absolutely too young," she told Rolling Stone. "We were both too young. I said, 'Bobby, I'm too young. I can't even cook yet!'"
Dylan is touring in support of his 37th studio album, "Fallen Angels," released a few weeks ago, in May. The disc is a compilation of classic songs by great songwriters such as Sammy Cahn, Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen.
In all, 11 of the 12 songs were sung by Frank Sinatra. Dylan, according to several setlists online, sings many of the numbers, including Sinatra's "The Night We Called It A Day," "Melancholy Mood" and "All or Nothing At All."
The album has received generally favorable reviews, with many critics lauding Dylan's vocals on the disc.
Staples, meanwhile, is touring in support of her recent album, "Livin' on a High Note," which has scored almost entirely favorable comments from critics.
But, as she admitted in the Rolling Stone interview, she'll be singing songs of her composition, as well as songs she performed with her gospel family group, The Stapes Singers, such as "I'll Take You There" and "Freedom Highway."
Staples appeared on a Dylan compilation alum of Gospel songs in 2003, singing "Gonna Change My Way of Thinking," But so far, the two have not collaborated on stage during the tour.
Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251