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Saturday, 21 December 2013

Carla Thomas born 21 December 1942

Carla Venita Thomas (born December 21, 1942, Memphis, Tennessee) is an American singer, who is often referred to as the Queen of Memphis Soul. She is the daughter of Rufus Thomas.

Thomas was born in the Foote Homes Housing Project in Memphis. Along with her siblings, Marvell and Vaneese, she was one of three musical children of Rufus and Lorene Thomas. Despite growing up in the projects, the Thomas family lived near the Palace Theater on Beale Street, as Rufus was the theater’s emcee for their amateur shows. This access not only gave Thomas her first taste of the music world but it also provided a springboard for her transformation into the Queen of the Memphis Sound.

Carla Thomas holds the distinction of being the first artist to cut a record at the Stax Records studio at 926 E. McLemore Avenue. Well, one of the first. She actually recorded that first song with her famous father, Rufus Thomas, at the age of 17. The duet, “Cause I Love You,” became a regional hit and changed the course of music history forever. The record also got the attention of Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler, who leased the master and released the song on Atlantic’s subsidiary Atco Records label. 

Thomas became a national sensation with the 1960 Satellite release of her smash hit “Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes),” which she had penned at the age of 16. A string of other hits followed, including her duet album with Otis Redding, King and Queen, and she took her rightful place in the pantheon of music as the “Queen of Memphis Soul.” During this time Carla also released what is now considered to be one of the finest "Northern Soul" records of all time, "I'll Never Stop Loving You". Thomas had numerous successful albums, was a star on the 1967 Stax/Volt Revue European tour, performed for 100,000 people at the 1972 Wattstax concert, and stayed with the company until it closed in 1975. She received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1993, and appeared in the 2003 D.A. Pennebaker documentary Only the Strong Survive.

Carla Thomas today remains one of the most critically acclaimed icons of soul music, but rarely performs. She did perform at the 2003 Soul Comes Home concert during the Grand Opening of the Stax Museum and has made a few appearances since that time, but is, for the most part, retired save for occasional impromptu performances at clubs in Memphis.

 On September 18, 2007, Concord Records released what many say is her finest album, Live at the Bohemian Caverns, recorded live in the prestigious Washington, D.C. jazz club in a performance arranged by then-Stax president Al Bell and soul legend Donny Hathaway. The album – which expanded Thomas’ roots from R&B into jazz and pop – was inexplicably shelved after it was recorded but is now being heard and appreciated by her fans and new generations of music lovers.

(Info edited mainly from Wikipedia &

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Carla Thomas: The Queen Alone
go here:

01. (03:43) Any Day Now
02. (02:41) Stop Thief
03. (03:00) I Take It To My Baby
04. (02:16) I Want To Be Your Baby
05. (02:36) Something Good (Is Going To Happen To You)
06. (02:35) When Tomorrow Comes
07. (02:56) I'll Always Have Faith in You
08. (03:37) All I See Is You
09. (02:49) Unchanging Love
10. (02:29) Give Me Enough (To Keep Me Going)
11. (02:33) Lie To Keep Me From Crying

Bonus Tracks
12. (02:34) Me and My Clock
13. (02:40) Same Thing
14. (03:02) Your Love Indeed
15. (02:55) I Want to Know
16. (03:00) I Wonder About Love