Artist picture of Carla Thomas

Carla Thomas

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B-A-B-Y Carla Thomas 02:51
I'll Bring It Home to You Carla Thomas 03:05
A Woman's Love Carla Thomas 02:54
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me Carla Thomas 03:33
Knock on Wood Otis Redding, Carla Thomas 02:52
I'll Never Stop Loving You Carla Thomas 03:08
Tell It Like It Is Otis Redding, Carla Thomas 03:12
Lovey Dovey Otis Redding, Carla Thomas 02:35
Red Rooster Carla Thomas 04:00
What the World Needs Now Carla Thomas 02:47

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Carla Thomas

by Carla Thomas


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Known as the queen of Memphis soul, Carla Thomas seemed destined for greatness from the beginning. Despite being raised in the Foot Homes Projects in Memphis, she grew up in a musical family as the daughter of Rufus Thomas, a successful singer and dancer in his own right, fondly remembered for the novelty hits 'Walking The Dog' and 'Do the Funky Chicken'. Her father was also an MC at the amateur shows staged locally at the Palace Theater, which is where the young Carla got her first taste of public performance.

At the age of ten in 1952 she joined the Teen Town Singers, a Memphis radio sponsored children's group who performed on the station every Saturday and set her on the path to stardom in the 1960s. Her first single ''Cause I Love You' - recorded with her father and brother Marvell - was released on the Satellite label (later Stax Records) and brought her to the attention of Atlantic Records boss Jerry Wexler who struck a deal with Satellite to release it nationally. The result was her 1961 breakthrough teen hit 'Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)', written by Carla when she was 15, and which established her as a major new force in R&B.

She had another big crossover hit in 1966 with 'B-A-B-Y' - inspired by Marvin Gaye's hit duets with Tammi Terrell - however it was her association with Otis Redding which has given her lasting fame. Their duet 'Tramp' filled dance floors all over the world, resulting in the commercial success of their joint 1967 album 'King & Queen', which turned out to be Redding's last studio recording before his death. Throughout this golden period of soul music, Carla was indelibly associated with the rise of Stax Records, with a series of further hits including 'I'll Bring It On Home to You', 'Let Me Be Good to You' and 'I Like What You're Doing', along with six albums of powerful R&B and authentic soul. Her career declined through the 1970s and she fell into obscurity, though she did make various comeback concerts through the 1980s.