Carla Thomas Biography

21 December 1942, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The daughter of Rufus Thomas, Carla first performed with the Teen Town Singers. ‘‘Cause I Love You’, a duet with her father, was released on Satellite (later Stax Records) in 1960, but the following year she established herself as a solo act with ‘Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes)’. Leased to Atlantic Records, the song became a US Top 10 hit. ‘I’ll Bring It On Home To You’ (1962 - an answer to Sam Cooke), ‘What A Fool I’ve Been’ (1963) and ‘Let Me Be Good To You’ (1965) then followed. ‘B-A-B-Y’, written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter, reached the US R&B Top 3, before a series of duets with Otis Redding proclaimed her ‘Queen of Soul’. An excellent version of Lowell Fulson’s ‘Tramp’ introduced the partnership. ‘Knock On Wood’ and ‘Lovey Dovey’ followed before Redding’s premature death. Thomas’ own career was eclipsed as Aretha Franklin assumed her regal mantle. Singles with William Bell and Johnnie Taylor failed to recapture past glories, although the singer stayed with Stax until its bankruptcy in 1975. Since then Thomas has not recorded, although she tours occasionally with the Stax revival shows, and she appeared, along with her father, at the Porretta Terme Soul Festival in 1991.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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