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35 Responses

  1. Chip Norman says:

    YES YES YES! Wonderful article, Chris. Especially relevant to myself, having just recently visited the great Stax museum in Memphis. As cool as Isaac Hayes’s whip is, and as great as Otis was a dancer, I would have loved to have seen Mr. Carr there.

    Soul and gospel are by far the purest – and most rock & roll – genres of music. And it’s great to see a little known Southern Soul singer get his due. I feel much the same way about Geno Washington (who, strangely, provoked Ian Brown into becoming a musician.) Of course, he’s still around and no one has the first clue about him.

  2. get over yourself says:

    A++ Checkman, keep it up.


  3. Tom Nguyen says:

    James Brown is chronically overrated and Sam Cooke beats them all.

  4. Chris Checkman says:

    Thanks Chip and, er, Dad. Tom, Sam Cooke also deserves great note and praise, especially when he was in the form shown on the album LIVE AT THE HARLEM SQUARE CLUB, 1963. THE definitive version of “Bring It On Home”, in my eyes…

  5. Lee says:

    Buddyhead needs more articles like this. Wonderfully written and informative. I would have never known this man existed, so thanks.

  6. surforia says:

    Listening to Carr right now… great stuff. Thanks buddyhead for making me just a little bit cooler.

  7. J says:

    In my mind all those cats are flawless on the the solo soul duder tip(Redding, Cooke, Carr, Brown, where’s Green?). I have been really diggin exTemptation David Ruffin recently for pure coked and sly soul goodness (

  8. Great article. I could listen to James Carr and Billie Holiday all day long ( even though Holiday was part of the Jazz world ). If I had never heard of Carr before, this article would have convinced me to fly down to my nearest record store and buy everything by the man.

  9. tim misny says:

    awesome article. what an incredible singer carr was.

  10. todd says:

    I discovered Carr during a record store tenure as well, and his version of “Dark End of the Street” practically reduces me to tears every time I hear it. I feel like Sam Cooke is the only other soul singer who could convey that kind of emotion. Don’t get me wrong, I love Otis and JB too, but James Carr trumps them both in terms of raw feeling. Great post, one of the better things I’ve read on Buddyhead recently.

  11. Con says:

    Gram Parsons version of Dark End of the Street was also rad

  12. ryan says:

    Much obliged Uncle Chris. Best thing I’ve read on here in ages.

    Keep it up man. We need this.

  13. Will "aka" MusicMan says:

    James Carr was truly one of the many forgotten god’s of soul. I have always enjoyed his music and the pure melody and delightment of his music. I can close my eye’s today and remember the first time I ever had the pleasure to listen to him on the hi-fi. For those that have never had the chance to listen to his music. You must give it a listen today. You really have no idea what your missing. Like the great Lightning Hopkins who many have forgotten James Carr was passed over and cast aside and then forgotten. What one was to blues the other was truly to soul

  14. Michael says:

    Heeyyy, guys…
    hate to tell ya,
    but that photo of “James Carr”
    is actually a photo of OTIS REDDING, which is appropriate
    because he was the TRUE KING OF SOUL.

  15. 4764332 says:

    4764332 beers on the wall.

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  24. Ginzy says:

    Brilliant blog post. I greatly enjoyed your writing.
    I linked this article to a post on my own music blog about James Carr.

  25. Yvonne G. says:

    Nice blog. Never heard of em until Now…. and I wont forget. May give this set to my Mom on her next birthday!

  26. Dom says:

    I’ve just recently discovered the voice of James Carr. To say that I was impressed, would be like saying I thought Bobby Orr could skate well. Amazed, stunned, completely and excitedly surprised are just some of the ways I felt after hearing James Carr sing.

    Many a night, I find myself logging on to You Tube and All Music and searching and searching and searching. I’ve done this countless times for hours at a time. All the while, I’m hoping to stumble onto some rare, secret needle in a haystack – one night, James Carr was that needle.

    I couldn’t believe it at first. I thought I must be fooling myself. Why hadn’t I heard of this guy before? My doubt fell away with each James Carr track I listened to. That voice, man, what an aching, thrilling force of nature. I own his “A Man Needs A Woman” special edition CD which features the original Goldwax record as well as 14 extra, unreleased tracks. Of all the CDs I own, I reach for it first whenever I have a long car ride ahead of me.

    Thanks for this piece. It was a pleasure to read. And to anyone else who stops by, do yourself a favour and check out James Carr.

  27. Michiel says:

    A very fine article indeed! I discovered James Carr’s music a few years ago, at my favourite dive bar in the Belgian student town of Leuven. The bartenders kept a very fine record collection, and one night was playing some melancholy soul records non stop. The music seemed to hit a nerve with all the patrons, as they all stared into their beers, hardly speaking above the music. Finally, i got the nerve to ask the bartender which singer it was. Turned out to be James Carr all the time. His album “You got my mind messed up” is spinning as I write this.

  28. James Carr was one of the best soul singers of all times so sad he never got the credit he deserved may he RIP!!

  29. abi says:

    I discovered

    I discovered James Carr on Jango and fell totally in love with his music…… I love Otis cos he does to me what James Carr recently did to me. Volume up and alone to have your sing a long about the one I love and the ones who made me hurt

  30. ajayi says:

    That’s how strong my love is- Percy sledge………. equal symptoms to…………… Babe you got my mind messed up James Carr I’m so in love with these two songs , I think I’ll be evicted ….. Hi abi

  31. ajayi says:

    That’s how strong my love is- Percy sledge.. equal symptoms to..Babe you got my mind messed up James Carr I’m so in love with these two songs , I think I’ll be evicted ….. Hi abi

  32. joan dana says:

    I found jam,es carr the same way..i just stu,bled over himand have been in love with his music ever since, also found in the same way, ov wright.’ i wish a really good documentarian would memorialize the story of these monumental talents from missiwssippi and louisiana.

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