I hate to repeat the same old facts from an artist’s bio, such as Carla Thomas being the daughter of Rufus Thomas, and that she is called the queen of Stax. I do it anyhow … Before she began her career as a soloist in 1960, she sang with the Teen Town Singers and recorded a single Cause I Love You with her father. Her duets with Otis Redding finally consolidated her status as the Queen of Stax.
Carla’s voice lacks the fullness I love in Gladys Knight, Millie Jackson, Baby Washington, Mitty Collier, Lea Roberts or Kim Tolliver, for example. But I like the way Carla works with the girl voice she’s got. Her Another Night Without My Man (Comfort Me, Stax 1966) shows, in my opinion, how well she handles a song’s dynamics. Another example of her excellent vocal skills is Unchanging Love (The Queen Alone, Stax 1967), a song that requires a multi faceted voice to breathe life into it …
Now, when I saw this clip, I was completely amazed. This is the Queen of Stax 20 years after what must be considered her prime time. Unbelievable!
Carla wrote the song when she was only 15. After Vee-Jay Records had missed out on releasing it first, Atlantic Records distributed it in 1961, and it became her signature song.