Carla Thomas (b. December 21, 1942) is a veteran R&B/soul singer dubbed "The Queen of Memphis Soul" who became famous during the 1960s. Born in Memphis, Tennessee into a musical family, she began her career at age 10 as a member of the Teen Town Singers, a rotating group of high school students who performed weekly on WDIA radio, and remained with the group until the end of her senior year. She is the daughter of famed R&B singer Rufus Thomas (March 26, 1917 - December 15, 2001) and, along with her father, became one of Stax Records' top recording artists. In 1960, Thomas recorded her first single, "Cause I Love You," performed as a duet with her father, which became a popular regional hit and the label's best selling record at the time.
Carla Thomas made her debut in 1961 on both the R&B and Pop/Rock charts with the self-penned smash, "Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes)," which became a Top 5 R&B and Top 10 Pop/Rock hit and her best known song. Her long string of hits on both charts also included "A Love Of My Own" (1961), "I'll Bring It Home To You" (1962), "I've Got No Time To Lose" (1964), "Let Me Be Good To You" (1966), "B-A-B-Y" (1966), and "I Like What You're Doing (To Me)" (1969). With Otis Redding, she had several hit duets (credited to Otis & Carla) that included "Tramp" (1967), "Knock On Wood" (1967), and "Lovey Dovey" (1968).
Since her commercial peak in the 1960s, Carla Thomas has continued to perform and record actively to the present. In 1993, the Grammy-nominated singer was honored with the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation. She was featured in "Only The Strong Survive," a 2003 documentary about important Stax artists that was shown at the Cannes Film Festival.
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- B-A-B-Y 1966
- Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes) 1961
(This song later also became a hit for Bernadette Peters (1980).)
- Guide Me Well 1970
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