James Carr (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
James Carr
James Carr.gif
Background information
Born (1942-06-13)June 13, 1942
Coahoma, Mississippi, United States
Died January 7, 2001(2001-01-07) (aged 58)
Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Genres Rhythm and blues, soul
Years active 1966-1980s
Labels Goldwax Records

James Carr (June 13, 1942 – January 7, 2001), was an American rhythm and blues and soul singer.[1][2][3][4][5]

Born to a Baptist preacher's family in Coahoma, Mississippi, Carr began singing in church and was performing in gospel groups and making tables on an assembly line in Memphis, Tennessee, when he began recording in the mid-1960s for Goldwax Records, a small Memphis based independent record label.

Carr first made the R&B charts in 1966 with "You've Got My Mind Messed Up", followed by his most famous song "The Dark End of the Street", written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman. Carr continued to record for Goldwax until the label closed in 1969 but failed to reach the same heights with his subsequent releases.

Carr suffered from bipolar disorder for most of his life which affected his career. This was evident during a tour of Japan in the 1970s when he froze in front of an audience following an overdose of antidepressants. However he completed the Japan tour with much success. A resurgence in interest in his music, spurred by his portrayal in Peter Guralnick's 1986 book Sweet Soul Music, helped return Carr to the recording studio but failed to deliver any further chart success.

James Carr died from lung cancer in a Memphis nursing home in 2001, aged 58.



  • "You've Got My Mind Messed Up" (1966) R&B #7, Pop #63
  • "Love Attack" (1966) R&B #21, Pop #99
  • "Pouring Water on a Drowning Man" (1966) R&B #23, Pop #85
  • "The Dark End of the Street" (1967) R&B #10, Pop #77
  • "Let It Happen" (1967) R&B #30, Pop #106
  • "I'm a Fool for You" (duet with an uncredited Betty Harris) (1967) R&B #42, Pop #97
  • "A Man Needs a Woman" (1968) R&B #16, Pop #63
  • "Life Turned Her That Way" (1968) Pop #112
  • "Freedom Train" (1969) R&B #39
  • "To Love Somebody" (1969) R&B #44



  • Complete, Vol. 1 (1994)
  • Complete, Vol. 2 (1994) Goldwax
  • The Essential James Carr (1995) Razor & Tie
  • 24 Karat Soul (2001) Soultrax
  • The Complete Goldwax Singles (2001) Kent
  • My Soul Is Satisfied/The Rest of James Carr (2004) Kent


  1. ^ Checkman, Chris. "GREATEST SOUL MAN EVER? The Case For James Carr". buddyhead.com. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "LCD 20 | James Carr: Way Out on a Voyage". wfmu.org. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Pareles, Jon. "James Carr, 58, Soul Singer Whose Life Reflected the Blues". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Williams, Richard. "James Carr". theguardian.com. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "James Carr". bbc.com.uk. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 

External links[edit]