Jean Carn

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Jean Carn
Carn in 1997
Carn in 1997
Background information
Birth nameSarah Jean Perkins
Also known asJean Carne
Born (1947-03-15) March 15, 1947 (age 76)[1]
Columbus, Georgia, U.S.
OriginAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Years active1969–present

Jean Carn, also spelled Jean Carne (born Sarah Jean Perkins;[2] March 15, 1947)[1] is an American R&B/Soul and Jazz Singer. In mid career, she added a final e to her name. Carn is a vocalist credited with a five octave vocal range.[3][4]


Carn was born Sarah Jean Perkins in Columbus, Georgia. At the age of four, she became a member of her church choir.[2]

Carn planned on furthering her studies at Juilliard School of Music in New York City when she met and married jazz pianist Doug Carn (the couple later divorced) and became a featured vocalist in his jazz fusion band. The couple based themselves in Los Angeles, California, where Carn appeared on three of his four early albums, Infant Eyes, Spirit of the New Land, and Revelation on Black Jazz/Ovation. The couple later divorced.[5]

In 1976, Carn was signed to Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff's Philadelphia International Records.[2] She released her debut album Jean Carn in 1976.[6] The debut single "Free Love" went to number 23 R&B.[2] In June 1978, her second album for the label, Happy to Be With You, was released. It included the hit single "Don't Let It Go to Your Head".[2]

Carn's third Philadelphia International album When I Find You Love was issued in 1979.[2] "My Love Don't Come Easy" peaked at number 43 on the R&B chart.[7] The album included the Jerry Butler penned track "Was That All It Was?" which, despite not charting, was a big disco hit in the UK clubs.

At this time, Carn moved from the Philadelphia International label to the subsidiary TSOP imprint for her 1981 album Sweet and Wonderful.[2] Carn moved to Motown Records in 1982, making her label debut with her only album on the label, Trust Me. The single "If You Don't Know Me By Now," a cover of the Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes hit with backing vocals by The Temptations, went to number 49 on the R&B chart.[7]

By 1986, Carn signed to Omni Records. Closer Than Close, produced by saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. went to number one on the R&B charts.[2] Her 1988 album You're a Part of Me was her only release on Atlantic Records.[2]

In 2014, Carn was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award present by the National R&B Music Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[8]

In 2020, Carn was one of the performers aboard on the Soul Train Cruise.[9]

On October 16, 2022, Carne's life was featured on the documentary TV One series, Unsung.[10][11]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Record label

US Jazz
1976 Jean Carn 122 46 26 Philadelphia International
1978 Happy to Be with You 55
1979 When I Find You Love 42 28
1981 Sweet and Wonderful 176 38 TSOP
1982 Trust Me 210 37 Motown
1986 Closer Than Close 162 9 Omni
1988 You're a Part of Me 40 Atlantic
1995 Carn Sings McCoy Vammi
1996 Love Lessons Moja
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.



Year Single Peak chart positions Album


1971 "Peace" Infant Eyes
1975 "Valentine Love" (with Norman Connors & Michael Henderson) 97 10 Saturday Night Special
1977 "Free Love" 23 18 Jean Carn
"You Got a Problem"
"If You Wanna Go Back"
1978 "Happy to Be with You" Happy to Be with You
"Don't Let It Go to Your Head" 54
"There's a Shortage of Good Men"
1979 "My Love Don't Come Easy" 43 When I Find You Love
"Start the Fire"
"Was That All It Was" 22
"What’s On Your Mind"
"Give It Up"
1980 "I'm Back for More" (with Al Johnson) 26 Back for More
1981 "Sweet and Wonderful" Sweet and Wonderful
"Love Don't Love Nobody (Part 1)" 35
1982 "If You Don't Know Me by Now" 49 Trust Me
"Let's Stay Together" (with Bobby Militello) 74 Blow
1986 "Closer Than Close" 1 Closer Than Close
"Flame of Love" 21
1987 "Everything Must Change" 79
1988 "Heartache" You're a Part of Me
"Ain't No Way" 23
"Let Me Be the One" 95
1996 "Don't Stop Doin' Whatcha Doin'" 109 Love Lessons
1998 "Make Love"
2002 "Somebody Bigger" (with Jeff Majors) 111 Gotta Have Gospel
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  • Jean Carn & Friends: The Sound of Philadelphia: Live in Europe (Expansion, 2005)
  • Ladies Night Out—Live (Steppin Muzak, 2007, also available as a CD)


  1. ^ a b "Jean Carne Biography". The History Makers. May 7, 2003. Archived from the original on May 11, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kellman, Andy. "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  3. ^ "Jean Carn: Collaborations". Soul Town Records. Archived from the original on February 11, 2007.
  4. ^ "Musicdiscoveries". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.
  5. ^ "Doug Carn: Black Jazz - JazzWax". Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  6. ^ Conroy, Tom. "Jean Carn". Archived from the original on December 30, 2006.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "US Charts > Jean Carn". Billboard. Archived from the original on November 8, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  8. ^ "Past Honorees". rnbmusicsociety1. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
  9. ^ "2020 Soul Train Cruise | The Hippest Trip At Sea | Soul at Sea". Soul at Sea. December 12, 2018. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
  10. ^ "TV One's "Unsung" to feature Jean Carn, Tony Terry, Norman Connors and more". SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews. September 21, 2022. Retrieved November 3, 2022.
  11. ^ "Unsung, TV". Retrieved November 3, 2022.
  12. ^ "UK Charts > Jean Carn". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 3, 2015.

External links[edit]