James Carr - A Man Needs A Woman (1968)

James Carr was an American soul singer.

In 1966 and 1967 James Carr had seen some modest success, with four Top 40 R&B hits released on the small Memphis-based Goldwax label, including an enduring classic soul record with "The Dark End Of The Street". However true stardom always remained out of reach, and much of this was due to his mental problems. He suffered from bipolar disorder, which made organizing his career and getting him to work at recording sessions very difficult - his manager Roosevelt Jamison had ended up acting almost as his carer as well, and when the two of them parted ways Carr found it increasingly difficult. The tragedy was that he had one of the greatest voices of the entire 60s soul genre, and unfortunately could not achieve his true potential.
Goldwax did manage to get enough out of him to put together a second album, though it did repeat "The Dark End Of The Street" and his earlier hit "You've Got My Mind Messed Up". Nevertheless A Man Needs A Woman was just as strong as his debut, with a similar big, powerful Southern soul sound. The title track (another O.B. McClinton composition) gave him his last true R&B hit at #16, and other great highlights included "I'm A Fool For You", a duet with Betty Harris.
As the 60s came to a close, Carr's brief period of success ended, as his problems got the better of him. At recording sessions he would reportedly just sit and stare into space, and he famously froze whilst on stage during a tour of Japan in the 70s, due to an overdose of antidepressants. Over the years he effectively retired from the music business, moving in with his sister and living as if in a daze, unaware of the world around him. He would not make another album until 1991.

You Got My Mind Messed Up (1967) <|> Take Me To The Limit (1991)
More from James Carr


1 comment:

JennyD said...

That is really one of the saddest stories I ever heard. It makes your own heart break just reading it.