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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 250 - James Carr

You Got My Mind Messed Up - James Carr
Goldwax Records
Produced by Ruldolph V. "Doc" Russell
Released 1967
R'n'B Chart #25

A1 Pouring Water On A Drowning Man
A2 Love Attack    
A3 Coming Back To Me Baby    
A4 I Don't Want To Be Hurt Anymore
A5 That's What I Want To Know
A6 These Ain't Raindrops    
B1 The Dark End Of The Street
B2 I'm Going For Myself    
B3 Lovable Girl
B4 Forgetting You
B5 She's Better Than You
B6 You've Got My Mind Messed Up

Singles on You've Got My Mind Messed Up 
You've Got My Mind Messed Up / That's What I Want To Know
(February 1966)
R'n'B #7, Pop #63
Love Attack / Coming Back To Me Baby
(June 1966) R
'n'B #21, Pop #99
Pouring Water on a Drowning Man / Forgetting You
(September 1966)
#23, Pop #85
The Dark End of the Street / Lovable Girl
(December 1966)
R'n'B #10, Pop #77


I can remember years ago picking up a copies of the James Carr albums after someone had pointed me in the direction of  his version (the first version I hasten to add) of The Dark End of The Street. Where on earth had this voice been hiding all my life? Man, he was as good (if not better) than Otis Redding, who had been for me the bench mark of Soul Singers. Listening to those albums caused me a major shift in thinking.

I did not really know much about him but was saddened to discover that he was a man who seemed to struggle much of his life with issues of depression and bipoplar disorder and then the article by Robert Gordon turned up in the music press (see link below) and that shed a whole lot of light upon the man and the difficulties he had endured for many years. There seems to be very little biography about him around the web, even Wikipedia has a rather short piece about him and it's left to various Obituaries to reveal little nuggets about his life that help form a picture of who he was (check out The Guardian one below and then Rolling Stone and the New York Times). He was only 58 years old when he passed away in a nursing home in Memphis due to lung cancer on 7th January 2001.

You've Got My Mind Messed Up was his debut album on Goldwax Records, a label that he recorded for from 1964 right through until 1969 when the company closed down. His debut single had been released in October 1964 - Only Fools Run Away backed by You Don't Want Me. I Can't Make It / Lovers Competition followed in February 1965 and She's Better Than You / Talk Talk in in September 1965. Not sure if any of the first three singles charted or not.

Listening afresh to all of these songs last night was such a thrill and also tinged with sadness at what might have been. I am pretty sure had he not been regarded as "damaged" that he would be spoken of in the same kind of tones that Otis Redding is spoken of (well he is in my house!).

Read Robert Gordon's excellent article on James Carr that first appeared in 1992 in Q magazine and the L.A. Weekly: James Carr Way Out On A Voyage.

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!
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