James Edward Carr remains the most famous charge of Quinton Claunch and Rudolph Russell’s Memphis label, Goldwax.
Carr recorded a clutch of late ’60s singles for Goldwax that stand today as incontrovertible masterpieces. Foremost among them was The Dark End of the Street, a sombre and dread-filled ballad co-penned by two blue-eyed, soul-besotted country boys, but equally searing were sides like Love Attack and the desolate That’s the Way Love Turned Out For Me.
While consistency was a problem on his albums, only a Dalek would be unmoved by his finest moments.
After almost two decades of virtual silence, Carr returned to live performance in the ’90s, touring America’s blues circuit and even venturing over to Europe. Yet his emotional instability continued to thwart him, and physical illness finally laid him low.
Plagued by clinical depression until the end, the Memphis-bred Carr had a voice to rival Otis Redding ‘s and sounded like he understood pain like no other soul baritone.
He died of lung cancer on 7 January 2001 at Court Manor Nursing Home in Memphis, Tennessee.