Thursday, October 20, 2016

The 2015/1967 Countdown - 10/20/2016 Update

Today, we return to our 1967's Super Soulsters' Deep Cuts Review and take a listen to a label exec forged vocal partnership that led to one of the biggest soul hits of 1967.

Tramp, the playful, spirited 1967 Otis Redding/Carla Thomas cover of a grittier Lowell Fulsom blues hit from earlier that same year, came about primarily due to the efforts of Stax label co-founder Jim Stewart, who just had a hunch pairing the gruff voice of emerging international superstar Redding with the super smooth stylings of local soul prodigy Thomas  (who was still getting her M.A. in English at Howard at the time) would work - and work it did.  The resulting album, King and Queen, went gold, was one of the bigger soul releases of the year and a huge success overseas...spawning not just one but three hit singles on the R&B charts.

It was also, for hip-hop trivia buffs, one of the first songs in recording history to pull an unauthorized live sample, with guitarist Steve Cropper repeatedly lifting the opening riff from the Temptations' 1966 hit (I Know) I'm Losing You for use as a textural element in the song.

Here's both the Otis Redding/Carla Thomas version, which peaked at #2 on the US R&B and #26 on the US pop charts, and the Lowell Fulsom version that inspired it.

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