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Carla Thomas Reissued on Reactivated Stax Label


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Queen of Memphis Soul looked to soul stylings of Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia on this 1969 album, which is reissued with four previously unreleased tracks

MEMPHIS, TN -- Carla Thomas became famous thanks to several great singles on Stax Records: “Gee Whiz," “B-A-B-Y," “Let Me Be Good To You" and a duet with Otis Redding, “Tramp." In 1969, she recorded The Queen Alone, produced by Stax co-founder and president Jim Stewart, in which the Queen of Memphis Soul proved that she was keenly aware of the uptown soul music being produced in the industrial north. The album produced two hits -- “Something Good (is Going to Happen to You)," penned by the hot team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter, which notched No. 29 on Billboard's R&B singles chart, and “I'll Always Have Faith in You," written by Eddie Floyd with Stax's then-promotion man Al Bell, which reached No. 11.

The classic soul album will be reissued on the reactivated Stax Records through Concord Music Group on March 20 as part of the label's yearlong series of 50th Anniversary events. The remastered reissue contains four previously unreleased tracks, plus liner notes by Stax historian Rob Bowman, author of the award-winning Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records.

Other songwriters of note contributed tunes to The Queen Alone. The lead track, “Any Day Now," was co-written by Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard and was a hit for Chuck Jackson in 1962. It is given the Stax treatment here, with a snare, organ and small string section providing a more soulful arrangement than on the original pop hit. Stax staff writer Joe Shamwell joined with Hayes and Porter to write “Stop Thief," with the Memphis Horns (Andrew Love and Joe Arnold) chiming in against Booker T. Jones' piano work. Steve Cropper, Stax's guitar MVP and member of Booker T & the MGs, joined Hayes & Porter on “I Take It To My Baby."

In addition to the 11 tracks on the original album, the reissue of The Queen Alone contains five tracks that were omitted on the original vinyl version: “Me and My Clock," “Same Thing," “Your Love Indeed (Alternate Take)," “I Want To Know (Take 2)" and “I Wonder About Love."

Concord Music Group, which acquired the legendary Memphis label as part of its purchase of Fantasy Records in 2004, will also honor Stax's 50th year by releasing definitive collections, rare performances, unreleased tracks and more from the Memphis R&B imprint in deluxe new packages. Plans for digital releases, remixes and other projects are also in the works; the anniversary year's releases are slated to include more than 20 CDs and DVDs.

In addition, Concord Music Group will reactivate Stax this year as a dynamic new force in contemporary R&B music committed to the continuing the legacy of the original legendary label. The first new Stax signings are Isaac Hayes, Angie Stone and Soulive.

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