Carla Thomas was singing in public by the time she was 10 years old, thanks in part to the fact that her father was Rufus Thomas, who had been recording since at least the 1940s.
“Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)” was written by Carla, and made the top ten in 1961. It brought Stax Records to the nation’s attention.
“I’ll Never Stop Loving You” was recorded in 1963, and resurrected three decades later as a Northern Soul classic:
This video is a mashup of “B-A-B-Y” with Cyd Charisse dancing in Party Girl. Charisse deserves a post of her own; the mashup works surprisingly well.
In 1967, Thomas and Otis Redding recorded a duets album, King & Queen, that hit #5 on the R&B charts, and spawned Carla’s biggest hit, the irresistible “Tramp”:
“Tramp” has inspired many songs over the years, some covers, some a bit more than that. Salt-n-Pepa kept the title in 1985:
Prince even got into the act, sampling “Tramp” for “7”. He has someone scouring YouTube, deleting all the Prince videos, so I can’t link to anything, but since I can barely hear the sample, perhaps it doesn’t matter.