James Carr, “A Losing Game”

Soul singer James Carr possessed one of the finest, purest voices of the genre. Smooth and sexy, Carr seemed destined to have a long and fruitful career, but it was not to be. Though he had a fine run of singles for Memphis label Goldwax–including the Southern soul standard “The Dark End Of The Street”–he was also stricken with mental illness that all but ended his career by 1969. Yet his story has something of a happier ending; by the early 1990s, with his bipolar disorder under control and interest in his music, he managed to return to a recording career, recording three albums before his death in 2001 from lung cancer. “A Losing Game,” a B-side from 1967, highlights the power he had in even the lesser songs he recorded.


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