Deep Southern soul music doesn’t get much better than this version of These Arms Of Mine by James Carr from 1968.
It’s a song most people know from its original version by Otis Redding, who wrote and sang it first. I’d argue that this version by James Carr is even better for sheer emotional power – his trademark as a singer.
Carr never acquired the fame of Otis but to aficionados he’s regarded as one of the greatest voices of deep Southern soul.
He had the classic upbringing, born into a Mississippi preacher’s family and starting to sing in church when they moved to Memphis.
As an adult, Carr sang in gospel groups while working on a factory assembly line.
He was actually turned down by Stax, the great Southern soul label, and signed instead with Goldwax.
Carr finally made his name in 1967 when he had a hit with his tortuously intense version of Dark End Of The Street.
This comes from the following year.
Sadly he suffered from depression all his life, making performing particularly stressful, and was often hospitalised.
He died in 2001, aged only 58, after a long battle against lung cancer.