by Isaac Hayes
Carla Thomas is the artist most directly responsible for the early success of Stax Records. Even before it was known as Stax, when the name on the door was "Satellite," this young girl made her talent felt and really put the label on the map.. and on the charts. It's no wonder as she's the daughter of an American original, the late, great Rufus Thomas. I guess you could say she is "to the manor born."
Carla's early records defined the Stax sound and I was thrilled to have played a part in breaking that same ground, playing in the band behind so many amazing artists. Recording in those days was certainly hard work but we didn't know it. To us, it was great fun as making music with friends always is. We didn't know that we were doing something revolutionary because we were having a good time and all that great music was really its own reward. Stax was our kingdom and Carla was our Queen.
I am delighted to hear that some of the songs David Porter and I wrote are still very much part of Carla's repertoire. Her soulful spelling lesson, "B-A-B-Y" sounds just as great today as it did when she first cut it. The same is true for her sensuous approach to "Let Me Be Good To You." Carla's version of "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby," a tune we originally wrote for Sam and Dave, truly highlights her continuing versatility.
These recordings were made just last year in Memphis by some of the best players in town. The band includes two of my studio buddies from the glory days of Stax, Bobby Manuel and Ronnie Williams plus William Brown, a gifted vocalist, late of the Mad Lads. It's not an understatement when I say that they're sounding better than ever and, of course, Carla's magnificent vocal instrument "sings for itself."
I've been asked many times to define soul and within this great album is found the answer: Miss Carla Thomas.
We love you Carla,