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Lee Phillips
 
James Carr
James Carr
One of the greatest pure vocalists that deep Southern soul ever produced, James Carr is often mentioned in the same breath as Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, and Aretha Franklin in terms of the wrenching emotional power in his delivery. Or at least he is by hardcore soul aficionados; despite producing several classic R&B singles and some of the most intense country-soul ever waxed, Carr never achieved the pop crossover success that could have made him a household name, and his material wasn't always as distinctive as that of Stax artists like Redding or Sam & Dave. Ultimately, though, Carr's greatest obstacle was himself: he was plagued for much of his life by severe depression that made pursuit of a career -- or, for that matter, even single recording sessions -- extraordinarily difficult, and derailed his occasional comeback attempts.
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