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Soul Queen of New Orleans Live: Irma Thomas

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Album Review

Irma Thomas has been the undisputed Soul Queen of New Orleans for some five decades now, and while she has recorded for high-profile labels like Chess, Imperial, and Island, many fans mark her earlier work for the Minit, Ron, and Bandy imprints as her finest. This two-disc set collects the best of those early sides, tracked between 1960 and 1963, on one disc, and includes her 1976 performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on the second disc, making this a nicely rounded introduction to this extraordinary singer.


Born: 18 February 1941 in Ponchatoula, LA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The unrivaled Soul Queen of New Orleans -- a title officially bestowed by local officials, no less -- Irma Thomas ranks among Crescent City R&B's greatest and most enduring musical ambassadors, never enjoying the coast-to-coast commercial success of contemporaries like Aretha Franklin and Etta James but nevertheless breathing the same rarified air in the minds of many soul music aficionados. Born Irma Lee in Ponchatoula, LA, on February 18, 1941, as a teen she sang with a Baptist church choir, even...
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