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Gee Whiz

Carla Thomas

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Album Review

Thomas' first album was built around the huge title hit, and also included her follow-up single, "A Love of My Own," which reached the R&B Top 20, although it wasn't nearly as popular as "Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)." The record is far more pop-oriented than the sound for which Stax would become known, with both the material and the arrangements showing substantial influences from pop standards, doo wop, and even (particularly in the songs with backup vocals by the Anita Kerr Singers) Nashville country. That doesn't make it a bad record at all, just not one that listeners familiar with the Stax sound, or even Thomas' later Stax records, might expect. Though Thomas herself wrote some of the songs, about half of the tracks are covers of pop standards ("[I'm Afraid] The Masquerade Is Over") and still-recent rock/R&B hits like the Drifters' "Dance With Me" and "Fools Fall in Love" and the Five Satins' "To the Aisle." Also onboard is a composition by Carla's dad, Rufus Thomas, and a song and a half by famed Memphis producer Chips Moman, who produced five of the tracks. The 2002 CD reissue adds an alternate version of "Promises."

Biography

Born: 21 December 1942 in Memphis, TN

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s

In the glorious decade and a half of sound that was Stax in the '60s and early '70s, Carla Thomas was the Queen of Memphis Soul. She was born in Memphis in 1942, and 18 years later she recorded a duet with her father Rufus Thomas, giving the fledgling Satellite label its first taste of success with the regional hit "Cause I Love You." As her 18th birthday drew nigh, she cut her first solo single, the teen ballad "Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)." Written a few years earlier and rejected by Vee-Jay in...
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Gee Whiz, Carla Thomas
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  • 11,88 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music, R&B/Soul, Soul
  • Released: 1961

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