Carla Thomas

Born Dec 21, 1942

Carla Thomas is an American singer, who is often referred to as the Queen of Memphis Soul. She is the daughter of Rufus Thomas.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Carla Thomas.


1942 Birth Born on December 21, 1942.
1952 9 Years Old In Memphis, the African American centered WDIA radio station sponsored a rotating musical group of high school students called the Teen Town Singers; notable alumni include Anita Louis and Isaac Hayes. Although the requirements to join the Teen Town Singers stated that the person should be of high school age, Thomas became a member in 1952 at the age of 10. … Read More


1960 17 Years Old …  Because of his belief in the song's potential, Rufus returned to Memphis and in the summer of 1960, Thomas would cut the teen love song that she wrote when she was only 15 years old. … Read More
1961 18 Years Old However, by February 1961, the song was being distributed nationally through Atlantic Records just as Thomas was in the midst of her first year at Tennessee A&I University in Nashville. … Read More


1971 28 Years Old After her last Stax recording in 1971, Love Means, and an appearance in Wattstax in 1972, Thomas slipped into relative obscurity when compared to her 1960s musical heyday. … Read More


1993 50 Years Old In 1993, Thomas was awarded the prestigious Pioneer Award, along with such musical heavyweights as James Brown and Solomon Burke, from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation in honor of her career achievements.


2003 60 Years Old She was also featured in the 2003 documentary Only the Strong Survive, that was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and showcased important Stax recording artists. … Read More
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