“The Dark End of the Street” has been covered by many artists of the country, pop and soul genres, but it was first performed by James Carr in 1967 in his most memorable “country soul” sound. The song is from Carr’s first 1967 lp “You Got My Mind Messed Up”. This classic collection, on Vivid Sound Records, charted #25 on Billboard’s R&B album chart.
Written in 1966 by Muscle Shoals songwriter and producer Dan Penn and session guitarist Chips Momanu,”TDEOTS”, became Carr’s most memorable and successful song: it charted #10 on Billboard’s R&B singles and #77 on Billboards’ Pop single chart.
James Carr (June 13, 1942 – January 7, 2001) was an American Rhythm & Blues and soul musical artist.
Born to a Baptist preacher’s family in Coahoma, Mississippi, Carr began singing in church and was performing in gospel groups and making tables on an assembly line in Memphis, Tennessee, when he began recording in the mid-’60s for Goldwax Records, a small Memphis based label.
Carr first made the R&B charts in 1966 with “You’ve Got My Mind Messed Up“, followed by his most famous song “The Dark End of the Street”, written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman. Carr continued to record for Goldwax until the label closed in 1969 but failed to reach the same heights with his subsequent releases.
Carr suffered from bipolar disorder for most of his life which affected his career. This was evident during a tour of Japan in the 1970s when he froze in front of an audience following an overdose of antidepressants. However he completed the Japan tour with much success. A resurgence in interest in his music, spurred by his portrayal in the 1986 book Sweet Soul Music, helped return Carr to the recording studio but failed to deliver any further chart success.
While Carr was never as popular among general audiences as contemporaries like Otis Redding and Solomon Burke, his vocal performances on select tracks are still considered unmatched by many soul music and rhythm & blues fans.
James Carr died from lung cancer in a Memphis nursing home in 2001, aged 58. (SOURCE: WIKI)
I love this song and hope you do too. Let’s keep these great oldies alive!