There are about a million tragedies in the world of soul music and the story of James Carr takes up some space right there on top. Several of his recordings could easily be listed in the pantheon of essential music, but instead he remains legendary solely within the world of soul enthusiasts, otherwise unknown. Carr didn't go down in a blaze of glory, either. His decline has more to do with traumatic experience of mental illness and its long, drawn-out effects. The material that he recorded for Goldwax in the 1960s is what his reputation rests upon. It's dark, strong, full of life and Carr sings like a solid brick wall on everything from "You Got My Mind Messed Up" to "The Dark End Of The Street" and even the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody." He recorded sporadically throughout the following decades, but his own mental instability continually kept him out of the spotlight.