Unsung '60s soul queen of New Orleans

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Irma Thomas – Straight From The Soul

Irma Thomas never achieved the fame she deserved, partly because she failed to escape the ramshackle nature of the New Orleans music business, and partly because so many white artists covered her material note for note (viz: The Rolling Stones’ 1964 hit “Time Is On My Side”). Troubled teenage years (a first child at 14, four children by 19) gave her voice a deep, soul-tugging emotional resonance?half Pearl Bailey, half Mahalia Jackson. This 24-track compilation is culled from her Minit and Imperial catalogues from 1962-64, and it includes several Allen Toussaint-penned and produced tracks, including “Take A Look” and “Wait Wait Wait”.