Photo credits: Stax/Atlantic Records
On this calendar day in 1967, the record “Otis Redding & Carla Thomas: King & Queen” was released, containing the song “Tramp!”
Carla Thomas and Otis Redding were both Stax label music artists and regular duet collaborators. “Gee Whiz” was Thomas’ most famous tune. Rufus Thomas, the star of “Walking The Dog,” was Carla’s father.
Lowell Fulson, a blues singer, initially recorded and published the song “Tramp!” in 1967. Fulson, Jimmy McCracklin, and Susan L. Yasinski collaborated on the song. The duet album King & Queen, which included “Tramp!” was Redding’s last record before his death.
“You Straight From the Georgia Woods,” a decent teasing by Carla Thomas, alluded to Redding’s state of residence. “Tramp” was part of a 1950s-1960s heritage of hate songs in which a woman informed her lover precisely how she felt, typically in the form of a duet, similar to Ray Charles’ “Hit The Road Jack.”
Big Mama Thornton’s rendition of “Hound Dog” and Etta James’ “My Man is a Watch Dog” are two more examples. Stax Records released a number of duets involving Otis Redding and Carla Thomas throughout the 1960s.
The duets between Redding and Thomas were motivated by those played by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell at Motown, according to Redding in an interview.