"Bad Mama Jama" singer Carl Carlton hospitalized after stroke

(July 15, 2019)  Carl Carlton, the talented Detroit-born singer who topped the charts with two VERY differently styled hits, is ailing in a Detroit hospital after reportedly suffering a stroke. The stroke caused the 66 year old Carlton to miss a planned concert in Detroit last night. Fortunately, he is reportedly alert and speaking.

(July 15, 2019)  Carl Carlton, the talented Detroit-born singer who topped the charts with two VERY differently styled hits, is ailing in a Detroit hospital after reportedly suffering a stroke. The stroke caused the 66 year old Carlton to miss a planned concert in Detroit last night. Fortunately, he is reportedly alert and speaking.

Carlton first began recording in the late 1960s as "Little Carl" Carlton, a moniker designed to capitalize on some vocal similarities to Stevie Wonder, who recorded under the name "Little Stevie" Wonder in the early 1960s. After scoring some minor local hits, Carlton was signed by Don D. Robey and moved to Houston, Texas, the home of his new record label, Back Beat Records. He saw some success with the new label including his first major hit, a disco-tinged remake of Robert Knight's "Everlasting Love," which leaped on the charts, becoming a top ten smash. Carlton proved himself an extremely talented, expressive singer, and his version became the first of two career songs for him.

Robey sold his labels to ABC Records in 1972, and in 1976 Carlton became embroiled in a royalty dispute with the new ownership that caused him to stop recording for some time. He then signed with Mercury Records in 1977, but only released one single on that label. He was unable to land a new recording contract for several years until Leon Haywood helped him get a singles deal with 20th Century Records. A Haywood-penned single, "She's a Bad Mama Jama," became Carlton's biggest hit, peaking at #2 on the soul chart and becoming an instant club favorite. The uber-infectious dance tune earned Carlton a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, and the accompanying album, Carl Carlton, went gold in 1981. "She's a Bad Mama Jama" has since become a staple of compilation albums and soundtracks and is often sampled in rap music.

Carlton released several more albums in the 1980s with moderate success. After 1985's Private Property, he went on a recording hiatus, returning nine years later with 1994's Main Event, which failed to chart. In late 2002, Carlton appeared with many R&B stars on the "Rhythm, Love, and Soul" edition of the PBS series American Soundtrack. His performance of "Everlasting Love" was included on the accompanying live album that was released in 2004.

Carl Carlton has toured regularly over the past decade, usually in multi-artist R&B shows. And he continues to sound great, wherever he performs. He has also recorded a series of independently released singles over the past decade, including "God Is Good," "Saturday" and "One More Minute."

We’ll be praying for a speedy recovery for the talented Mr. Carlton.

By Chris Rizik

Portions of this article are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Carl Carlton

 

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