243) James Carr — “Pouring Water on a Drowning Man”
A ‘66 single and track from his debut album, “Pouring Water” reached #85 in November ’66 (#23 R&B). Steve Huey says in All Music Guide that:
One of the greatest pure vocalists that deep Southern soul ever produced, James Carr is often mentioned in the same breath as Otis Redding, Percy Sledge and Aretha Franklin in terms of the wrenching emotional power in his delivery. . . . [H]e was plagued for much of his life by severe depression that made pursuit of a career — or, for that matter, even single recording sessions — extraordinarily difficult, and derailed his occasional comeback attempts.
And Thom Jurek says, also in All Music Guide, that:
If ever there was a soul singer who rivaled Otis Redding’s raw, deep emotional sensuality, it was James Carr . . . . one of the last country-soul singers to approach any chart given to him as if it was a gift from God. . . . The 12 songs here, many of them covered by other artists, are all soul classics merely by their having been sung and recorded by Carr.
“You push me when I’m falling and you kick me when I’m down. I guess I missed my calling ’cause I should have been a clown. How much more, how much more could I stand when you’re pouring water on a drowning man . . . .”