Meet Carl Carlton [PHOTOS, VIDEOS]
Carl Carlton is an upbeat guy when you hear him on New Jersey 101.5. How can you not smile when he sings “Everlasting Love?”
Carl Carlton was born on May 21, 1952 in Detroit.Over the years, he has sung songs that have spanned the musical genres, from Pop to R&B and Soul…
In the late 1960s, when he first burst on the scene, Carl was billed as “Little Carl” Carlton, a marketing ploy to capitalize on similarities to Stevie Wonder, who recorded under the name “Little Stevie Wonder” in the early 1960s.
After scoring some minor local hits, Carlton signed a record deal, and moved to Houston, Texas, the home of Back Beat Records. Carlton saw some success with the label including his first major hit: a cover version of Robert Knight’s “Everlasting Love.”
One of Jersey’s Favorite Hits, “Everlasting Love” soared to #6 on the charts in 1974.
Don Robey, owner of the label that released Carl Carlton’s songs, sold his labels to ABC Records in 1972.
Carl Carlton’s fortunes (literally) took a turn for the worse by 1976, as Carlton became embroiled in a royalty (read: MONEY) dispute with the new ownership. This caused him to stop recording for a year.
He then signed with Mercury Records in 1977, but only released one single on that label…it didn’t chart.
Carl Carlton was unable to land a new recording for several years (!) until Leon Haywood helped him get a singles deal with 20th Century Records.
A song with a very different sound from “Everlasting Love” would bring Carl Carlton back into public view…
“She’s A Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built, She’s Stacked),” written by Leon Haywood, became a major hit, peaking at #2 on the soul chart in 1982 (#22 on the pop charts). It also earned Carlton a Grammy nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal.
Carlton’s subsequent album (seen above), “Carl Carlton,” went gold in 1981.
As you can see from my collection (above), “She’s a Bad Mama Jama” has since become a staple of compilation CDs. It’s also been in soundtracks, and has been sampled by rap artists.
Carl Carlton released several more albums in the 1980′s, but had only a few minor R&B hits. After 1985′s Private Property, he did not release another album until 1994′s Main Event, which also failed to chart.
In late 2002, Carlton appeared on the “Rhythm, Love, and Soul” edition of the PBS TV series American Soundtrack. His performance of “Everlasting Love” was included on the accompanying live album that came out in 2004.
But wait…there’s more! More CHANGES.
On August 1, 2010, Carlton released his first gospel single entitled: “God is Good”.
On April 16, 2011, Carlton was nominated for a Detroit Music Award in the “Outstanding Gospel/Christian Vocalist” category.
And, Everlasting Love” continues to bring positive vibes to the Great Garden State on the weekends, when the music comes out to play!