Thursday Throwback: Carl Carlton

If you’re having a 70s or an 80s party you can’t go wrong playing a Carl Carlton song.  Although he only had a couple of big hits, Carlton’s music is must have in any old school fan’s music collection.  The Detroit, Michigan native began his career in the late 1960s and released a few tunes that became local favorites, but had yet to score a big hit.  That all changed in the 1970s when Carlton released his single “Everlasting Love.”  Although Carlton was a new name on the charts, the song definitely was not.  “Everlasting Love” was a hit for singer Robert Knight in 1967 and was a number one single in the UK the following year, when it was recorded by the British band Love Affair.  Carlton’s version was definitely the biggest of the three.  “Everlasting Love” was originally a B-side of his 1973 single “I Wanna Be Your Main Squeeze.” It was was re-released in 1974, this time with a disco-flavored remix that made it a crossover hit.  The song made it to number eleven on the R&B chart and number six on the Billboard Hot 100.  It was also disco favorite, becoming a standard in the playlist of disc jockeys worldwide.  Jump to 1981 when Carlton released his eponymous album, which struck gold thanks to the single “She’s a Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built, She’s Stacked).”  The song made it just short of the top of the R&B chart, peaking at number two.  The following year, Carlton was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance Male, but lost out to James Ingram’s “One Hundred Ways.”  Now at 60 years old, Carlton is still recording as a gospel artist.  In 2010 he released his first gospel single entitled “God Is Good.”

–Montrose Cunningham

Montrose Cunningham is an independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado residing in Dallas, Texas. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughters, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his latest release “Inertia” at, visit him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter @MontroseC.


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