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Thomas' lack of fame a lack of justice

The Story of My Life
The Story of My Life
By Irma Thomas

Rounder Records: 1997

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If there's any justice in this world, Irma Thomas will be the featured musical cameo on the Blues Brothers sequel that Dan Akroyd is getting ready to film. After all, Aretha Franklin had been a well-respected soul singer but still largely invisible to white audiences until her rousing rendition of "Respect" in the original Blues Brothers movie (which also introduced to white crowds artists like James Brown, Chaka Khan and John Lee Hooker; Ray Charles and Cab Calloway, also featured in the movie, had already been known quantities to even the most unhip, polyester-clad suburbanite).

Thomas, who hails from and still resides in New Orleans, had a string of regional hits in the '60s and '70s, and has developed a large blues following through her albums on independent label Rounder. Still, this larger-than-life soul singer deserves a broader audience – and heck, the audience deserves to be exposed to such a talent.