11. Otis Redding and Carla Thomas
Otis Redding, then 26, and Carla Thomas, 25, sing so naturally together on 1967's King & Queen, it's hard to believe it would be their only album together. Inspired by Marvin Gaye's popular Motown duets, the pair's January 1967 Stax session took less than a week during Carla's holiday break from post-grad English studies at Howard University. With superlative house band Booker T and the M.G.'s, the pair knocked out ten soul standards, from "Knock on Wood" to a particularly poignant "Bring It On Home," and a Redding original, "Ooh Carla, Ooh Otis." The vibe is relaxed, almost festive. Redding's unprocessed soul power and touching asides perfectly balance Carla's sassy grace. Alas, it would be Redding's final recording prior to his fatal October plane crash.