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Blakeview: Irma Thomas 

click to enlarge Irma Thomas is 75 on Feb. 18.

Photo by Cheryl Gerber

Irma Thomas is 75 on Feb. 18.

Thursday marks the 75th birthday of Irma Thomas, the Soul Queen of New Orleans, whose voice is as good, if not better, than when she first hit the scene. Born in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, Thomas began singing with a church choir. In 1960 she cut her first record, "(You Can Have My Husband But Please) Don't Mess with My Man." Later, her collaboration with Allen Toussaint and Minit Records cemented her place in music history. Toussaint wrote two songs which became Thomas classics: "It's Raining" and "Ruler of My Heart." Other Thomas favorites included "Wish Someone Would Care," which Thomas wrote herself, and "Time Is On My Side," which was covered by the Rolling Stones. Later, Thomas found new success with albums on Rounder Records, earning a Grammy in 2007. Still performing regularly, the title of her 2008 album sums her up best: Simply Grand.

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