New Orleans singer-songwriter Carlo Ditta first made his mark when his composition “Pray” was voted “Best Gospel Song” at the American Song Festival in the 1970s. The New Orleans native took soul singer Mighty Sam McClain into the studio to record the song, beginning what would become a long and exceptionally fruitful career as a record producer.
But first Carlo continued to pursue his calling as a songwriter and performer during stints in Nashville, California and New York City, where he collaborated on projects with Dorothy Goodman, Willy DeVille and Motown composer Nick Zesses. But New Orleans kept calling out to him, and Ditta went back home to concentrate on making records with neglected Louisiana performers for his award-winning Orleans Records.
Carlo produced the classic Danny Barker album Ham & Eggs and then got a Grammy nomination with Story of My Life by Guitar Slim Jr. Willy DeVille’s Victory Mixture won a Gold Record in France, and he produced albums by Marva Wright and Lenny McDaniels for Virgin Records before scoring with a series of Orleans Records on overlooked artists like Roland Stone, the Original Pinstripe Brass Band, Ironing Board Sam, Coco Robicheaux, Little Freddie King, and “The President of Soul,” Rockie Charles.
When the record industry began to tank Carlo thought hard and went back to playing his guitar, singing and writing new songs, telling the story of his life through his own compositions and the New Orleans R&B repertoire that shaped his musical outlook. Now he’s a seasoned stage performer regularly featured at nightclubs and festivals and often in concert with his old friend, the internationally-acclaimed poet John Sinclair.