Clarence Carter Biography

14 January 1936, Montgomery, Alabama, USA. Carter’s earliest releases were as half of the duo Clarence And Calvin. Also known as the C And C Boys, the blind duo made seven singles, the last of which was recorded at Fame’s Muscle Shoals studio. When his partner, Calvin Thomas (aka Scott), suffered serious injuries in a car accident in 1966, Carter became a solo act (Calvin Scott himself later reappeared as a solo act to record two Dave Crawford-produced Atco Records singles in 1969/70 and a Clarence Paul-produced 1971 album for Stax Records, I’m Not Blind... I Just Can’t See, from which two singles were also culled). ‘Tell Daddy’, released in January 1967, began a fruitful spell of Fame-produced hits by Carter, released on the Atlantic Records label. Noteworthy were ‘Thread The Needle’, ‘Looking For A Fox’ and ‘Slip Away’, where the singer combined his outstanding voice with his skill as an arranger and musician.

‘Patches’, first recorded by Chairmen Of The Board, was a UK number 2 and a US number 4 in 1970, but despite further strong offerings, Clarence was unable to sustain the momentum. He remained with Fame until 1973, where he also helped guide Candi Staton, who was now his wife, before moving to ABC Records the subsequent year. Further recordings on Venture and Big C took Carter’s career into the 80s and later the artist found a sympathetic outlet with the Ichiban Records label. Despite being blinded as a child, he developed a distinctive guitar style that complemented his earthy delivery, and was just as comfortable on keyboards, writing songs or arranging sessions. The first two albums, This Is Clarence Carter and The Dynamic Clarence Carter show off his versatile talent to good effect.


Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.


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