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I don't like to play the blues, it makes me too depressed - Steve Martin, The Jerk

Author Topic: Levester "Big Lucky" Carter  (Read 913 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Levester "Big Lucky" Carter
« on: September 29, 2016, 04:35:00 PM »
Hi all,
After finding Lester "Big Lucky" Carter's beautiful rendition of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot", I was curious about him, not ever having heard or heard of him before.  Evidently he was born in Weir, Mississippi in 1920, lived most of his adult life in Memphis and died in 2002.  It's always a shame when you realize you missed someone altogether who you could have seen in person.  He seems like he would really have been a treat to see perform.
All best,

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Levester "Big Lucky" Carter
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2016, 10:01:20 PM »
FWIW John here follows the entry in Robert Ford's A Blues Bibliography (August 2007) inc obits

BIG LUCKY CARTER (Levester Carter)
BC404. ?Big Lucky Carter: Ups and Downs.? Blues News [Germany] no. 7 (Jan
1997): 16-18.
BC405. Clark, Joe C. ?Big Lucky.?, in Encyclopedia of the Blues. Vol. 1: A-J, ed.
E. Komara, p. 79 (Item E162).
BC406. Evans, David; Vernon, Mike. Big Lucky Carter: Lucky 13. UK: Blueside
WESF 106, c1998.
BC407. Evans, David. ?Big Lucky Interview.? Juke Blues no. 7 (Winter 1986/87):
BC408. Groom, Bob; Evans, David. ?Big Lucky Discography.? Juke Blues no. 7
(Winter 1986/87): 17.
BC409. Groom, Bob. ?Big Lucky: Memphis Bluesman.? Juke Blues no. 7 (Winter
1986/87): 12-13.
BC410. Larkin, Colin (ed). ?Carter, Big Lucky.?, in The Guinness Who?s Who of
Blues. 2nd ed., p. 75 (E166). Reprinted in The Virgin Encyclopedia of the
Blues, p. 69 (E169).
BC411. Nilsson, Charley. ?Big Lucky Carter.? Jefferson no. 113 (1997): 20-21.
BC412. Oriol, Marc. ?Big Lucky Carter de la Chance Pure!? Soul Bag no. 152
(Automne 1998): 24-27.
BC413. Tomko, Gene. ?Carter, Levester ?Big Lucky?.?, in Encyclopedia of the
Blues. Vol. 1: A-J, ed. E. Komara, p. 186 (Item E162).

Obituaries: Blues Revue no. 81 (Apr/May 2003): 103. Discoveries no. 178
(2003): 42. Juke Blues no. 53 (Spring/Summer 2003): 59. Living Blues no.
167 (Mar/Apr/May 2003): 127. Now Dig This no. 239 (Feb 2003): 2-3.
Rollin? & Tumblin? no. 25 (Mar 2003): 92.
BC414. Barretta, Scott. ?Big Lucky Carter.? Living Blues no. 169 (Sep/Oct 2003):
BC415. Burke, Tony. ?Big Lucky Carter.? Blues & Rhythm no. 176 (Feb 2003):
BC416. LeBlanc, Eric S. ?Levester ?Big Lucky? Carter: Bluesman.? Goldmine no.
590 (7 Mar 2003): 27.
BC417. Oriol, Marc. ?Big Lucky Carter.? Soul Bag no. 170 (Mar 2003): 38-39.
BC418. Wisse, Rien

Offline alyoung

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Re: Levester "Big Lucky" Carter
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2016, 03:01:29 AM »
I saw and met him years ago -- c. early 1990s at Wild Bills, a storefront club in Memphis. "Swing Low" is not typical of his style; he fronted a small band and played a mix of original material and well-known blues to a mainly older audience that was there for the blues (and a few drinks). One thing I still recall... he drank between sets from a succession of tiny bottles of Canadian Club (I think; might have been another spirit) that he had tucked in the back of his amplifier. When I suggested it might be cheaper to have bought one big bottle he quickly put me straight -- with one big bottle on the table, he'd get people trying to sponge drinks off him, with the small bottles, they'd think that was all he had and leave him alone. Oh yes... his wife was also a very nice person who insisted on accompanying me when I left the club to buy cigarettes to make sure I didn't have any trouble in what wasn't one of the better parts of Memphis. Big Lucky made a few singles in the 1960s -- I have two on the MOC label -- and a CD, "Lucky 13", in 1998. YouTube has clips of him, here's one filmed at Wild Bill's in 1999.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Levester "Big Lucky" Carter
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2016, 05:56:00 PM »
Thanks very much for the discographical information, Bunker Hill, and for the personal reminiscences and video link, Al.  It's nice to get more of a sense of the man, what kind of mark he left and who he was.  I appreciate your adding to what we know of "Big Lucky" Carter.
All best,

Offline SGM

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  • Howdy!
Re: Levester "Big Lucky" Carter
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2016, 11:55:12 AM »
Great story!

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