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Sunday, 28 May 2017

From The Vault: This Is Clarence Carter - Clarence Carter (Atlantic 1968)

This Is Clarence Carter - Clarence Carter
Produced by Rick Hall
Released 1968

(Turkish Release 1968)

This Is Clarence Carter
(Whoever uploaded this to You Tube added a couple of extra tracks at the end that were not on the original album or one the CD Reissue from 1996)

Side 1

Side 2

Singles on This Is Clarence Carter
Fame Records
Released April 1967
US Pop Charts #98
US R&B Chart #38

Released December 1967
US Pop Chart #62
US R&B Chart #20

Released April 1968
US Pop Chart #6
US R&B Chart #2

*When the single was released in the UK in June 1968 Funky Fever was the A-Side and Slip Away the B-Side.


Way back in 1970, when I was a little seven year old lad there was a song I heard on the radio that I really liked called Patches by a fella called Clarence Carter.
The song was actually his only ever hit in the UK reaching #2 on the Charts and in America it reached #4 on the Pop Charts (#2 on the R&B Chart). Patches was co-written by Ron Dunbar (who had worked closely with that brilliant team of writers Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland formerly of Motown Records) and General Norman Johnson (lead vocalist of the group Chairman of the Board). 

The song had appeared as a B-side to the Chairman of the Board single Everything's Tuesday, their third hit single and had been on their Debut Album Chairman of the Board (released in 1970 on Invictus).

I didn't really know much about Clarence Carter at all back then, and I'm not so sure I know a whole lot more about him now!

I was thinking about him this morning as I was reflecting upon the sad news of the passing of Greg Allman, because in 1988 The Greg Allman Band had released as a single a cover of Slip Away which had been a hit in 1968 for Clarence.

That in turn led me to go and dig out the Debut Album from Clarence Carter on which Slip Away was included and hence this post.

Clarence Carter was born blind in Alabama way back in 1936 and received his education at the Alabama School For The Blind (today known as the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind) and Alabama State College (now known as Alabama State University) graduating in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music. The Alabama School for The Blind by the way is the same school that the vocal group The Blind Boys of Alabama hailed from (back then it was called Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind) and had begun singing together from the age of nine!
In 1961 he released his first single with his friend Calvin Scott called I Wanna Dance (But I Don't Know How) on the Fairline label, followed that up in 1962 with Goodnight Irene before moving over to Duke Records in 1963 and releasing I Like It and then a few other singles that went nowhere before joining  ATCO in 1965 with Step By Step. None of the singles charted.

Calvin Scott was seriously injured in a car accident and Clarence Carter decided to continue as a Solo Artist recording for the Fame label in November 1966 I Stayed Away Too Long (Tell Daddy, the B-side that was a hit on the R&B Chart), then in 1967 Thread The Needle (was a minor hit on the Pop Chart #98) and She Ain't Gonna Do Right.

Then in 1968 came the Debut Album and a further two hit singles (as well as a Christmas Hit Single with Back Door Santa). More charting singles would follow but none made the Top Thirty until Patches was released in 1970 which of course was his biggest success of his career.

He is still around having celebrated his 81st birthday in January this year and still plays live from time to time.
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