Big Lucky Carter

b. Levester Carter, 1920, Weir, Mississippi, USA, d. 24 December 2002, Memphis, Tennessee. Although he had played spirituals on his grandmother’s piano, Carter did not take up the guitar until he was…
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Artist Biography

b. Levester Carter, 1920, Weir, Mississippi, USA, d. 24 December 2002, Memphis, Tennessee. Although he had played spirituals on his grandmother’s piano, Carter did not take up the guitar until he was serving in the Pacific during World War II. When he returned to Mississippi, he took instruction from local musicians James Henry and Big Boy Anderson. In 1949, he joined a band that also featured pianist Ford Nelson. In Memphis the following year he joined his cousin, saxophonist Ed Kirby (who worked as Prince Gabe), in his band the Rhythmaires. He remained with the band (its name having been changed to the Millionaires) for eight years.

In January 1957 they recorded a session for Sun Records under his cousin’s real name, from which some titles were issued during the 70s. Carter led his own band during the 60s but continued to record with Kirby for Savoy, Westside and Bandstand USA. In 1969 he made two singles for Willie Mitchell’s M.O.C. label, one of which, ‘Goofer Dust’, is regarded as his principal achievement, and on which he was backed by members of Al Green’s band, including guitarist Mabon ‘Teenie’ Hodges. These and two further titles were issued on River Town Blues two years later. Although he continued to write and perform, nothing was heard from Carter until his appearance at the 1993 Burnley Blues Festival. His debut album finally appeared on the Blueside label in 1999.