Carter"s affect on pop and also heart predates his best-known hit, "Patches," and is still felt this particular day. Rock historian Ed Ward revisits the beforehand career and also the lasting influence of the skilled songwriter.

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This is FRESH AIR. Our rock chronicler, Ed Ward, is going to tell us a story of heart singer and songwriter Clarence Carter, who"s best well-known for his 1970 hit "Patches," a sentimental account of a young boy"s ending up being the man of the house after his father"s death. Ed states well before "Patches," Carter had actually proven himself over and over to pop and spirit fans.


CLARENCE CARTER: (Singing) Aww, you obtained to let your hair dvery own, baby. You acquired to let yourself unwound, mama, "reason we"re going obtain a thing going on. We"re going to carry out it. We"re going to execute it. Now, once you feel the beat acquire on your feet. You"ve acquired to wig around, mama. And then we"re going to threview the needle. Now you feel it. Can"t you feel it now, baby? That"s what I"m talking around, yeah.

ED WARD, BYLINE: Clarence Carter was born in Montgomery, Ala., in 1936 and was blind from birth. When he was 9, his grandmom offered him a guitar, and he"d had discovered his calling. In college, he hooked up with an additional blind student Calvin Scott, who played organ, and also as Clarence & Calvin made a pair of records for a small Atlanta label.

Changing their name to the C&C Boys, they invested 3 years at a larger label Fight It Out, which did nopoint at all to promote them. Once they were out of their contract, they sought out Rick Hall"s up-and-coming FAME label, which had actually a good reputation yet no hits to show.

Hall snapped them up reasoning they sounded choose The Righteous Brothers. But after releasing one document by them, disaster struck. Calvin Scott was shot in the head by his wife. Hall wanted the duo, but Carter pleaded via him and was grudgingly given a session. Good point he was.


CARTER: (Singing) You thought you"d found a great guy, one that"ll love you and understand. Now you"ll discover that you"ve been misprovided. Talk to me, and also I"ll execute what you select. I desire you to tell daddy all about it. Tell daddy what you require. Tell daddy what you want, and also I"ll make whatever all appropriate.

WARD: Not just did "Tell Daddy" do well for the FAME label, it likewise verified that Carter was a top-notch songwriter because Etta James later on came to FAME to document and also had a huge hit with the song as "Tell Mama."

Carter complied with it up with a dance novelty "Thcheck out The Needle" and then another record that was a lot of notable later on for its B-side.


CARTER: (Singing) Baby I ain"t going down that road of love by myself. No, no, I ain"t going down that road of love by myself. Now, if you will not go with me, baby, I guess I"ll just need to get somebody else.

WARD: "Road Of Love" was a pretty traditional blues tune, a opportunity for Carter to give some time to a young guitarist he"d been hanging out through at FAME.


CARTER: (Singing) I like what I"m listening to ideal currently. Yeah, oh baby...

WARD: Duane Allmale had actually been searching for a possibility to authorize to show what he can perform, and Carter provided him that opportunity. Listening in the background was Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records, which was distributing FAME.

Wexler thought Carter was a major talent would obtain much better expocertain if Atlantic, a spirit powerhome, took over his documents. Sure enough, his next single was his best-selling one yet.


CARTER: (Singing) I"m all alone elaborate free. But this ain"t the means I want to be. Now, girls get your game uptight. We"re going to have actually a wing-ding doodle tonight. All appropriate now, in search of a fox. I"m in search of a fox, searching for a fox. Tonight the...

WARD: Introduced by Carter"s soon-to-be tradenoted lascivious laugh, "Looking For A Fox" crossed over on to the pop charts, and also FAME hurried to obtain up follow-up. Words funk was in the air, and also the FAME band operated with Carter for hrs on a song dubbed "Funky Fever."

Atlantic order 10,000 duplicates immediately only to have actually Wexler contact Rick Hall and tell him he was fostering the wrong side of the record. Hall was shocked. That side was just a throwamethod they"d knocked out in 15 minutes a couple of years ago. But Wexler was ideal.


CARTER: (Singing) What would certainly I give for just a few moments. What would I provide just to have actually you near. Tell me you will try to slip amethod somejust how. Oh, I need you darling. I desire to see appropriate now. Can you slip away, slip ameans, slip away? Oh, I need you so.

WARD: The song went optimal 10 soul and pop and also made Carter many money but not as a lot as it can have actually. He"d co-credited three of his friends who were in bad financial form, although they hadn"t had actually a thing to perform with the document.

So "Slip Away" not only establiburned Carter as a hit-maker but turned their affairs roughly. Carter just kept going. His following release, "Too Weak To Fight," also charged right into the spirit height 10. And then he released a classical Christmas record.


CARTER: (Singing) They call me backdoor Santa. I make my runs around the break of day. They speak to me backdoor Santa. I make my runs around the break of day. Ho, ho, ho, make all the bit girls happy while the boys are out to play.

WARD: By 1970, Clarence Carter had actually done a lot to put FAME on the map. It helped provide Duane Allman a contract through Atlantic and had actually married his longtime girlfriend and at some time co-writer Candi Staton, who also signed to FAME and also began having actually hits. "Patches" was still in the future and also Carter was already a star. He still is. He slowed down some, but he still tours occasionally and also provides records for his own label. He still does that trademark chuckle, too.

GROSS: Ed Ward is the author of the forthcoming book "The History Of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1963." After we take a short break, Maureen Corrigan will certainly review a brand-new semi-satirical novel set in a room transdeveloped by fracking. This is FRESH AIR.

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