Fred Carter, Jr. (December 31, 1933 - July 17, 2010) was an American guitarist, singer, producer and composer.
Carter was raised in the delta country in Winnsboro, the seat of Franklin Parish in northeastern Louisiana. Carter grew up with the heavy musical influences of jazz, country & western, hymns, and blues. Beginning his professional career in the 1950s, his first partner in music was another Franklin Parish native, Allen "Puddler" Harris. He subsequently worked with Dale Hawkins of "Suzie Q" song fame, and then joined Dale's cousin Ronnie Hawkins whose group The Hawks later became The Band, (sans Hawkins).
In the early 1960s, Carter settled into the Nashville session scene. He spent two years with Roy Orbison during his heyday and also toured with Conway Twitty. Carter was the principal guitarist for two of Joan Baez's albums in the late 1960s. He then worked on Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Carter provide numerous memorable guitar performances including "The Boxer" by Simon and Garfunkel, "I'm Just An Old Chunk Of Coal" by John Anderson, "I've Always Been Crazy" and "Whistlers and Jugglers" by Waylon Jennings. He also played guitar and bass on the Bob Dylan album "Self Portrait" and on the Connie Francis hit single, "The Wedding Cake".
Production credits for Carter include Levon Helm's American Son album on MCA Records, and Bobby Bridger's "Heal in the Wisdom". He also helped Dolly Parton and Tanya Tucker land their first record deals.
Carter was a member of the band Levon Helm and The RCO All-Stars. This band was composed of Levon Helm, Booker T. and the MG's, Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield and the NBC Saturday Night Live horns.
He also had small roles in several films including The Adventures of Huck Finn starring Elijah Wood.
Carter's daughter is singer Deana Carter.
In 2008 he was profiled in an extensive article in Fretboard Journal, written by music journalist and historian Rich Kienzle.
Fred Carter Jr., died Saturday, July 17, 2010 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville following a stroke.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license