Fred Carter Jr., Nashville Session Musician, Dies at 76

Fred Carter Jr., the Nashville session musician who played on songs like Marty Robbins’ “El Paso,” Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” and Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay,” died Saturday (July 17). He was 76. Early in his career, Carter worked with Roy Orbison, Ronnie Hawkins, Dale Hawkins and Conway Twitty (prior to Twitty’s career in country music). In the 1960s and 1970s, he was an in-demand studio musician, most often on guitar, and encouraged artists like Joan Baez, Neil Young and The Band to record in Nashville. Carter is the father of country artist Deana Carter, whose 2007 album, The Chain, was a tribute to the songs that originally featured her father’s contributions. Carter’s son, Jeff Carter, told Nashville television station WSMV, “He had an idea about the overall picture that a song paints and not just on his instrument but all the instruments together, the song itself, the artists and the sound of a particular studio. He really had an overall awareness of what it took to make a hit.” Visitation will be Tuesday (July 19) at Woodlawn Roesch Patton Funeral Home on Thompson Lane in Nashville.