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Clarence Carter
Born January 14, 1936 (1936-01-14) (age 74)
Origin Montgomery, Alabama,
United States
Genres Soul
Occupations Singer
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1962–present
Labels Fairlane Records
Duke Records
Fame Records
Ichiban Records
Associated acts Clarence and Calvin
CL Boys
Website Official site

Clarence Carter (born January 14, 1936) is a blind American soul singer and musician.



Born in Montgomery, Alabama on 14 January, 1936[1], Carter attended the Alabama School for the Blind in Talladega, Alabama, and Alabama State College in Montgomery, graduating in August 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree in music.[2] After the 1962 release of "I Don't Know (School Girl)," Carter and Scott left Fairlane Records for Duke Records, renaming themselves the CL Boys for their label debut, Hey. In all, the duo cut four Duke singles, none of them generating more than a shrug at radio.

In 1965, they travelled to Rick Hall's FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals to record "Step by Step" and its flip side, "Rooster Knees and Rice."[3] Atlantic Records took notice and released "Step by Step" on its Atco Records subsidiary, but it flopped. Carter continued as a solo act, signing to the Fame Records label for 1967's Tell Daddy. Several more solid singles followed, until Carter released "Slip Away," which hit number 6 on the Pop Charts. "Too Weak to Fight" hit number 13. Several more soul singles followed, like "Snatching It Back," "At The Dark End of the Street," "The Feeling Is Right," "Doing Our Thing" and "Patches." "Patches", (first recorded by Chairmen of the Board), was a UK number 2[4] and a U.S. number 4 in 1970, and was nominated for a Grammy in 1972.[3] This disc sold over one million copies, and received a gold disc awarded by the R.I.A.A. in September 1970, just two months after its release.[5] It was Carter's third million seller.[5]

With the advent of disco in the mid 1970s, Carter's career suffered, before he found a new audience with bawdy songs like "Strokin'" for Ichiban Records in the 1980s and 1990s. Carter's strong soul sound also found an audience within the then-nascent hip-hop community. Most notably, the horn break from Carter's song "Backdoor Santa", is sampled in the Run DMC Christmas song "Christmas in Hollis".[1]


  • 1968 This Is Clarence Carter
  • 1969 Testifyin'
  • 1969 The Dynamic Clarence Carter
  • 1970 Patches
  • 1971 That's What Your Love Means to Me
  • 1973 Sixty Minutes
  • 1974 Real
  • 1975 Loneliness & Temptation
  • 1976 Heart Full of Song
  • 1977 I Got Caught Making Love
  • 1977 Let's Burn
  • 1981 Mr. Clarence Carter in Person
  • 1986 Dr. C.C.
  • 1987 Hooked on Love
  • 1989 Touch of Blues
  • 1990 Between a Rock and a Hard Place
  • 1992 Have You Met Clarence Carter...Yet?
  • 1994 Live with the Dr.
  • 1995 Together Again
  • 1995 I Couldn't Refuse
  • 1996 Carter's Corner
  • 1997 Too Weak to Fight
  • 1999 Bring It to Me
  • 2001 Live in Johannesburg
  • 2003 All Y'all Feeling Alright
  • 2005 One More Hit (to the face)
  • 2007 Messin' with My Mind
  • 2007- The Final Stroke

See also


  1. ^ Interview, biography from his website
  2. ^ Carter, Clarence. "Biography". Retrieved 2009-02-21.  
  3. ^ a b Fame Studios website
  4. ^ The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles, 5th edition. Rice et al. 1985
  5. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 301. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.  

External links

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