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Clarence Carter

Heh Heh Heh. Although often thought as a bawdy soul comedian, Clarence Carter is actually one of the greatest pure soul singers of the 60s. Born January 14, 1936, in Montgomery, AL, Carter was blind from birth. He majored in music at Alabama State University, learning to transcribe charts and arrangements in Braille. With blind classmate Calvin Scott, Carter in 1960 formed the duo Clarence & Calvin, signing to the Fairlane label to release "I Wanna Dance But I Don't Know How" the following year. After the 1962 release of "I Don't Know (School Girl)," Clarence & Calvin left Fairlane for Duke, renaming themselves the C & C Boys for their label debut, "Hey Marvin." In all, the duo cut four Duke singles, none of them generating more than a shrug at radio — finally, in 1965 they traveled to Rick Hall's Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals, AL to record "Step by Step" and its flip side, "Rooster Knees and Rice." Atlantic Records took notice and released "Step by Step" on its Atco subsidiary but it flopped. In 1966 Clarence, Calvin and group were in an auto accident that left Scott injured. Carter continued as a solo act, signing to the Fame label for 1967's "Tell Daddy," which inspired Etta James' response record, "Tell Mama." Several more solid singles followed until Carter released one of his masterpieces, "Slip Away". The record hit #6 on the Pop Charts. "Too Weak to Fight" also hit #13. Several more great 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 and a US number 4 in 1970, but despite further strong offerings Clarence was unable to sustain the momentum. He remained with Fame until 1973, where he also helped guide Candi Staton, who was now his wife, before moving to ABC Records. By this point his chart success tapered. Nevertheless many great songs appeared like "Sixty Minute Man" and in 1975 he ended up at ABC for a string of albums but only "I Got Got Caught Making Love" reached the singles charts. Carter then recorded for small labels like Future Stars, Ronn, and Venture that sold in the South. In 1985 when he began a successful "come back" on the fledgling Ichiban label. He also enjoyed one of his most popular songs, "Strokin': for the label. This jukebox smash ensured his cult status and a string of similar ribald songs continued. Beginning in 1996 Carter began releasing his music on his own Cee Gee Entertainment label.

Album Discography

"This Is Clarence Carter" (Atlantic 1968) "This Is Clarence Carter" (Atlantic 1968)

1 Do What You Gotta Do
2 Looking For A Fox
3 Slippin' Around
4 I'm Qualified
5 I Can't See Myself
6 Wind It Up
7 Part Time Love
8 Thread The Needle
9 Slip Away
10 Funky Fever
11 She Ain't Gonna Do Right
12 Set Me Free

 ****1/2 First solo set by Carter is a classic set of Deep Pop/Soul and countrified soul/blues revealing Carter to be a exceptional singer with an pleading soul voice and mischievous sense of humor to boot. The tongue-in-cheek "Looking For A Fox" (Carter is blind) hit #20 on R & B Charts, while "Thread The Needle" climbed to #38 and "Funky Fever" made #49. Of course none of these compared to his undeniable performance on the sinuous "Slip Away", an anguished song about cheating that sent Carter into the Top 10 on Pop charts (#6), not to mention striking #2 on R & B. Other fabulous cuts like "I Can't See Myself", "Do What I Gotta Do" and "I'm Qualified" should've been hits as well.

clarence carter testifyin"Testifyin" (Atlantic 1969)

1 Bad News
2 Snatching It Back
3 Soul Deep
4 I Smell A Rat
5 Doin' Our Thing
6 You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure
7 Instant Reaction
8 Making Love At The Dark End Of The Street
9 The Feeling Is Right
10 Back Door Santa

**** Nearly equal follow up contains the hits "Back Door Santa" (#4 Pop),"The Feeling is Right" (#9 R & B #65 Pop), "Doin' Our Thing" (#9 R & B #46 Pop) and "Snatching It Back" (#4 R & B #31 Pop). But perhaps the real gem is Carter's take on James Carr's "Dark End Of The Street" (re-titled :Making Love (At The Dark End Of The Street)"). It actually consists of a lengthy monologue about "making love" before climaxing with 45 seconds of soul heaven. It contains Dr. CC's dissertation on the topic and, of course, infidelity. The Dr. explains that everything that has breath in likes to "make love". Animals do it, even mosquitos! But animals don't care who's around they just take care of business right there. But humans like to "make love" in various places: airplane, back seat of car, at the dark end of the street. Other Grade A cuts here are "Can't Do Without You", "I Smell A Rat" and "You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure".

The Dynamic Clarence Carter" (Atlantic 1969)"The Dynamic Clarence Carter" (Atlantic 1969)

1 I'd Rather Go Blind
2 Think About It
3 The Road Of Love
4 You've Been A Long Time Comin'
5 Light My Fire
6 That Old Time Feeling
7 Steal Away
8 Let Me Comfort You
9 Look What I Got
10 Too Weak To Fight
11 Harper Valley P.T.A.
12 Weekend Love

**** Third Atlantic platter offers one of CC's greatest moments. "Too Weak To Fight" comes from that insatiable place in one's soul when you're in love. Carter's delivery is passionate and captures the mood perfectly. Oh, it's also ridiculously catchy- it peaked at #3 R & B & #13 Pop. Surprisingly this was the only charting song from this set. "The Road Of Love", the gorgeous "I'd Rather Go Blind" & "That Old Time Feeling" are all keepers.

"Patches" (Atlantic 1970)

1 Willie And Laura Mae Jones
2 Say Man
3 I'm Just A Prisoner (Of Your Good Lovin')
4 Let It Be
5 I Can't Leave Your Love Alone
6 Your Love Lifted Me
7 Till I Can't Take It Anymore
8 Patches
9 It's All In Your Mind
10 Changes
11 C. C. Blues
12 Getting The Bills (But No Merchandise)

***1/2 Final record for Atlantic spawned Carter's biggest hit with the unforgettable "Patches" (#2 R & B #4 Pop). Despite the maudlin narrative, Carter's earnest vocal is typically soulful and the Atlantic studio band is flawless. Overall, this LP is a slight step down in comparison to the previous trio. Superfluous covers of "Let It Be" and "It's All In Your Mind" feel like filler compared to the gritty Muscle Shoals R & B we've come to expect.

"That's What Your Love Means To Me" (MCA 1971)

Info needed on this LP

"The Best Of" (Atlantic 1971)

1 Slip Away 2:29
2 I Smell A Rat 2:39
3 Too Weak To Fight 2:16
4 Making Love (At The Dark End Of The Street) 5:05
5 Snatching It Back 2:51
6 Patches 3:11
7 I Can't Leave Your Love Alone 2:33
8 Funky Fever 2:48
9 Doin' Our Thing 2:26
10 The Feeling Is Right 2:50
11 Take It Off Him And Put It In Me 2:52
12 You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure 2:17

"Sixty Minutes With Clarence Carter" (Fame 1973)"Sixty Minutes With Clarence Carter" (Fame 1973)

1 I'm The Midnight Special
2 Heartbreak Woman
3 Sixty Minute Man
4 I Love You
5 Love's Trying To Come To You
6 Next To You
7 Run Out Of Time
8 It Was So Nice While It Lasted
9 And They Say Don't Worry
10 I Got Another Woman

*** Carter returns to Rick Hall's Fame Records for this one-off LP that included the classic "Sixty Minute Man", which could have fit snugly on "This Is Clarence Carter". The funky "I'm The Midnight Special" mines similar lascivious ground.

"Real" (ABC 1974)

1 Real
2 On Your Way Down
3 Warning
4 Everything Comes Up Rosie
5 Fine Love
6 A Very Special Love Song
7 Shaky At Home
8 Wake-Up To Love

clarence carter loneliness "Loneliness & Temptation" (ABC 1975)

1. Love Ain't Here No More
2. Take a Taste of Your Love
3. Glad to See You Walking In
4. Just One More Day
5. Let's Start Doing (What We Came Here to Do)
6. Let's Live for Ourselves
7. I Got Caught Making Love
8. Is It Alright?
9. Dear Abby
10. Take It All Off

*** Don't count Clarence out yet as this LP put him back on the charts on the strength of another classic cheating song, "I Got Caught Making Love" (#49 R & B). Normally Dr. CC is giving the advice but on "Dear Abby" he's seeking some from the famous newspaper columnist. Other cuts that have stood the test of time were the typically hedonistic "Take It All Off", "(Let's Start Doing) What We Came Here To Do" & "Let's Live For Ourselves".

clarence carter heart full of song"Heart Full Of Song" (ABC 1976)

1. All Messed Up
2. Heart Full of Song
3. Danger Point
4. Jennings Alley
5. Shoulder to Cry On
6. That's What Your Love Means to Me
7. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained
8. Come Back Baby
9. I Thought It Was Over
10. Don't Bother Me

**1/2 Once again Carter couldn't keep the momentum going on this third ABC outing. It's pleasant country-soul and R & B but nothing really qualifies as extraordinary except perhaps "Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained". The lone single from the record, "A Heart Full Of Song" & B-Side "All Messed Up" flopped and the LP did not chart.

"Let's Burn" (Venture 1977)

1 Jimmy's Disco
2 Let's Burn
3 Scratch My Back
4 If I Stay
5 Love Building
6 She's Out To Get Me
7 I'm So Tired
8 Another Night
9 Just Searching

*** Disco fever was spreading and had nearly sent Carter into bankruptcy he claims. "Just about the time I was about ready to give up, I happened to go to Los Angles and played a tape for Curtis Shaw...and he contacted the president of Venture Records". Although affected by the sound of the times ("Jimmy's Disco") the album still delivered some funky Southern soul humor and rhythm. The singles stiffed ("Jimmy's Disco", "Let's Burn") but "Working On A Love Building" became an underground hit and the prototype to one of his biggies some years later ("Strokin'"). The album managed a #28 placing on R & B Album charts (#189 Pop), his highest charter in ten years.

 "Mr. Clarence Carter In Person" (Venture 1981) "Mr. Clarence Carter In Person" (Venture 1981)

1. Can We Slip Away Again
2. Use Me Anyway You Can
3. Tell Daddy
4. Those Were the Good Old Days
5. In Person
6. Try a Piece of My Love
7. I Love You
8. If I Were Yours
9. It's a Monster Thang

** Clarence is treading water on this one as the desperate "Can We Slip Away Again" and superfluous remake of "Tell Daddy" suggest. It does contain the swell "Those Were The Good Old Days" and the disco happy "It's A Monster Thing" did manage a #81 placing on R & B charts but the album didn't chart.

"Livin' The Life" (Brylen 1982)

1 Living In The Life
2 Don't Ever Be Lonely
3 Finally Got Myself Together
4 Use Me
5 Trying To Love Two
6 I'll Be Around
7 Runnin' For Your Love
8 Back Stabbers
9 Pledging My Love
10 Patches

"Patches" (Brylen 1982)

1 Patches
2 I'm Easy
3 You Talk Too Much
4 Everybody Plays The Fool
5 Drift Away
6 Starting All Over Again
7 Got A Thing About You Baby
8 You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
9 Brick House
10 Back Stabbers

"Love Me With A Feeling" (Big C 1982) "Love Me With A Feeling" (Big C 1982)

1. Wrong too Long
2. It’s all in Being in Love
3. Funky Fever
4. Love me with a Feeling
5. Fighting to Keep my Head Above Water
6. Girl from Soweto
7. You and me Baby
8. Hold on to What you Got
9. We are a Good Act Together

"Live In Johannesburg" (EMI 2001) "Live In Johannesburg" (Bullet 1982)

1. Intro
2. Girl From Soweto
3. Looking For A Fox
4. Patches
5. Take It All Off
6. I Got Caught
7. Don'T Bother Me

"Singing For My Supper" (Big C 1984)"Singing For My Supper" (Big C 1984)

1. Messin With My Mind
2. What Was I Supposed To Do
3. Thank Him For Leaving You
4. Mama Used To Sing The Blues
5. It Ain't What You Do
6. Sweet Feeling
7. Fast Young Lady
8. So You're Leaving Me
9. Hot Stuff
10.I Was In The Neighborhood

 "Messin' With My Mind" (Ichiban 1985) "Messin' With My Mind" (Ichiban 1985)

1. Messin' With My Mind
2. So You're Leaving Me
3. Hot Stuff
4. Fast Young Lady
5. Wrong Too Long
6. Girl From Soweto
7. Sweet Feeling
8. I Was in the Neighborhood
9. It Ain't What You Do
10. Love Me With a Feeling

*** First for Ichiban suffered the same neglect as his two independent Big C albums. Nevertheless, the set opens with a sprite take on the Memphis roller "Messin' With My Mind" (George Jackson) and the strong Carter original "I Was In The Neighborhood". Several of the tracks were carried over from the "Love Me With A Feeling" album including the cheeky title cut

clarence carter dr cc with "Strokin'" "Dr. CC" (Ichiban 1986)

1. Dr. C.C.
2. I Stayed Away Too Long
3. If You Let Me Take You Home
4. Left Over Love
5. You Been Cheatin' On Me
6. Try Me
7. Let's Funk
8. Strokin'

**1/2 Heh heh heh. You can't count Clarence out. Just when you think he's fading into also-ran status he makes a comeback. "Dr. CC" is not a particularly good album, as it contains plenty of trifling melodies and plastic pop/R & B ("Let's Funk", "You Been Cheating On Me") but it does contain his colossal hit "Strokin'". Here Carter revamped "Working On A Love Building" by turning it into a notoriously dirty number that struck a chord with many; pushing the album to an impressive #20 spot on Billboard's R & B Albums chart. The "Strokin'" single didn't chart but went gold on the strength of jukebox action, word-of-mouth and Southern airplay. The catchy title cut was also a moderate hit.

"Hooked On Love" (Ichiban 1987) "Hooked On Love" (Ichiban 1987)

1. Trying to Sleep Tonight
2. Grandpa Can't Fly His Kite
3. I Can't See Myself
4. While You Were Loving Him
5. I Feel It
6. Slip Away
7. Let Me Be the Other Man
8. What'd I Say

** Only 8 cuts this time and two of them are updates of Atlantic hits ("Slip Away", "I Can't Help Myself"). Trying to capitalize on the response to "Strokin'" Carter pens an equally suggestive number with the low brow "Grandpa Can't Fly His Kite". No, Viagra won't help 'cuz "grandma won't give him no tail". Meanwhile "Trying To Sleep Tonight" borrows heavily from Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" and "What'd I Say" is a tepid take on the Ray Charles classic.

"Touch Of The Blues" (Ichiban 1989) "Touch Of The Blues" (Ichiban 1989)

1. I'm Not Just Good, I'm the Best
2. All Night, All Day
3. Rock Me Baby
4. Kiss You All Over
5. Why Do I Stay Here
6. Stormy Monday Blues
7. It's a Man Down There
8. Dance to the Blues

**1/2 More lighthearted soul, good natured humor and risqué lyrics from the charismatic Dr. CC but this time he adds a large portion of blues to the stew and it helps. Don't worry, fans of his sexually suggestive routines are granted "I'm Not Just Good, I'm The Best" and the blithe "Kiss You All Over" (not the Exile song). But three 12-bar blues covers, "Rock Me Baby", "Stormy Monday Blues" and "It's A Man Down There" are more effective despite the late 80s studio sound. Carter even plays plenty of crisp blues guitar.

"Between A Rock & A Hard Place" (Ichiban 1990) "Between A Rock & A Hard Place" (Ichiban 1990)

1. Things Ain't Like They Used to Be
2. Straw That Broke the Camel's Back
3. I Ain't Leaving Girl
4. Too Weak to Fight
5. Pickin' 'Em up, Layin' 'Em Down
6. I'm Between a Rock and a Hard Place
7. I've Got a Thing For You Baby
8. If You See My Lady
9. Love Building

*** One of the drawbacks to Carter's Ichiban records is the synthetic sound. Synthesizers, drum programs, et al create a sterile sound that rarely befits soul, R & B or funk music. Soul is supposed to be raw, passionate and gritty and Carter is more than qualified for such music. His Atlantic years are examples of that unadulterated sound. Despite the production Carter can still sell a retro-soul song like "Between A Rock And A Hard Place" and his update of "Too Weak To Fight" leaves no doubt he's still got it. Like most of Carter's post Atlantic outings "Between A Rock" is uneven overall. One curious footnote: Carter adds a new version of "Love Building". Strange, considering "Strokin'" was already an update of the original "Building".

"Dr. CC's Greatest Prescriptions: The Best Of" (Ichiban 1991; Koch Int. 2001) "Dr. CC's Greatest Prescriptions: The Best Of" (Ichiban 1991; Koch Int. 2001)

1. Strokin'
2. Trying to Sleep Tonight
3. Messin' With My Mind
4. I Was in the Neighborhood
5. Dr. C.C.
6. Love Me With a Feeling
7. I'm Not Just Good, I'm the Best
8. Slip Away
9. Grandpa Can't Fly His Kite
10. Kiss You All Over
11. I've Got a Thing for You
12. I'm Between a Rock and a Hard Place
13. Strokin' (Long & Dirty)

**** Smart song choices make this a tidy compilation of Carter's Ichiban years. 12 songs (plus an extended version of "Strokin'") salvaged from mostly hit-or-miss CDs. In addition to the immortal "Strokin'", there's Southern soul ("Messin' With My Mind", "Slip Away", "Between A Rock And A Hard Place"), contemporary R & B ("Trying To Sleep Tonight"), nasty blues/R & B ("Love Me With A Feeling", "I'm Not Just Good I'm The Best", "Grandpa Can't Fly His Kite"), pop/soul ("Kiss You All Over") & more. A good companion to Rhino's "Snatching It Back" which concentrates on his late 60s material.

"Have You Met Clarence Carter Yet?" (Ichiban 1992) "Have You Met Clarence Carter Yet?" (Ichiban 1992)

1. I Can't Stand It
2. "G"-Spot
3. Cheater
4. It's Too Late
5. I Wouldn't Do That
6. Let's Get a Quickie
7. Hot Dog
8. Hand Me Down Love
9. Did You Bring It All Back
10. How Did You Feel

** Last Ichiban CD serves up the usual Dr. CC shtick. But by now the blatant, bawdy songs like "G Spot", "Hot Dog" & "Let's Get A Quickie" are devoid of the slightest trace of wit. There's some serviceable bluesy R & B like " I Can't Stand It" & "Hand Me Down Love" so the album is not a total loss. But it just ain't soul music

"Snatching It Back: The Best Of" (Rhino 1992) "Snatching It Back: The Best Of" (Rhino 1992)

1. Step by Step
2. I Stayed Away Too Long
3. Tell Daddy
4. Looking For a Fox
5. I Can't See Myself
6. Road of Love, The
7. Slip Away
8. Back Door Santa
9. That Old Time Feeling
10. Too Weak to Fight
11. I'd Rather Go Blind
12. Making Love (At the Dark End of the Street)
13. Snatching It Back
14. Soul Deep
15. I Smell a Rat
16. Doin' Our Thing
17. Feeling Is Right, The
18. I Can't Leave Your Love Alone
19. Slipped, Tripped and Fell in Love
20. It's All in Your Mind
21. Patches

***** Superlative 21-song collection of the best gritty soul sides from Carter's fruitful 1967-71 Atlantic period. All the hits like "Tell Daddy", "Back Door Santa", "Slip Away", "Too Weak To Fight", "The Feeling Is Right", "Snatching It Back", "I Can't Leave Your Love Alone", "Patches", etc... Essential for any soul collection.

Live with the Dr. Clarence Carter.jpg "Live With The Dr." (Peachtown 1994)

1. I Like to Screw
2. There Are Some Vultures
3. Don't Stop Pushing
4. Another Night
5. Intro
6. Dr. C.C.
7. Too Weak to Fight
8. Patches
9. Slip Away
10. Love Me With a Feeling
11. Strokin'

** This 11-song set opens with four weak studio cuts before the live set begins. I mean "I Like To Screw"?!? Plain silliness. Anyway the live material is quite good. Excellent takes on "Too Weak To Fight", "Slip Away" and nearly 9-minite "Strokin'" plus some humorous stage banter from the good doctor.

"I Couldn't Refuse" (Ronn 1995)

1. What Was I Supposed to Do?
2. You're Messin With My Mind
3. If Only
4. Another Night With You
5. Slip Away Again
6. I'm So Tired of Explaining
7. I Was in the Neighborhood
8. I Couldn't Refuse

** Confusing budget collection adds some Venture tracks ("Slip Away Again", "Another Night With You") with some 1977 Ronn singles ("What Was I Supposed To Do?, "I Couldn't Refuse") & more.

"The Legendary Clarence Carter" (MCA 1995)

Reissue of the 1975 "Loneliness & Temptation" album.

"I Got Caught Making Love: The Best Of The ABC Years" (MCA 1996)

1. Love Ain't Here No More
2. Take a Taste of Your Love
3. Glad to See You Walking In
4. Just One More Day
5. Let's Start Doing (What We Came Here to Do)
6. Let's Live For Ourselves
7. I Got Caught Making Love
8. Is It Alright

"Carter's Corner" (Cee Gee Ent. 1996) "Carter's Corner" (Cee Gee Ent. 1996)

1. Sugar Daddy
2. I Know I Got to Do
3. Hen House Ways
4. Takes Only a Minute
5. Just Don't Get Caught
6. Forget This
7. You Were Not Here
8. Moving In
9. I Don't Belong

** First release on Carter's new label is slickly produced and anemic on memorable songs. The best being the blues "Hen House Ways" and the poppy "Sugar Daddy". Carter's songs are starting to sound more and more like advertising jingles.

"Patches: Best Of" (Aim 1997) "Patches: Best Of" (Aim 1997)

1. Patches
2. Slip Away
3. You Talk Too Much
4. Brick House
5. Starting All over Again
6. Too Weak to Fight
7. Back Stabbers
8. Everybody Plays the Fool
9. Got a Thing About You Baby
10. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me
11. I'm Easy
12. Drift Away
13. Woman Don't Go Astray
14. Lovely Day

 'Bring It To Me" (Cee Gee Ent. 1999) "Bring It To Me" (Cee Gee Ent. 1999)

1. You Got to Grunt
2. Hand Me Down Love
3. Further on Up the Road
4. Don't Make a Fool out of Me
5. I Ain't Leaving Girl
6. I'm Between a Rock and a Hard Place
7. Grandpa Can't Fly His Kite
8. "G" Spot
9. I Wish It Was You
10. You Put Fire in My Blood

**1/2 An improvement over the first Cee Gee release, this betters four previous Ichiban songs ("Hand Me Down Love", "G Spot", "Grandpa Can't Fly His Kite" & "Between A Rock & A Hard Place") and new tracks like the bluesy "Further On Up The Road" & "Don't Make A Fool Out Of Me"). The funky soul "You Got To Grunt" was a regional hit.

"The Best & The Rest" (Fuel 2001)

1. Slip Away
2. Patches
3. Too Weak to Fight
4. What Was I Suppose to Do
5. You're Messin With My Mind
6. If Only
7. Another Night With You
8. Slip Away Again
9. I'm So Tired of Explaining
10. I Was in the Neighborhood
11. I Could Refuse

"All Y'all Feeling All Right?" (Cee Gee Entertainment 2003) "All Y'all Feeling All Right?" (Cee Gee Ent. 2003)

1. Good Time Tonight, A
2. Let's Do It, Before We Get Sleepy
3. Do It to Me Again
4. I Like Your Touch
5. Let It All Hang Out
6. Open the Door to Your Heart
7. She Got Me Pumping
8. Somebody's Coming
9. Did I Do the Right Thing
10. Put Up or Shut Up

*** This is now the third independently-released all studio CD by the legendary soul singer behind such classics as "Slip Away", "Too Weak Too Fight", "Back Door Santa", "Making Love (At The Dark End Of The Street)", "Strokin'" & more. Clarence gets credit for not relying on strictly programmed music here. There's actual horns and actual humans playing guitar on these tracks. It's the usual mix of party blues and southern soul like the typically ribald "Let's Do It Before We Get Sleepy" & "I Like Your Touch". Fortunately Dr. CC has toned down the superfluous risqué material. Most of the CD is competent but Clarence may want to employ some songwriters (like Travis Haddix) to improve the quality of material. He still sings well, still has his sense of humor and trademark guffaw, but there's no knockout punches here. Overall it won't disappoint his fans but Clarence could still put out some truly great music if he surrounds himself with the right people. Why not contact Roy Roberts, Johnny Rawls or maybe Jon Tiven to produce the next one?

clarence carter one more hit with "are You Ready For The Blues?" "One More Hit" (Cee Gee Ent.2005)

1. Lust in My Mind
2. All Night
3. Are You Ready for the Blues
4. A New Love
5. Forget This
6. Prove Your Love
7. You're Worth the Risk
8. Take It All Off
9. Let's Start Doing

*** Are you ready for one more Clarence Carter hit? Of course you are! I know I am and this is the best record from the soul great in quite some time. But the title, "One More Hit", is dishonest. Why? Because there's more than one hit here. The first is the lead single, "Are You Ready For The Blues?". You know it's a smash when you hear it only once and you sing it for the rest of the day. It's another midpaced Southern Soul anthem to "down home blues" because they "make you feel so good". And so does this track with it's big, sing-along hook and jovial mood. The CARTERistically sexed up "Lust In My Mind" has also been added to various playlists. There's also "You're Worth the Risk", a cousin to "Slip Away", but this time Clarence is "slipping away" with his best friend's woman. With friends like these...! Elsewhere, the good Dr. CC reaches deep in his medicine bag for a pumpin' live version of "Take It All Off". Even though the other 8 tracks aren't live, it seems to fit. Likely, when he heard the playback and realized how good it was, he knew it had to be on an album. So, that's four potential hits right there. But, the slow, sultry title cut is also a sleeper. At first it passes you by with little notice but then sneak attacks during repeated listens. It's a good 'un, after all. Sure, these tracks may not be a throwback to his raw Atlantic heyday (I'd love to hear Clarence do a record for Fat Possum, ala Solomon Burke or Bettye Lavette) and the lyrics aren't Shakespeare, but Clarence sounds like he's out to prove something. He's still alive and still strokin'. Even better the music's mostly performed by actual musicians and Clarence simply sounds like he's having a great time. You will too. As a footnote: A promotional letter sent out to industry personnel reads: "On the cover of the CD please note Mr. Carter is holding a baseball bat. (I'd hate to think what could happen to somebody who didn't play this record!)". All I gotta say is, Heh Heh Heh.

"On Your Feet" (Cee Gee Ent. 2009)

1. Ain't Gonna Do It No Mo
2. Did I Do the Right Thing
3. He Don't Love You Like I Love You
4. I Ain't Ready to Retire
5. I Got Excited
6. Left Over Love
7. Lust in My Mind
8. The One You Choose
9. The Soup Song
10. You Got to Grunt

**1/2 Another self-produced set of keyboard-based tracks from Dr. CC. Not the most prodigious writer, it took him four years to release his follow-up to the modestly successful "One More Hit", Carter only offers seven new songs (and one is a cover of Jerry Butler's "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)") out of ten. "Did I Do The Right Thing" is a re-recording of a tune that appeared on the album "All Y'all Feeling Alright?" while "Lust In My Mind" and "You Got To Grunt" are simply repeats.

Naturally there's a couple charmers to be found on every Carter project. The mildly funky "I Ain't Ready To Retire" has him singing lyrics like: "They got some nice rocking chairs but they just weren't made for me/I got places to go and people to see/It's gonna be a long time before I hang up my rock n' roll shoes/So you can tell everybody I plan to keep singing the Blues 'cuz I ain't ready to retire". That's great news! Hopefully he will step into the studio and let someone produce him with a real band. Later in the song he lets us know he "still like to make love twice a day". TMI!

My pick for Southern Soul radio is "The Soup Song", a midtempo bump with a strong hook: "I can make you sing the Campbell soup song. You'll say, 'Mm-mm good. Mm-mm good'". Heh-heh-heh.

"A Christmas Party" (Cee Gee Ent. 2010)

digital only release

1. A Christmas Party
2. Back Door Santa
3. Merry Christmas Baby
4. Please Come Home For Christmas
5. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
6. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
7. Silent Night
8. White Christmas
9. Jingle Bells

"Sing Along With Clarence Carter" (Cee Gee Ent 2011)

1. A New Love
2. Baby Baby
3. Don't Bother Me [Explicit]
4. I Wouldn't Do That If I Were You
5. Looking For A Fox (live)
6. Let's Start Doing
7. Let's Straighten It Out
8. Look What I Got
9. Make My Groove
10. I Want To Mark Your Card

"I Got Rhythm" (Cee Gee Ent 2012)

1. A Man Down There
2. Further On Up the Road
3. Grand Pa Can't Fly His Kite
4. Hand Me Down Love
5. I Ain't Leaving Girl
6. Prove Your Love
7. Ready Too Retire
8. Rock Me Baby
9. Stormy Monday
10. Strokin
11. What I Say
12. Girl from Soweto

"The Fame Singles Volume 1: 1968-1970" (Kent 2012)

1. I Stayed Too Long
2. Tell Daddy
3. Thread The Needle
4. Don't Make My Baby Cry
5. She Ain't Gonna Do Right
6. Road Of Love
7. Slip Away
8. Funky Fever
9. Too Weak To Fight
10. Let Me Comfort You
11. Back Door Santa
12. That Old Time Feeling
13. Making Love (At The Dark End Of The Street)
14. Snatching It Back
15. The Feeling Is Right
16. You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure
17. I Smell A Rat
18. Doin' Our Thing
19. Take It Off Him (And Put It On Me)
20. Few Troubles I've Had
21. Devil Woman
22. I Can't Leave Your Love

"The Fame Singles Volume 2: 1970-1973" (Kent 2013)

1. Patches
2. Say It One More Time
3. It's All In Your Mind
4. Till I Can't Take It Anymore
5. The Court Room
6. Getting The Bills (But No Merchandise)
7. Slipped, Tripped And Fell In Love
8. I Hate To Love And Run
9. Scratch My Back
10. I'm The One
11. If You Can't Beat 'Em
12. Lonesomest Lonesome
13. Back In My Arms
14. Holding Out (On Me Baby)
15. I Found Somebody New
16. Put On Your Shoes And Walk
17. Mother-In-Law
18. Sixty Minute Man
19. I'm The Midnight Special
20. I Got Another Woman
21. Love's Trying To Come To You
22. Heartbreak Woman

"Slip Away: Ultimate: 1966-1971" (2014)

"Dance To The Blues" (Cee Gee Ent. 2015)

1. A Warm Hug
2. Dance to the Blues
3. How Did You Feel
4. I'm the Best
5. I'm the Midnight Special
6. Kiss You All Over
7. Left Over Love
8. Souvenir
9. Why Do I Stay Here?
10. You Got to Grunt
11. You're Worth the Risk

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