Carter has had a career in soul music for more than 50 years, and has also appeared in a variety films, theater and commercials.
“Years later many of my fans still ask me about ‘Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me’, often forgetting about the eight records and all the other work I had after that,” he said. “But it really doesn’t bother me. In fact, I consider myself lucky to have had that kind of signature song.”
Born in Cincinnati, Carter claims his musical beginnings date back to the age of four when his grandmother held him up to a microphone in a penny arcade recording booth. From that point on, music became a central part of Carter’s existence.
He began singing in local radio stations, and by the age of nine, he performed live on stage in a show headed by Lionel Hampton. Later, he joined several gospel groups, in 1957 winning a Top Gospel Tenor award.
“But it was Quincy Jones who first recognized my talent and arranged for me to do my first pop recording on Mercury Records,” Carter recalled.
However, it wasn’t until another legendary music figure, Sam Cooke, signed Carter to Derby Records that his first single, “When A Boy Falls in Love,” took off and went on to become a national and international success.
In addition to his singing career, Carter is also an accomplished actor with a lengthy list of film and television credits. He’s also enjoyed success on the stage.
Asked about his career highlights, Carter said there are too many to mention, “but among the best were my associations with Sam Cooke, Quincy Jones and getting to work with Mahalia Jackson.”
Today, Carter said, he loves everything he does and looks forward to doing even more.
“I’ll keep doing it as long as I can,” he said. “For me, the absolute best part is knowing I can move an audience.
“That they can feel what I’m feeling and respond to me, is one of the best feelings in the world.”
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