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Timeless Voices: Wilf Carter

Wilf Carter

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Album Review

Wilf Carter made some overtly commercial music in the '50s but otherwise devoted his long career to traditional folk, cowboy songs, and old fashioned country music. Montana Slim, Carter's second Starday album from 1966, is an unrehearsed set of 12 songs that would be characterized as "old timey" today, performed with minimal accompaniment and no drums. There are traditional songs like "Frankie and Johnny" and "On Top of Old Smokey," but also modern topical songs ("A Mother's Son in Viet Nam"), yodeling songs ("I Love My Yodeling Man"), and old vaudeville numbers ("I'm Ragged but I'm Right," AKA "Ragged but Right"). Montana Slim was created for folk revivalists and fans of early country music rather than the country charts, and is rooted in the sensibilities of an earlier era.

Biography

Born: 18 December 1904 in Port Hilford, Nova Scotia, Canada

Genre: Country

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Although he is largely forgotten today outside of Canada, where his commercial career lasted far longer than it did in the United States, Wilf Carter was a unique presence in country music and cowboy music from the 1930s until the end of the 1950s. Rare is the mid-century yodeller whose background predates the start of Jimmie Rodgers' career — Carter represented one of the longest surviving links with country music before there was a recording industry. Although Canadian by birth, he was seduced...
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Timeless Voices: Wilf Carter, Wilf Carter
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