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Carr, Pete (22 April 1950-27th June 2020)

Revered studio guitarist and producer who created some of the most instantly recognizable riffs in the history of rock and roll.

He started playing guitar when he was thirteen years old and by the age of fifteen he was hobnobbing with The Allman Brothers at one of their concerts. It began a lifelong, but unfortunately, short-lived friendship, that lasted until Allman’s death in 1971. Allman’s influence, however, lived on in Pete’s music.

At the tender age of sixteen, Pete emigrated from Florida to Alabama to join a band called The Five Minutes. They could have called themselves The Five Weeks, as that is about how long they lasted. Undaunted, Pete hooked up with the Allman brothers and Paul Hornsby on the 1967 release The Power of Love.

Pete loved everything about studio recording, including the production aspect of it. At age 20, he was asked to engineer, produce and play guitar on Court Pickett’s and Johnny Wyker’s Motorcycle Mama LP, at Muscle Shoals Sound. It was the beginning of a lucrative relationship. A favourite of Jerry Williams, Pete logged a lot of hours at Quinn Ivey’s production house, and was soon the lead guitarist for The Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section.  During the next decade, he played on almost every track laid down at Muscle Shoals. He also continued to work behind the scenes, co-producing the Paul Simon solo album There Goes Rhymin’ Simon.

By the early ’70s, Carr’s reputation was solid enough to warrant a pair of self-produced solo albums, Not a Word on It and Multiple Flash. In the late ’70s, he paired up with Lenny LeBlanc to form;what else; LeBlanc & Carr, and produced the mega-smash “Falling”, which hung around on the charts for almost seven months.

The list of artists and groups with whom he worked is too long to list in its entirety, but includes The Allman Brothers Band, Joan Baez , Bobby “Blue” Bland, Kim Carnes, Joe Cocker, Paul Davis , Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, Narvel Felts, Connie Francis, Luther Ingram, Mel & Tim, Willie Nelson, Wilson Pickett, Johnny Rivers, Boz Scaggs, Simon & Garfunkel , Percy Sledge, The Staple Singers, Candi Staton, Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand, Billy Swan, Kate Taylor, Johnnie Taylor, Hank Williams, Jr., and Bobby Womack.

A technical whiz, Pete took computer classes in the ’80s and was  proficient in Assembler, BASIC, COBOL, and C++. He was reputed to be one of the first people to record an album that would display album info on a computer, an idea that was years ahead of its time, but too impractical to be marketable at the time.

Later releases include another self-produced solo effort, Play That Guitar, and a collaborative project with Dennis Allred entitled Dirty Side of Town.

He died in June 2020 in Florence, Alabama when he was 70 years old.

Bob Seger recordings
Feel Like a Number

Capitol P-A-5077 (S97843A) (US 45)
Fire Lake
Capitol P-4836 (S96012) (US promo 45)

Here he is playing electric guitar with Kunio Kishida on his “Alabama Boy”…

Sources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Carr
  2. http://www.playthatguitar.com/
  3. http://www.playthatguitar.com/Biography.html
  4. http://www.playthatguitar.com/Full_Bio.html
  5. http://www.playthatguitar.com/Discog.html
  6. http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/card/0,,412309,00.html
  7. http://www.alamhof.org/leblancl.htm
  8. http://www.alamhof.org/carrpete.htm