In The Evening When The Sun Goes Down
Carr was born in Nashville,
Tennessee in 1905 and grew up in the black section of Indianapolis,
Indiana. Here he partnered with jazz guitarist Scrapper Black well
and their work showed a distinctive urban influence that was unlike
the intensely emotional vocals and heavily rhythmatic guitar back
up, often bottleneck guitar style, of the Mississippi bluesmen.
Carr was one of the first Northern bluesmen. Vocalion Records recorded
him in 1928 and his first release "How
Long, How Long Blues" was an immediate success. The innovation
was in the sophisticated piano-guitar accompaniment and the wistfully
sad mood. Music had moved from the lone guitarist in the fields to
clubs with pianos for ready entertainment.
The success of his first release resulted in more Vocalion recordings.
Although the Great Depression of the early 1930s slowed down the
music industry, Carr's success continued, reaching a peak number
of releases in 1934. Throughout the early '30s, Carr was one of the
most popular bluesmen in America. While his professional career was
successful, his personal life was spinning out of control, as he
sunk deeper and deeper into alcoholism. His sudden death in 1935
at the age of 30 was surrounded with rumour and mystery. Today most
historians believed he died of nephritis. A few weeks after Carr's
death, his guitarist, Blackwell, recorded a memorial, "My Old