Big Lucky

Listen: I’ve Been Hurt /Big Lucky

Levester Carter, a native of Choctaw County, Mississippi described his earliest influences as being both a wind-up phonograph and the stack of blues records purchased at Sears-Roebuck that were played on it. He took up guitar in the 50′s while in the Navy, and after playing in various bands around Memphis, sang lead on the two Ed Kirby aka Prince Gabe singles, ‘Blue Nights’ and ‘Mean Old Gin’, released by Sam Phillip’s Sun Records.

Come ’68, local Memphis disc jockey A.C.’Moonah’ Williams put Big Lucky Carter, his then stage moniker, in touch with Hi Records boss Willie Mitchell, who demo’d him at the Hi studios. Liking the result, he coupled ‘Miss Betty Green’ and ‘Stop Arguin’ Over Me’ as the first of two singles for the label’s subsidiary M.O.C. (MOC 670), released April 7, 1969, according to an old production schedule from Hi/M.O.C.’s parent label, London Records, that I have poured over for many hours through the years.

Coupled with ‘Goofer Dust’, ‘I’ve Been Hurt’ (MOC 673) followed as an A Side on Dec 8, 1969. My favorite of the bunch, it sat nicely next to label mate Big Amos Patton’s ‘Going To Viet Nam’ (MOC 665) from a year or so earlier. The two records just go hand in hand despite having nothing in common lyrically.

Like Big Amos, his association with Hi did little to expand Big Lucky’s profile, matching neither Big nor as is his case, Lucky, in real life. Nothing beyond local Memphis airplay resulted and two more greats proceeded into obscurity, making their records even more cherished collectibles.

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