Weir to unveil Blues marker Friday

By Amanda McBride The Choctaw Plaindealer

The Town of Weir will soon be added to the growing list of destinations for Blues fans. Weir will unveil a Blues marker on Friday, August 31 at 5:30 in honor of the late Levester “Big Lucky” Carter.

The marker will be unveiled outside of Town Hall, on Main Street, with a reception to follow. The public is invited and encouraged to come support the Town of Weir at the unveiling and the reception.

Local public officials and officials from the Mississippi Blues Commission will be at the marker unveiling.

Levester “Big Lucky’ Carter Levester “Big Lucky’ Carter was born in Weir on February 10, 1920 and died December 24, 2002.

According to www.findagrave.com, Carter was a Memphis blues veteran that was “appreciated for his guitar playing, singing and his songwriting, Mr. Carter, whose scant recording history includes music on both the Sun and Hi labels, was a celebrated figure overseas for his blues authenticity.”

“Born in Weir, Miss., Mr. Carter made his way to Memphis after serving in the Army during World War II. He earned his “Big Lucky” sobriquet during that time for his gambling skills. In the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, Mr. Carter performed behind his cousin, Ed ‘Prince Gabe’ Kirby, as a member of the Rhythmaires/Millionaires, a group that recorded a handful of songs for Sun, Savoy and other labels.”

“Mr. Carter made six sides for the Hi label in 1969 including two singles for label subsidiary M.O.C. It wasn’t until 1998, however, that Mr. Carter, then in his late 70s, made his first album, “Lucky 13,” which won a year-end readers poll for best blues CD in the French magazine Soul Bag and was honored with the prestigious Big Bill Broonzy prize for best blues CD from the French Academy of Jazz. Released on the British label Blueside, that album bolstered Mr. Carter’s reputation in Europe. “Lucky 13” was never released in America.”

“French filmmaker Marc Oriol made a documentary, Big Lucky Carter, which won the Music Film Special Prize award at the 2001 Mediawave Festival in Hungary, an event that also bestowed a “Parallel Culture” Lifetime Achievement Award on him. The bluesman toured Hungary twice as a result. Locally, Mr. Carter could be found playing at Wild Bill’s, and he was a mainstay at the Center for Southern Folklore and its Memphis Music & Heritage Festival.”

Biographical information on Carter was used from www.findagrave.com.