Saturday, December 13, 2008
He was born Armenter Chatmon to former slaves in 1893 at a plantation between Bolton and Edwards, Mississippi. Both his mother and father sang and played music. But it was "Bo" who made the family famous. Well, Bo and his half brother Charley Patton.
As Bo Carter he made over 100 blues or "race" records in the 1930's. Many of those records were as a solo artist. But he also sang and recorded with his brothers in a group they called the "Mississippi Sheiks." They were a famous string band and their "Sitting On Top of the World" is in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
As a solo artist in 1928, Bo was the first to record the blues standard "Corinne, Corinna." But music historians mostly remember Bo as the man who sang bawdy blues songs like "Let Me Put My Banana in Your Fruit Basket" and "Your Biscuits Are Big Enough For Me".
Bo obviously didn't know subtlety.
Even in his 1938 Christmas song, when he sings, "when I get to using your Santa Claus, wanna use him different ways. I wanna use your Santa Claus baby both night and day," you what Bo's talking about, and it aint a fat man in a red suit.
So here's a little gift, mama, that Bo Carter wants to stuff into your Christmas stocking tonight.
(click here to hear Bo Carter's Santa Claus)