Miss Emily’s JukeJoint 5/8/12: Pops

  As many of you have already heard, Denton’s long-time blues emissary and character, Pops Carter passed away a couple weeks back at age 93. Much has been written about him over the years and it doesn’t take long to find some of it so I won’t recount his life here. You might want to check out his Facebook page and communicate with them, perhaps. I do, however, want to tell a couple personal stories and share some of Alec Williams’ pictures from the Fry Street book he and we published last year.

One of my first live music experiences in Denton was in the Fall of 1987 when my then-roommate in Bruce Hall, John Rylander, got a gig for a night playing bass with Pop’s band at the Char Hut (later the site of Jackson’s Pizza and Texas Jive- now demolished). I went to hear them and wished I could’ve been playing with them but what I remember most is how wiped out John was when he got back to our dorm room. He wasn’t a regular gigging musician at the time and was concentrating on his music composition studies, so playing several hours was a workout. Never let anyone tell you that playing blues is “easy”.

Pops at The Depot, 1983

    Pops also sat in with my band on at least two occaisons- there may have been more but that was a while back. I bet most if not all musicians around here who had Pops sit in would to a man or woman tell you how his presence lit up the joint. And, if your gig was dying, as some of mine surely did, he made you feel good about what you played and could make the people like you for at least as long as he was onstage. Well, that was my experience, at least. Thanks, Pops.

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