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Valerie Carter

Possessing a voice at once adept at soul, rock, pop, and folk, Valerie Carter had a successful career as a solo artist and in-demand backup singer. Beginning her career singing in coffee houses as a teenager, she eventually became one-third of the short-lived country-folk band Howdy Moon. Though they debuted at the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles in 1974, their one album became fairly obscure. It is notable, however, for the Carter-penned song "Cook with Honey," later a minor hit for Judy Collins, and for the introduction of Carter to Lowell George, who produced the album. A mentor to her until his death in 1979, George introduced Carter to Jackson Browne, James Taylor, and many other artists she would work with throughout her career. Her first solo album, Just a Stone's Throw Away, featured an impressive array of guest artists from the 1970s Southern California music scene. The album was well received and garnered favorable reviews, plus an opening slot for the Eagles in Europe. Though she released another album, Wild Child, two years later, she had all but dropped out of the music business by the early '80s. By the end of the decade she had returned, focusing primarily on singing backup on a wide variety of albums by other artists. In addition, she spent most of the 1990s touring in Browne's and Taylor's bands. With the momentum afforded her by this reentry to the music business, Carter released her first solo album in 17 years, The Way It Is, in 1996. The excellent EP Find a River followed two years later. Valerie Carter died from a heart attack in March 2017 at the age of 64
© Rob Caldwell /TiVo
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