Alice Leslie Carter

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Alice Leslie Carter
Origin United States
Genres Classic female blues
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1920s

Alice Leslie Carter was an American classic female blues singer. She was active as a recording artist in the early 1920s, and her best known tracks were "Decatur Street Blues" and "Aunt Hagar's Children Blues".[1] Although Carter was a contemporary of better known recording artists of the time, such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Clara Smith, Victoria Spivey, Sippie Wallace, and Bertha "Chippie" Hill, little is known of her life outside of her music.

She is not to be confused with Alice Carter, another blues singer, who recorded four songs in 1923.[1][2]


Carter recorded eleven sides in 1921, with musical accompaniment led by James P. Johnson on piano. She recorded at a time when record labels were keen to sign up anyone capable of singing a blues song, such was the market demand. However, while some of these performers were less than capable, Carter's work showed her strong vocal abilities.[1] Her output included the first vocalised recording of the W. C. Handy and Tim Brymn co-written song, "Aunt Hagar's Children Blues."[3][4]

On January 20, 1922, Carter competed against Lucille Hegamin, Daisy Martin, and the eventual winner Trixie Smith, in a blues singing contest at the Inter-Manhattan Casino in New York City.[5] In the printed programme she was billed as "The International Blues Star", from which David Evans infers that she may have toured in Europe with an American band after World War I.[6]

All of her recorded output was included on the compilation album, Female Blues Singers, Vol. 4: C (1921-1930), released in 1997 by Document Records.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Biography by Eugene Chadbourne". Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  2. ^ Sutton, Allan (2005). Pseudonyms on American records, 1892-1942 (2nd ed.). Michigan: Mainspring Press. p. 38. ISBN 0-9671819-9-2. 
  3. ^ a b "Allmusic ((( Female Blues Singers, Vol. 4: C (1921-1930) > Review )))". 
  4. ^ Tidwell, John Edgar (2007). Montage of a dream: the art and life of Langston Hughes (1st ed.). Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-8262-1716-5. 
  5. ^ Oliver, Paul (1997). The Story of the Blues (2nd ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Northeastern University Press. p. 77. ISBN 1-55553-355-8. 
  6. ^ Evans, David (1996). notes to Female Blues Singers Volume 4:C. Document DOCD-5508.