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Carter, Deana

Deana Carter

Country singer, songwriter

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Minneapolis Star-Tribune reporter Bruce Fuller asks, What music coming out of Nashville these days seems suitable for early mornings with a cup of expectations, for twilight on a doubtful summer evening, for that midnight hour between disappointment and dreams? The answer? The real, honest, bare-footed performer, Deana Carter. From her bittersweet, Strawberry Wine to her ironic Did I Shave My Legs For This? Carter burst onto the country music scene in 1996, just as her Dad nicknamed her, with a Little Bit of Sunshine.

Deana Kay Carter was born on January 4, 1966 in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. Named after famous crooner, Dean Martin, Carter and her two brothers, Ronnie and Jeff were raised by their practical mother Anna, a homemaker, and their musician father, Fred Carter, Jr. Carter told People magazine that there was always music in our house. At family gatherings, you either found a harmony part or washed dishes. I chose the harmony part. Carter also recalled working for Nugget, her Dads record label: I lived in that place, packing 45s and labeling them in the back room with my brothers and my mom. Its just something I love. As Carter saw her father become a studio musician legendplaying guitar on, according to Carters website, over 90% of all recording sessions in Nashville throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including Roy Orbison, Simon & Garfunkel, and Elvis Presleyshe too longed for a career in music. At age 17, Carter tried to land a record deal, but failed. Carter told Country Standard Time reporter Robert Loy that, it didnt work out because I wasnt ready. Plain and simple at 17 youve just havent lived enough.

Carter began living enough by attending the University of Tennessee where she earned a degree in Rehabilitation Therapy. After working a year and half with stroke and head injury patients, however, she quit. As she told Loy, It just broke my heart everyday. I had a couple patients that died. Carter told People, I dont take death well. Thus, she fell back into music by playing in Nashville clubs, but supported herself and paid back her student loans through waitressing and other odd jobs.

In 1991, Carter landed her first record deal with Capitol; however, her first album was only released in Europe. Soon after, as she remembered in People, I was dropped, picked up and dropped again [by Capitol]. I just wrote more songs. As Loy wrote, Carter made a difficult task [songwriting] even harder by refusing to settle for writing anything less than the perfect, definitive song. Carter further told Loy, I wanted to write a song that was credible enough to have depth and meaning. I ended up sabotaging myself cuz I was trying to write deep, murky, dark stuff, trying to be creativewhich

For the Record

Born Deana Kay Carter on January 4, 1966 (in Goodlettsville, TN). Education: University of Tennessee.

Worked for fathers record label Nugget before failed attempt to land a record contract at 17; signed to Capitol records in 1991, but was dropped before releasing a song; received big break when Willie Nelson invited her to sing at Farm Aidthe only solo woman to perform that year; married musician and video art director Chris DiCroce in 1995; released first album, Did I Shave My Legs For This?, Capitol Records, 1996, included the hit single, Strawberry Wine; contributed songs to two movie soundtracks: Anastasia and Hope Floats; released second album, Everythings Gonna Be Alright, Capitol Records 1998.

Awards: Country Music Association (CMA) Single of the Year, Strawberry Wine 1997 Country Music Television (CMT) Female Video Artist 1997

Addresses: Record company Capitol Records, 810 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10019; Fan Club DKC Fan Club, P.O. Box 559, Hermitage, TN 37076-0559.

means I was just faking it. And it doesnt resonate if its not real.

By the middle 1990s, Carters career and personal life took an up turn. In 1994, Carter finally received her big break. After hearing her demo tape, Willie Nelson invited her to sing at Farm Aidthe only solo woman to perform that year. In 1995, Carter wed musician and video art director, Chris DiCroce. That year she also resigned with Capitol records, even though she was 45 minutes late to her audition with Capitols president Jimmy Bowen. Bowen seemed not to notice Carters tardiness because, he was screaming and cussing on the phone with Tanya Tuckers dad. Carter, with just a guitar, played Bowen a songin between his refusing to take phone callsand Carter recalled, he liked it, but needed time. Carter knew that Bowen had worked with her father, and as she told Country Spotlights Elianne Halbersberg, at least his credibility was impeccable, so she brazenly told Bowen, You need to decide today because Im not taking a phone call. Bowen said, I guess we got a deal.

In 1996, Capitol released Carters debut album, Did I Shave My Legs For This? Carters imprint on the album went beyond her singing. She co-wrote six of the albums songs, and was the inspiration behind its unusual 3D-hologram cover art. As she told Atlanta Journal reporter Miriam Longino, country music honestly has the most boring album covers I thought, Lets broaden our horizons a little bit. Lets try a new idea. However, there was some indecision on what should be the first single. Capitol had planned to release Ive Loved Enough to Know, but Carter, playing showcase concerts for radio stations, received a stronger reaction from radio programmers with another song, Strawberry Wine. Programmers told Carter, as she recalled to Los Angeles Times reporter Michael McCall, Why are you trying to introduce yourself slowly to radio? Why not come out with that killer song? But Carter felt that her killer song would not get support from Capitol. Theyre never going to go for it, she told McCall. The fears were: Its a waltz, the subject matter of the song, and, as a first single, it being a slow song For a new artist and the first single, it was swan diving. Capitol eventually did go for it and Strawberry Wine was released. Reviewing a concert in support of Did I Shave My Legs For This? Los Angeles Times reporter Robert Hilburn wrote that Carter injects a song with the seemingly natural intimacy that is sometimes hard to spot in the entertainment-conscious razzle-dazzle of the pop and country worlds. Thus, Strawberry Wine, became Carters breakthrough hit. In 1997, Carter and Strawberry Wine received the Country Music Associations (CMA) award for Song and Single of the Year.

Carters next single was the albums title tune, a song that Halbersberg described as the result of a gripe session over her philandering, freeloading ex-boyfriend, whom she supported for almost two years by working three jobs. Thus, Did I Shave My Legs For This?a funny rant about a mans total ignorance of his wifes attempt to grab his attentionshowed Carters ability to not only sing bittersweet melancholy, but also playful irony. However, Carter told McCall that, Music is a very serious business with me. Its something I hold up high and respect. If Im writing a funny song or a parody, it still has to hold weight and have credibility. You can have fun with what youre doing, but dont let the music suffer.

Carters success continued in 1998 with the release of her second album, Everythings Gonna Be Alright. The title song, written in 1971 by Carters father for his sister who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, is a message that I think can make a difference in peoples lives. It offers a bright ray of hope. Carter has remained, as country.coms Shannon Wayne Turner stated, adamant about maintaining personal and professional integrity, choosing to make music that reflects her own life and, she hopes, those of her listeners as well.

Everythings Gonna Be Alright spotlighted Carters growth, both musically and lyrically. She told Country Weekly Online that by digging a little deeper, more of my different tastes have surfaced [and] theres not one song thats alike or similar to anything else on the radio its shedding more skinskin I didnt know I could shed. From the title track, the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynrd influenced, The Train Song to the cover of 1960s singer Melanies Brand New Key, Everythings Gonna Be Alright again hit all the right notes with country music radio programmers and fans. Carter believes that her audience once again connected to the honesty and integrity of her music: I never try to do music to please somebody else, she told Turner. I just dont. I do it for the honesty and the way it comes out of me. I follow my heart, and thats just the way I live my life.

Selected discography

Did I Shave My Legs For This? (includes Strawberry Wine), Capitol, 1996.

(Contributor) Anastasia (soundtrack), Atlantic Records, 1997.

Everythings Gonna Be Alright (includes Absence of the Heart), Capitol, 1998.

(Contributor) Hope Floats (soundtrack), Capitol, 1998.

(Contributor) Touched By An Angel (soundtrack), Sony Music, 1998.

Sources

Periodicals

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 21, 1997.

Country Spotlight, January 1, 1997.

Country Standard Time, November 1996.

Los Angeles Times, February 2, 1997; March 15, 1997.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune, February 9, 1997.

People, February 24, 1997.

Online

www.deana.com

www.country.com

www.countryweekly.com

Ann M. Schwalboski

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"Carter, Deana." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Carter, Deana." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/carter-deana

"Carter, Deana." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/carter-deana

Carter, Deana

Deana Carter

Singer, songwriter

Reporter Bruce Fuller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune once asked, "What music coming out of Nashville these days seems suitable for early mornings with a cup of expectations, for twilight on a doubtful summer evening, for that midnight hour between disappointment and dreams?" The answer? The barefoot and independent-minded vocalist Deana Carter. From her bittersweet "Strawberry Wine" to her ironic "Did I Shave My Legs For This?," Carter burst onto the country music scene in 1996, just as her Dad nicknamed her, with a 'Little Bit of Sunshine.'" After several label moves and career setbacks in the early 2000s, Carter's independent spirit and creative drive remained undiminished.

Deana Kay Carter was born on January 4, 1966, in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. Named after famous crooner Dean Martin, Carter and her two brothers, Ronnie and Jeff, were raised by their practical mother Anna, a homemaker, and their musician father, Fred Carter Jr. Deana Carter told People magazine that "there was always music in our house. At family gatherings, you either found a harmony part or washed dishes. I chose the harmony part." Carter also recalled working for Nugget, her Dad's record label: "I lived in that place, packing 45s and labeling them in the back room with my brothers and my mom. It's just something I love." Carter saw her father become a studio musician legend, playing guitar, according to Carter's website, on "over 90% of all recording sessions in Nashville" throughout the 1960s and 1970s, for stars such as Roy Orbison, Simon & Garfunkel, and Elvis Presley. She too longed for a career in music. At age 17 Carter tried to land a record deal but failed. She told Country Standard Time reporter Robert Loy that "it didn't work out because I wasn't ready. Plain and simple, at 17 you've just haven't lived enough."

Carter began "living enough" by attending the University of Tennessee, where she earned a degree in rehabilitation therapy. After working for more than a year with stroke and head injury patients, however, she left the job. As she told Loy, "It just broke my heart every day. I had a couple patients that died." So she returned to music by playing in Nashville clubs, supporting herself and paying back her student loans through wait-ressing and other odd jobs.

In 1991 Carter landed her first record deal with Capitol, but her first album was released only in Europe. Soon after, as she remembered in People, "I was dropped, picked up and dropped again [by Capitol]. I just wrote more songs." As Loy wrote, Carter "made a difficult task [songwriting] even harder by refusing to settle for writing anything less than the perfect, definitive song." Carter told Loy, "I wanted to write a song that was credible enough to have depth and meaning. I ended up sabotaging myself cuz I was trying to write deep, murky, dark stuff, trying to be creative—which means I was just faking it. And it doesn't resonate if it's not real."

By the mid-1990s, Carter's career and personal life took an upward turn, and in 1994 she finally received a big break. After hearing her demo tape, Willie Nelson invited her to sing at his Farm Aid concert, making her the only solo woman to perform that year. In 1995 Carter wed musician and video art director Chris DiCroce. That year she also re-signed with Capitol records, even though she was 45 minutes late to her audition with Capitol's president Jimmy Bowen. Carter knew that Bowen had worked with her father and, as she told Country Spotlight's Elianne Halbersberg, "at least his credibility was impeccable," so she brazenly told Bowen, "You need to decide today because I'm not taking a phone call." Bowen said, "I guess we got a deal."

In 1996 Capitol released Carter's debut album, Did I Shave My Legs For This?. Carter's imprint on the album went beyond her singing. She co-wrote six of the album's songs, and was the inspiration behind its unusual 3D-hologram cover art. Reviewing a concert in support of the album, Los Angeles Times reporter Robert Hilburn wrote that Carter "injects a song with the seemingly natural intimacy that is sometimes hard to spot in the entertainment-conscious razzle-dazzle of the pop and country worlds." "Strawberry Wine" became Carter's breakthrough hit, and in 1997 Carter and "Strawberry Wine" received the Country Music Association's (CMA) award for Song and Single of the Year.

Carter's next single was the album's title tune, a song that Halbersberg described as "the result of a gripe session over her philandering, freeloading ex-boyfriend, whom she supported for almost two years by working three jobs." "Did I Shave My Legs For This?"—a funny rant about a man's total ignorance of his wife's attempt to grab his attention—showed Carter's ability to convey not only bittersweet melancholy, but also playful irony. Carter told McCall that "music is a very serious business with me. It's something I hold up high and respect. If I'm writing a funny song or a parody, it still has to hold weight and have credibility. You can have fun with what you're doing, but don't let the music suffer."

Carter's success continued in 1998 with the release of her second album, Everything's Gonna Be Alright. The title song was written in 1971 by Carter's father for a sister who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The album, from the title track to the Lynyrd Skynrd-influenced "The Train Song" to a cover of 1960s singer Melanie's "Brand New Key," showed a musical variety that was unorthodox in mainstream country. Although Everything's Gonna Be Alright fell well short of the multi-platinum success of its predecessor, Carter continued to live by her own musically experimental philosophy.

Parting ways with Capitol in 2002 after a series of creative disagreements, she searched for recording opportunities that would let her feature her own songwriting creations and work with producers of her choice. A delightful detour along the way was a quiet holiday album, Father Christmas, recorded for the small folk-oriented label Rounder. In 2003 Carter signed with Arista Nashville, but her sole album for the label, I'm Just a Girl, sold a scant 82,000 copies.

For the Record …

Born Deana Kay Carter on January 4, 1966, in Goodlettsville, TN; married musician Chris DeCroce (later divorced); engaged to filmmaker Chris Hicky; children: (daughter) Gray Hayes Hicky. Education: University of Tennessee, degree in rehabilitation therapy.

Worked for father's record label Nugget before failed attempt to land a record contract at 17; signed to Capitol Records in 1991, but was dropped before releasing a song; only solo woman to perform at Willie Nelson's Farm Aid concert, 1994; released debut album, Did I Shave My Legs For This?, which included the hit single "Strawberry Wine," on Capitol, 1996; contributed songs to two movie soundtracks: Anastasia and Hope Floats; released second album, Everything's Gonna Be Alright, Capitol, 1998; released holiday album Father Christmas on Rounder label, 2001; signed to Arista label, released I'm Just a Girl, 2003; signed to Vanguard label, released The Story of My Life, 2005.

Awards: Country Music Association (CMA) Single of the Year, for "Strawberry Wine," 1997; Country Music Television (CMT) award, for Female Video Artist, 1997.

Addresses: Record company—Vanguard Records, Welk Music Group, 2700 Pennsylvania Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404. Website—Deana Carter Official Website: http://www.deanacarter.net.

Carter didn't give up. She moved from Nashville to Los Angeles. After her marriage broke up she became pregnant by filmmaker Chris Hicky, whose film of her pregnancy was shown on the Country Music Television (CMT) cable channel. The two were engaged by 2005. Carter continued to write new material, and her free-spirited attitude appealed to executives at the durable independent label Vanguard. "We signed her," Vanguard publicity director Lellie Capwell told the Los Angeles Times, "so she could make the kind of record she wanted to make."

Carter wrote or co-wrote all 11 songs on her 2005 release The Story of My Life. The album, which flirted with pop-rock styles, earned a rave review from Thom Jurek of All Music Guide, who termed it "a seamless collection of gorgeously written and sung tunes." Music from The Story of My Life gained airplay on the Sirius satellite radio network, an increasingly important avenue of exposure for musicians in the mid-2000s, and the world, it seemed, had not yet heard the last of Deana Carter.

Selected discography

Did I Shave My Legs For This?, Capitol, 1996.

(Contributor) Anastasia (soundtrack), Atlantic, 1997.

Everything's Gonna Be Alright, Capitol, 1998.

(Contributor) Hope Floats (soundtrack), Capitol, 1998.

(Contributor) Touched By An Angel (soundtrack), Sony Music, 1998.

Father Christmas, Rounder, 2001.

I'm Just a Girl, Arista Nashville, 2003.

The Story of My Life, Vanguard, 2005.

Sources

Periodicals

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 21, 1997.

Chicago Sun-Times, April 10, 2005, Sunday Showcase section, p. 4.

Country Spotlight, January 1, 1997.

Country Standard Time, November 1996.

Los Angeles Times, February 2, 1997; March 15, 1997; March 19, 2005, p. E1.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune, February 9, 1997.

People, February 24, 1997; March 31, 2003, p. 33; April 4, 2005, p. 42.

Online

"Deana Carter," All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (May 24, 2005).

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"Carter, Deana." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Carter, Deana

DEANA CARTER

Born: Nashville, Tennessee, 4 January 1966

Genre: Country

Best-selling album since 1990: Did I Shave My Legs for This? (1996)

Hit songs since 1990: "Strawberry Wine," "How Do I Get There"


The daughter of the session guitarist Fred Carter, Jr., Deana Carter struggled for years to find a niche in the country music industry before her 1996 debut album, Did I Shave My Legs for This?, made her a star. Like singers Faith Hill and Lee Ann Womack, Carter came to represent the new pop sound of 1990s country, even though her folk-oriented style also suggested the 1990s rock star Sheryl Crow. After spending nearly five years out of the spotlight because of personal problems and conflicts with her record company, Carter returned in 2003 sporting a new sound that owed an even greater debt to pop. Carter's voice, sweet and girlish with a hint of grit, has been well served by her intelligent, uncluttered songwriting.

Although she grew up in the country music capital of Nashville, Tennessee, Carter was introduced to a diverse array of music through the influence of her father, who played guitar on the recordings of many country and rock stars of the 1960s and 1970s. With his help Carter first tried to secure a recording contract at age seventeen. After that attempt failed, she entered the University of Tennessee and received a degree in rehabilitation therapy. Carter spent several years working in hospitals before deciding to make another stab at a music career, cleaning bathrooms and selling china door-to-door while honing her songwriting and guitar playing. In 1994 the country-music legend Willie Nelson heard one of her demo tapes and hired her to perform in his annual Farm Aid concert. That appearance led to a recording contract with Capitol Records.

Carter's debut album, Did I Shave My Legs for This?, appeared in the summer of 1996 and, thanks to its appealing melodies and personal lyrics, became an immediate hit. On songs such as "Love Ain't Worth Making" and the tongue-in-cheek title track, Carter displayed the ability to craft compelling songs with clear through-lines, capturing key ideas while avoiding the trite details that sometimes hamper modern country songwriting. In keeping with the popularity of 1990s rock performers such as Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette, Carter's songs evince a feminist slant; her infectious humor and working-class perspective, however, secure her ties to traditional country. On the title track, for example, she mocks a husband who prefers beer to romance: "Here I stand / Over this frying pan / And you want a cold one again." But the album's most memorable hit comes with a song Carter did not write, "Strawberry Wine," a sensitive coming-of-age ballad with a lilting melody. The album provides a showcase for Carter's appealing voice and straight-from-the-hip personality. In keeping with her trademark forthrightness, Carter often performed barefoot and wore a fifty-dollar halter dress to the elegant People's Choice Awards in 1997.

Carter's follow-up album, Everything's Gonna Be Alright (1998), edged more toward a pop-rock sound. Despite strong material the album lacks a distinctive identity, Carter's sharp-edged personality sounding diffused. The album was a surprise commercial failure, with only two of its songs hitting the lower reaches of the country charts. The years that followed were marked by trouble. Although Carter released a Christmas album for a small label in 2001, she was otherwise inactive on the recording front, fighting with Capitol Records over the songs to be included on a prospective album. In 2002, recovering from a divorce, she pled guilty to a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI). Despite her problems, Carter retained her sunny personality and re-emerged in 2003 with I'm Just a Girl, her first album for Arista Records. Composed of songs Carter had been working on for three years, I'm Just a Girl largely eschews country for a California pop-rock sound heavily influenced by the 1960s group the Beach Boys. While the breezy title track is tuneful and appealing, critics complained that product-heavy lyrics such as "I'm a Chevy girl" sound fabricated and shallow. "Cover of a Magazine" has the feel of personal experience, as the narrator criticizes supermarket tabloids while stating her desire to appear on the cover of a Cosmo -style publication. Reviewers observed that the album's pop approach is not always successful. For example, the otherwise fine ballad "Wildflower" is marred by a loud guitar part that turns the song into hard rock overdrive midway through. These flaws aside, I'm Just a Girl signals a welcome return for a likable performer.

Deana Carter's personal songwriting and sweet, dusky voice brought an individualized edge to late-1990s country. Although she failed to follow her impressive debut with additional hits, Carter remains a strong talent who combines country's twang and humor with the accessibility of pop.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Did I Shave My Legs for This? (Capitol, 1996); Everything's Gonna Be Alright (Capitol, 1998); Father Christmas (Rounder, 2001); I'm Just a Girl (Arista, 2003).

WEBSITE:

www.deanacarter.net.

david freeland

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"Carter, Deana." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/carter-deana