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date: 27 January 2020

Carr, [Sister] Wynona (Merceris )locked

  • Roxanne R. Reed


(Merceris )

(b Cleveland, OH, Aug 23, 1924; d Cleveland, OH, May 12, 1976). American gospel singer and songwriter. Carr studied music privately and took courses at the Cleveland Music College. Early on she directed choirs in Baptist churches around Cleveland and in Detroit, including the New Bethel Baptist Church under C.L. Franklin. She formed her own African American gospel group, the Carr Singers, traveling throughout the Midwest and South. While serving as director and pianist for the Wilson Jubilee Singers, a branch of the Cleveland-based Wings Over Jordan Choir, Carr met J.W. Alexander of the Pilgrim Travelers. Alexander arranged a demo session for Carr with Art Rupe of Specialty Records. Carr recorded with Specialty between 1949 and 1959. Possessing a similar blues-crossover edginess and idiomatic expressiveness, Carr’s sound compared to Rosetta Tharpe’s. Carr’s earliest and biggest hit was “The Ball Game,” but success in gospel was evasive. When Carr left Specialty, she turned strictly to secular music. “Should I Ever Love Again” (...

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