Pete Carr, Muscle Shoals Guitarist on Many Hits, Dies

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Pete Carr in 2014 (Photo by his wife, Charlotte, via his Facebook page)

Pete Carr, who as lead guitarist for the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section performed on such classic rock recordings as Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome,” Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind,” Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night,” and many others, died Saturday (June 27), in Florence, Ala. His death at 70 was announced by the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio on its Facebook page.

In the mid-’60s, Carr, born Jesse Carr on April 22, 1950, in Daytona Beach, Fla. befriended fellow musicians Duane Allman and Gregg Allman. Together, with Paul Hornsby and Johnny Sandlin, they formed Hour Glass, with Carr playing bass. Though the band was short-lived and unsuccessful, its alumni all went to significant success.

Carr chose a path as a session musician and in 1971 became lead guitarist for the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section in Alabama. Over the next 10 years and more, the much-sought-after musicians performed on countless recordings of the pop and rock era.

Along with Simon and others, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section recorded and produced the 1973 Grammy-nominated album, There Goes Rhymin’ Simon. They also shared the honors for Seger’s 1978 Stranger in Town and 1980 Against the Wind albums. Carr’s Wiki page notes his standout guitar lines on Seger’s “Main Street.”

In the mid-70s, at the prompting of legendary producer Jerry Wexler, Carr teamed with fellow musician and singer Lenny LeBlanc, and the pair earned a #13 with the song, “Falling,” from their album, Midnight Light. Carr also released two of his own albums in the late ’70s.

In his own tribute to Carr, LeBlanc wrote, “Pete invited me to move to Muscle Shoals in 1973. I had no money, a small family and no promise of work. Pete literally housed us and fed us for six months until I began to find work in the studios.”

In 1981, Carr reunited with Simon to perform in the band for the Simon and Garfunkel reunion tour.

Carr is survived by his wife, Charlotte. As Muscle Shoals wrote on its tribute to him, “He was a part of our family and he will be greatly missed.”

Related: Musicians we’ve lost in 2020

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  1. RecordSteve
    #1 RecordSteve 28 June, 2020, 18:17

    Sad to hear the loss of Pete Carr, but another graduate to the Rock & Roll Heaven. I always liked the song “Falling” and knew LeBlanc went on to make Christian music. Nice side story of Pete taking in Lenny’s family for six months “and that’s the rest of the story…good day!”

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  2. Willie D.
    #2 Willie D. 29 June, 2020, 16:24

    Years ago I was sent a tape by a buddy of mine in NY. It had a version of Heaven’s Door that was truly incredible. The album was by Pete Carr and the version was a live take off a radio show of the song. A complete knock out!!!

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  3. Sweetwm
    #3 Sweetwm 30 June, 2020, 13:44

    I’m so sorry to hear that we’ve lost so many great musicians and actors and actresses
    May God be with their families
    RIP

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