Carson Whitsett early 70's Courtesy of Tim Whitsett
I received a sad message early today from Tim Whitsett that his brother Carson had died after a long illness.
Carson was an excellent keyboardist, songwriter, and recording artist beginning his career as a member of his brother’s band, Tim Whitsett & The Imperials. In the early 1970s, Carson joined Stax Records in Memphis as a session musician and recorded an album as a member of The MGs.
However, Carson will always be remembered as being part of the Malaco family. If you flip over any Malaco album from the 80's or 90's and you will see that he appeared on countless productions on keyboards as well as contributing many songs.
Here is what Tim had to say about his brother:
"I just wanted to inform group members that Carson passed away yesterday, May 8, 2007. He never felt any pain, and he died peacefully in his sleep.
A quick career recap: He played on albums by William Bell, Paul Simon, Paul Davis, Connie Francis, Malaco legends Bobby Bland, Little Milton, Johnnie Taylor, Dorothy Moore, and what was at one time the highest selling Blues album ever, Z.Z. Hill's Down Home Blues.
He also arranged and played all the music for Patti Page's comeback Christmas album and was first call for Tony Joe White and Kathy Mattea, as well as producer Frederick Knight. His songs were cut by The Staple Singers, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, Wilson Pickett, James Carr, Jerry Butler, Solomon Burke, B.B. King, Etta James, Johnny Adams, Irma Thomas (also played with Thomas), RuthBrown, Dorothy Moore, Fred Knoblach, Conway Twitty, Barbara Mandrell, Lorrie Morgan's first hit "Dear Me","Mississippi Moon" by John Anderson (co-written withTony Joe White), and Joe Cocker recently recorded"Don't Give Up On Me".
Many thanks on behalf of the entire Whitsett clan to Rob, Patrick, and everyone else for their kindness over the last eighteen months.
In lieu of flowers, Carson had asked for donations to one of two organizations that meant so much to him and our family:
Musicares 1904 Wedgewood Ave. Nashville, TN 37212 and Alive Hospice 1718 Patterson St. Nashville, TN 37203
Carson Whitsett RIP