Wilf Carter

Induction Year: 1971

Birth Name: Wilford Arthur Charles Carter

Birth Date: 12-18-1904

Place of Birth: Port Hilford, Nova Scotia, Canada

Death Date: 12-05-1996

Place of Death: Scottsdale, Arizona

Wilf Carter was Canada's first country music star. He was one of nine children born in Nova Scotia to a Baptist minister and his wife. His father disapproved of an entertainment career, so Carter left home as a teen. After performing on the East Coast, he traveled to Alberta in 1923 and began working as a cowboy, rodeo competitor and singer.

Carter's 1930 radio debut was over CFCN ("The Voice of the Prairie") in Calgary. In late 1933, he recorded two self-composed songs for RCA Victor in Montreal. The resulting record, "My Swiss Moonlight Lullaby"/"The Capture of Albert Johnson" is regarded as the first hit by a Canadian country artist.

Carter wrote almost all of the songs for his subsequent records. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 500 songs. Carter's songs included cowboy tunes, blues numbers, sentimental fare and topical tunes. As a vocalist, he adopted a distinctive, speedy yodeling style, which he called his "three-in-one" yodel.

By 1935, Carter was broadcasting on the CBS radio network from New York. At this time he acquired his American stage name, Montana Slim. Throughout the rest of his career, he would be known as Montana Slim in the U.S. and as Wilf Carter in Canada. His signature song, which he wrote, was "There's a Love Knot in My Lariat." British/Australian pop star Frank Ifield recorded the song for his first record release in 1953.

A 1940 automobile accident sidelined Carter for much of the rest of that decade, but he resumed entertaining around 1948. He went on to have one of the longest careers in country history, finally retiring in 1988. He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1985 and died just shy of his ninety-second birthday in 1996.

"A Mother's Son in Vietnam"

Wilf Carter1963 

"Cowboy Lullaby"

Wilf Carter1935 

"Goodbye Maria (I'm Off to Korea)"

Wilf Carter1952 

"I'm Gonna Ride to Heaven on a Streamline Train"

Wilf Carter1935 

"I'm Gonna Tear Down the Mailbox"

Wilf Carter1947 

"I'm Only a Dude in Cowboy Clothes"

Wilf Carter1939 

"My Little Gray Haired Mother in the West"

Wilf Carter1934 

"My Swiss Moonlight Lullaby"

Wilf Carter1933 

"Our Canadian Flag"

Wilf Carter1945 

"Pete Knight, the King of the Cowboys"

Wilf Carter1936 

"Red River Valley Blues"

Wilf Carter1939 

"Shoo Shoo Shoo Sha-La-La"

Wilf Carter1973 

"Streamlined Yodel Song"

Wilf Carter1940 

"The Capture of Albert Johnson"

Wilf Carter1933 

"The Cowboy's Airplane Ride"

Wilf Carter1939 

"The Hindenburg Disaster"

Wilf Carter1936 

"There's a Love Knot in My Lariat"

Wilf Carter1937 
Frank Ifield1953 

"Twilight on the Prairie"

Wilf Carter1934 

"What Ever Happened"

Wilf Carter1988 

"Yodeling Hillbilly"

Wilf Carter1936 

Wilf Carter

Induction Year: 1971