Sam Carr


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Sam Carr, a drummer who was considered an anchor in the blues scene that continues to draw fans to the poverty-stricken Delta region where the music form was born, died Monday. He was 83.

Carr died of congestive heart failure, said John Andrews, director of Century Funeral Home in Clarksdale.

Carr had a reputation as one of the best blues drummers in the country, but he made his living in the Mississippi Delta where he was raised.

At one time or another, Carr had backed big names like Sonny Boy Williamson II and Buddy Guy.

Carr had received multiple honors, including the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2007. He also received several awards from Living Blues magazine.

Carr's father was 1930s blues guitarist and vocalist Robert Nighthawk who made famous the song, "Sweet Black Angel." Early in his career Carr often played with father.

Carr was born Samuel Lee McCollum in 1926 near Marvell, Ark. His name was changed after he was adopted as a toddler by a Mississippi family with a farm near Dundee, according to a biography written by Barretta.

He moved back to Arkansas at age 16 and collected money at door of clubs where his father performed.

He worked as a sharecropper before turning his full attention to blues music, moving to St. Louis and playing bass with harmonica player Tree Top Slim.

He returned to Mississippi in the early 1960s and formed the Jellyroll Kings.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press

Guest Book

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Blues defines the soul of a people. Thanks for sharing your talent, time, and lot of gret blues.

Mr. Sam Carr was well known for his creative and imaginative way in playing the drums.
At John 5:28, 29, Jesus said: “The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.”
Mr. Carr may be gone for now, but soon he has the Hope of a Resurrection.
Keep hope alive!

Our Condolence to the Family and his Friends

For Sam...a drummer who was considered an anchor in the blues scene that continues to draw fans to the poverty-stricken Delta region where the music form was born.


Do not weep for me when I no longer dwell among the wonders of the earth; for my larger self is free, and my soul rejoices on the other side of pain...on the other side of darkness.

Do not weep for me, for I am a ray of sunshine that touches your skin, a tropical breeze upon...

I spent 6 months in Clarksdale Ms in 2005 and had the opportunity to see Mr Carr perform many times. One evening at Reds I sat down with him and had beer and Barbeque before he played with "T-Model" Ford. He talked about some of his history with me as if I was someone he had known for years. It was quite a memorable experience for me.

I am sad to have learned of the passing of this ledgend.

Another bluesman to help play in the greatest band of all; the one in heaven~ Know you'll be greated with Al (my'lil red rooster) & the rest of the best. Sincere condolences. MCC
Down the river from Delta, home of da blues!


We were so sorry to hear of your loss. The thoughts of many are with you at this time of sorrow.

This is not me but it is one of the many resources that your part of the country is so blessed with as also Sam was also a beautiful creater of God

I know Sam was loved by all who knew him. My mon was a resident of Washington county which I consider my home. I am a native of Louisiana but every time I visit the Delta it gives me a warm feeling. Part of that warm feeling comes from the awsome Blues community I enjoy with each return to the part of the country my mom so loved. I know Sam had to be a special person. I never met Sam but if there is anything I can do to help you please do not hesitate to contact me. Anyone in the Blues...