Joe "Fingers" Carr

Joe "Fingers" Carr

Real Name:
Louis Ferdinand Busch
* Born Louis Ferdinand Bush, 18 July 1910, Louisville, Kentucky
* Died 19 September 1979, Camarillo, California

Although Lou Busch (not Bush, he changed the spelling) is best known for his honky-tonk piano recordings under his stage name, Joe "Fingers" Carr, his contributions to space age pop go well beyond that. He got his start early, leading his own band by the age of 12 and leaving home at 16 to work as a professional musician. He played with a number of sweet big bands--Clyde McCoy, Henry Busse, and George Olson--then took a short break to study at the Cincinnati Conservatory.

Joe 'Fingers' CarrAfter that, he went back to the sweet bands, this time joining one of the most successful of them, Hal Kemp's. Bush stayed with Kemp for most of the 1930s and married the first of his several wives, the band's girl singer, Janet Blair. After the band's lead arranger, John Scott Trotter, departed in early 1936, Bush and fellow band member Hal Mooney split most of the arranging duties. When Kemp died in from a car crash 1940, they moved to Los Angeles and started working as studio musicians, but World War Two came along and pulled Bush into the Army for a three-year stint.

When he returned to L.A. in 1945, he hooked up with Johnny Mercer's fledgling Capitol Records label and ended up working as an A&R executive. He continued to do occasional session work as a pianist, though, and provided the key ingredient in the 1949 Jo Stafford-Paul Weston hit, "Ragtime Cowboy Joe." In 1950, he sold the label on the idea of recording his ragtime playing, and he made up the name, Joe "Fingers" Carr, during his initial studio session. His first single, featuring his original tune, "Ivory Rag," became an international hit.

Although Capitol played up the nostalgic cariacature of Carr the honky tonk pianist, wearing derby hat, bowtie, vest, and suspenders, Bush tried not to let his recordings slip into mere novelty.

Carr's success spurred a revival of ragtime in the form of camped-up honky tonk.
In Groups:

Joe "Fingers" Carr Discography


EBF 280 Joe "Fingers" Carr Bar Room Piano (Album, EP) Capitol Records EBF 280 US 1951 Sell This Version
ALBUM EBF-345, 345 Joe "Fingers" Carr Rough House Piano (Album) Capitol Records, Capitol Records ALBUM EBF-345, 345 US 1952 Sell This Version
T 649 Joe "Fingers" Carr Joe "Fingers" Carr Plays The Classics Capitol Records T 649 US 1955 Sell This Version
T698 Joe "Fingers" Carr Parlor Piano (Album) Capitol Records T698 US 1956 Sell This Version
783 Joe "Fingers" Carr And Pee Wee Hunt Joe "Fingers" Carr And Pee Wee Hunt - "Pee Wee" & "Fingers" (Album, EP) Capitol Records, Capitol Records 783 US 1956 Sell This Version
T935, T-935 Joe "Fingers" Carr / Pee Wee Hunt Joe "Fingers" Carr / Pee Wee Hunt - Class Of '25 (Album) Capitol Records, Capitol Records T935, T-935 US 1958 Sell This Version
T809 Joe "Fingers" Carr Honky-Tonk Street Parade (Album) Capitol Records T809 US 1958 Sell This Version
T1151 Joe "Fingers" Carr 'Fingers' And The Flapper Capitol Records T1151 US 1959 Sell This Version
W 1389 Joe "Fingers" Carr, Ira Ironstrings Joe "Fingers" Carr, Ira Ironstrings - Together For The Last Time...Volume I (Album) Warner Bros. Records W 1389 US 1960 Sell This Version
WS 1386 Joe "Fingers" Carr The World's Greatest Ragtime Piano Player (Album) Warner Bros. Records WS 1386 US 1960 Sell This Version
W1423 Joe "Fingers" Carr The Riotous, Raucous, Red-Hot 20's! (Album) Fiesta W1423 US 1961 Sell This Version
WS 1466 Dorothy Provine With Joe "Fingers" Carr Dorothy Provine With Joe "Fingers" Carr - Oh You Kid! Warner Bros. Records WS 1466 US 1962 Sell This Version
WS-1456, WS 1456 Joe "Fingers" Carr Brassy Piano(LP, Album) Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. Records WS-1456, WS 1456 Germany 1962 Sell This Version
W1456 Joe "Fingers" Carr Brassy Piano(LP) The Compo Company Ltd. W1456 Canada 1962 Sell This Version
97 033, LPCM 97 033 Joe "Fingers" Carr & "Big" Tiny Little Joe "Fingers" Carr & "Big" Tiny Little - Twenty Crazy Fingers(LP, Mono) Coral, Coral 97 033, LPCM 97 033 Germany 1964 Sell This Version
DLP 25705 Joe "Fingers" Carr Plays Zambezi - Plays Young Bulls Of Pamplona(LP) Dot Records DLP 25705 US 1966 Sell This Version
ST-11303 Joe "Fingers" Carr The Black and White Rag & Other Classic American Rags (1899-1918)(LP) Capitol Records ST-11303 US 1974 Sell This Version
slb 8339 Joe "Fingers" Carr The Honky Tonk Hits of Joe "Fingers" Car(LP) Good Music slb 8339 US 1983 Sell This Version
CL 31229 Joe "Fingers" Carr & "Big" Tiny Little Joe "Fingers" Carr & "Big" Tiny Little - Mr. Ragtime Meets Mr. Honkytonk (Album) Coral CL 31229 Australia Unknown Sell This Version
T1000 Joe "Fingers" Carr Goes Continental World Record Club, World Record Club T1000 US Unknown Sell This Version
T-760 Joe "Fingers" Carr Mister Ragtime Capitol Records T-760 US Unknown Sell This Version
LC 6572 Joe "Fingers" Carr Capitol Presents...Joe "Fingers" Carr(LP, Album) Capitol Records LC 6572 UK Unknown Sell This Version
2C 062-90.365 Joe "Fingers" Carr Joe "Finger" Carr And The Bluegrass(LP) Dot Records 2C 062-90.365 France Unknown Sell This Version
CRL 57444 Joe "Fingers" Carr & "Big" Tiny Little Joe "Fingers" Carr & "Big" Tiny Little - Mr. Ragtime Meets Mr. Honkytonk(LP, Album) Coral CRL 57444 US Unknown Sell This Version
T280 Joe "Fingers" Carr Bar Room Piano(LP) Capitol Records T280 US Unknown Sell This Version

Videos (4) Edit