Joe "Fingers" Carr

Real Name:
Louis Ferdinand Busch
Profile:
* 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.

After 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 a car crash in 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.
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Albums

Joe "Fingers" Carr - Bar Room Piano album art Joe "Fingers" Carr Bar Room Piano (Album, EP) Capitol Records US 1951 Sell This Version
ALBUM CCF-345, F15892, F15893, F15894 Joe "Fingers" Carr - Rough-House Piano album art Joe "Fingers" Carr Rough-House Piano(3x7", Album) Capitol Records, Capitol Records, Capitol Records, Capitol Records ALBUM CCF-345, F15892, F15893, F15894 US 1952 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - Rough House Piano album art Joe "Fingers" Carr Rough House Piano (Album) Capitol Records, Capitol Records US 1952 Sell This Version
EAP 1-9025 Joe "Fingers" Carr - My Birthday Comes On Christmas! album art Dallas Frazier With Joe "Fingers" Carr Dallas Frazier With Joe "Fingers" Carr - My Birthday Comes On Christmas!(7", Album, EP) Capitol Records EAP 1-9025 US 1954 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - Joe "Fingers" Carr Plays The Classics album art Joe "Fingers" Carr Joe "Fingers" Carr Plays The Classics Capitol Records US 1955 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - Parlor Piano album art Joe "Fingers" Carr Parlor Piano (Album) Capitol Records US 1956 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - "Pee Wee" & "Fingers" album art Joe "Fingers" Carr And Pee Wee Hunt Joe "Fingers" Carr And Pee Wee Hunt - "Pee Wee" & "Fingers" (Album, EP) Capitol Records, Capitol Records Germany 1956 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - Mister Ragtime album art Joe "Fingers" Carr Mister Ragtime Capitol Records, Capitol Records New Zealand 1957 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - Joe "Fingers" Carr And His Swingin' String Band  album art Joe "Fingers" Carr And His Swingin' String Band* Joe "Fingers" Carr And His Swingin' String Band (Album) Capitol Records, Capitol Records US 1958 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - Honky-Tonk Street Parade album art Joe "Fingers" Carr Honky-Tonk Street Parade (Album, EP) Capitol Records Spain 1958 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - Class Of '25 album art Joe "Fingers" Carr / Pee Wee Hunt Joe "Fingers" Carr / Pee Wee Hunt - Class Of '25 (Album) Capitol Records, Capitol Records US 1958 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - "Fingers" And The Flapper album art Joe "Fingers" Carr "Fingers" And The Flapper Capitol Records US 1959 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - Together For The Last Time...Volume I album art Joe "Fingers" Carr, Ira Ironstrings Joe "Fingers" Carr, Ira Ironstrings - Together For The Last Time...Volume I (Album) Warner Bros. Records US 1960 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr The World's Greatest Ragtime Piano Player (Album) Warner Bros. Records Canada 1960 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - The Riotous, Raucous, Red-Hot 20's! album art Joe "Fingers" Carr The Riotous, Raucous, Red-Hot 20's! (Album) Fiesta (9) US 1961 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - Brassy Piano album art Joe "Fingers" Carr Brassy Piano (Album) Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. Records Germany 1962 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - Oh You Kid! album art Dorothy Provine With Joe "Fingers" Carr Dorothy Provine With Joe "Fingers" Carr - Oh You Kid! Warner Bros. Records Canada 1962 Sell This Version
97 033, LPCM 97 033 Joe "Fingers" Carr - Twenty Crazy Fingers album art 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 25715 Joe "Fingers" Carr - Hits Of The '60s album art Joe "Fingers" Carr Hits Of The '60s(LP) Dot Records DLP 25715 US 1966 Sell This Version
DLP 25705 Joe "Fingers" Carr - Plays Zambezi - Plays Young Bulls Of Pamplona album art 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) album art Joe "Fingers" Carr The Black and White Rag & Other Classic American Rags (1899-1918)(LP) Capitol Records ST-11303 US 1974 Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - Mr. Ragtime Meets Mr. Honkytonk album art Joe "Fingers" Carr & "Big" Tiny Little Joe "Fingers" Carr & "Big" Tiny Little - Mr. Ragtime Meets Mr. Honkytonk (Album) Coral Australia Unknown Sell This Version
Joe "Fingers" Carr - Goes Continental album art Joe "Fingers" Carr Goes Continental World Record Club, World Record Club US Unknown Sell This Version
LC 6572 Joe "Fingers" Carr - Capitol Presents...Joe "Fingers" Carr album art Joe "Fingers" Carr Capitol Presents...Joe "Fingers" Carr(10", Album) Capitol Records LC 6572 UK Unknown Sell This Version
EAP 3-809 Joe "Fingers" Carr - Honky Tonk Street Parade Part 3 album art Joe "Fingers" Carr Honky Tonk Street Parade Part 3(7", MiniAlbum) Capitol Records EAP 3-809 US Unknown Sell This Version

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