Tommy “T. C.” Carter
Born: January 12, 1953, Louisville, Mississippi
Photo credit: Bill Steber – www.steberphoto.com
Growing up in Louisville, Tommy had uncles and a cousin who played the blues. “T.C” who was born blind, and moved to Jackson when he was eleven years old to go to Mississippi School for the Blind. He then attended Jackson State University for a year, studying psychology. He started playing gospel, then disco and blues. At fifteen he started playing other music in different venues, and his mother had to send a letter of release. Tommy worked at Mississippi Industries for the Blind for a number of years. He played bass then switched to guitar. Robert “Bull” Jackson, a blind albino also at the school, played bass. Gospel music was Tommy’s first love. Influenced in blues by King Edward and Charles Russell, he was playing disco music. Tommy started with Dwight Ross, playing guitar, while he was in school in the 1970s. At the time they had a band called the Undertakers. Later, he went back to playing gospel. In the late ‘70s-early ‘80s he had an unnamed combo (TC and Friends), which played at the Queen of Hearts in Jackson, Mississippi. Carter also played at the Name of the Game, Palm Garden, and Richard’s Playhouse. In the ‘90s, he played outside at Fields on Farish Street. He also toured with Sunny Ridell, including gigs in Memphis, Nashville, New York, and the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Tommy started a band called TC & the Midnighters in 1985. This band also included Robert Jackson (visually impaired), Sorrento Ussery (also visually impaired). He also had a band called the “All Blind Men”; with his brother Charles Carter (legally blind) on bass, Arthur Jackson and Blind Mississippi Morris Cummings, who played trombone at the time.