By Kiarra Solomon
ABOVE PHOTO: Legendary radio personality Brian Carter, (third from right) with the rest of his WDAS family at a broadcast gathering (far left) Gwen Polk, Sen. Vincent Hughes, Joe “Butterball” Tamburro, Loraine Ballard Morrill, SUN Publisher J. Whyatt Mondesire, Carter, Carter’s radio partner Dave Sanborn and Vince Faust. Carter died last Sunday morning of a heart attack. He was 56.
Brian Carter, better known as simply Carter, of the well-known “Carter and Sanborn Morning Show” died last Sunday morning. He was age of 56. Carter and Dave Sanborn hosted the popular Carter and Sanborn Morning Show on Power 99 (WUSL FM) from 1987 until 1999. The Carter and Sanborn show’s popularity was a huge contributing factor to Power 99’s lead in the market ratings during the late 80s and 90s. Those who remember the show will recall segments such as Horace the Taurus who read daily horoscopes, as well as co-host CeCe McGee, “The Skirt with the Dirt”. Toward the end of Carter and Sanborn’s run in Philadelphia, Wendy Williams also joined the show.
After ruling the mornings on Power 99 for over a decade, the Carter and Sanborn morning show was briefly brought back to Philly on WDAS 105.3 FM. For the past few years Carter had been a regular host on Sirius XM Satellite Radio as well as a weekend midday host on WBLS 107.5 in New York. A Baltimore native, Brian got his start in radio in his hometown. He was the first African American to break the color line in Top 40 radio in Baltimore. At the time of his death, Brian’s radio career spanned over 35 years.
On Sunday Sanborn, his longtime radio partner, said in a statement, “I am devastated beyond words at the loss of Brian Carter, the best radio partner on the planet and most importantly one of my dearest friends. I send my heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.”
On Monday morning, Sanborn visited Power 99 FM for a tribute to Carter during the morning show with Uncle O, Mikey Dredd, Mutha Knows and Mina, and then WDAS FM during the midday with Patty Jackson. He reminisced on time spent with Carter both on and off the air. Before ending the morning show on Power 99, Sanborn told listeners of a dream he had on Saturday night of losing Carter as they searched for a gig. “When I woke up, I was very saddened and I couldn’t understand why. Our connection was that close”.
“Carter and Sanborn are the reason Power 99 is the station it is today,” said Ken Johnson, Director of Urban Programming for Clear Channel Media & Entertainment. “They inspired me to recapture the presence in the community Power had when they were on the air. Brian was also an inspiration to me personally. He will be missed.”
Mikey Dredd, one of the current co-hosts of Power 99’s morning show posted to Facebook “One of the first people to take me under their wing was Brian Carter…He was so excited for me and Uncleo Uncleoo when we got the Morning show shift…RIP to the man who gave me the name “Mikey Dredd”.”
During his 35 years in radio, Carter had a huge impact, not just on his radio colleagues, but also listeners who posted their condolences on Facebook and Twitter throughout Sunday and Monday. One fan posted “RIP Mr. Carter, You made me laugh so hard on so many days. It was a joy waking up and listening to you and Sanborn. I especially remember when you two use to do the Friday thing with the James Brown record. LOL. The memories….. Thanks”.
That “Friday Thing” was the “Friday Check-In”, the James Brown record was “It’s a New Day”.
Carter was on air at his current station, WBLS in New York, from 10 AM to 2 PM on Saturday before his passing. Program Director, Skip Dillard said he received a call from Brian’s brother at about 2 AM Sunday morning, informing him of his passing. On the WBLS website, Dillard said “…I will miss talking to Brian. I will miss his smile and most importantly, a passion for radio that kept me always reminded why I’m here.”
Arrangements are still being made for a memorial for Carter in Philadelphia. Private funeral services will be held for him in Baltimore. Brian Carter leaves behind his wife, and three children Natalie, Angela and Jordan, as well as many friends and loved ones, those he knew personally, and those who only knew him through their radio.