It was a teenage beginning
As a young lad of around 13 in his home town of Fremantle Western Australia, his mother, being a very accomplished pianist, tried unsuccessfully to pass on her talents to her son. At the time he much preferred to kick a football rather than practice piano. His father on the other hand used child psychology and instructed a young Carter that under no circumstances was he to touch his dad’s prized drum kit. But boys will be boys! When eventually caught red handed, Carter’s father insisted that he take lessons from a professional tutor.
An All-Round Entertainer
A few months later the drummer in a local band was injured in a car accident and a desperate band leader heard about Carter and grabbed him for the job! Following this turn of events, he played drums with various Perth groups for around 12 years, being quite content and able to drive a band along with his hands and feet until….
Another challenge pushed the entertainer yet another rung up the ladder of success. One night, working with a group called ‘The 4 Spots’ the band singer lost his voice. The band was issued with an ultimatum from the venue management. “Get a singer right away or don’t bother coming back!”
Carter Edwards had never sung a note in his life but desperately needed the money. And so he was railroaded into singing a song. Having worked with the group for 5 years, Carter had a fair idea of some of the tunes and lyrics in the group’s repertoire. He was literally pushed on stage to go through the nerve racking experience of opening his mouth and discovering a voice he didn’t know he had! The audience was obviously surprised and delighted. And they let him know it loud and clear.
Having tasted the thrill of an audience’s reaction, Carter’s enormous drive and motivation to become a successful all-round performer began when several members of the group put him down. They told him he would never make it as a solo performer. Carter gave himself six months to prove them wrong and did his first solo show with two weeks to spare!
In 1969, unbeknown to Carter, his family registered him as a contestant in the Perth Channel 7 ‘New Faces Program’. The nomination which was really submitted as a joke, was to take him yet another step on his path to success! Carter reluctantly agreed to appear on the programme….and ended up winning the contest, outright!
His first heat appearance was followed by semi finals, finals, grand final and a state final, all of which he was lucky enough to win, which threw him into becoming WA’s first entrant into Australia’s New Faces in Melbourne. Unfortunately on the night he was beaten by the eventual winner of the series. (AND NOW!…..As an amazing twist of fate, one of the judges on the night, was the radio legend JOHN LAWS, who now broadcasts on the same network as Carter.)
Following this success Carter Edwards was offered all kinds of floorshows which included a job as compere in a Night Club. The boss had just sacked a drunken compere on the spot. He then turned to Carter and nominated him for the job, but an inexperienced Carter declined!
However, under serious threat of being the second person sacked that night, Carter was finally forced to reconsider! With the Boss’s heavy hand in the middle of his back Carter was literally pushed through the curtains onto the stage. And that night he discovered an ad lib wit he didn’t know he had! Carter was immediately promoted to the Night Club’s new resident compere!
Carter later moved on to 3 years of ‘Music Hall’ which gave him invaluable experience and taught him to work with other people in comedy situations. He learned how to both act and react with razor sharp timing and it also taught him how to write comedy sketches!
The Consummate Showman
Carter decided it was now time to try his luck on the East Coast of Australia….but it was not so easily done. For starters he could not scrape up the necessary travelling money. But grim unswerving determination is without doubt the most evident characteristic of Carter’s off-stage personality. And of course his extraordinary nose for showbiz novelty and promotional stunts eventually supplied the answer.
Carter heard that “Avis Truck Rentals” needed a truck returned to Sydney! So Carter played drums on the back of that Avis truck for 96 hours non-stop….all the way from Perth on the West Coast of Australia to Sydney on the East Coast!! It was an incredible journey of 3,824 kilometres and as the truck drove into Sydney a barrage of TV cameras and radio microphones were lined up for news footage, photos and interviews. Much of which was picked up and used by the worlds media.
Yes, Carter was now an instant celebrity in Australia’s largest city but he didn’t know a soul. In spite of his talent and recent publicity, he had a mere $7 in his pocket and still faced the relentless showbiz challenge….getting a regular flow of bookings so he could eat on a regular basis, keep a roof over his head and send money back home to his family.
The following 11 months of knocking on agents doors and talent quest appearances culminated in a rash of bookings that have since kept Carter Edwards constantly in demand over the years!
Huge International Award!
Yet another incident led him to fronting the highly successful, long running and International Award winning “I Did It My Way” television commercials for Taubman’s Paints. A practical joking showbiz mate rang to tell him that a casting agency was looking for a rugged Australian character to appear in a baked bean commercial. He had told the agency that his mate Carter Edwards was so rugged that he could open the cans with his teeth!
Carter arrived for an audition at the appointed time to discover his mate had simply played a practical joke on him. In fact the casting agency had never heard of him! But Carter did learn that the Agency was casting for a new Taubman’s Paints commercial, featuring the song “I Did It My Way”.
Using his philosophy of “They might not like me…. but at least they’ll know I was there!”, Carter turned up for the audition along with 26 other hopeful candidates. But Carter was the only one walking on empty Taubman’s Paint cans that he had screwed to the sole of each shoe, props which he used to great advantage when he was called to strut his stuff! When the Agency and Client eventually viewed the footage they were amazed by “the idiot with paint cans on his feet”.
They played it again and again attracting a growing audience of passing office personnel. Eventually they stopped laughing long enough to seriously assess Carter’s voice and suitability for the part. The decision makers were then called in. The heavies instantly decided that Carter was the man they were looking for and they hired him immediately!
At the annual black tie awards ceremony in New York later that year, this commercial won the much coveted and incredibly prestigious Clio Award for “Best Commercial in the World”!
The highly successful marriage between Taubman’s Paints and Carter Edwards lasted for 9 years and Carter became “one of the family” in every household throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Multiple “Mo Awards”
But it was no accident that Carter soon went on to become the recipient of two coveted Mo Awards as ‘Australia’s Most Versatile Entertainer’. Furthermore, Carter has also been nominated 5 times as ‘Australia’s Entertainer of the Year’.
Indeed, Carter Edwards offers a totally unique brand of entertainment and versatility. In the words of Bobby Limb, “How can one man have so much talent?”
Making Them Feel Good
Years ago Carter decided that he didn’t want to be “Just another singer of songs”. Instead, Carter manages to hold his audiences spellbound with a somewhat raucous and typically Australian humour that involves the audience all the way. He couples this with songs, funny stories, then he adds any of the highly entertaining and original gimmicks he’s created over the years! But the mainstay of Carters on-stage magic is his ability to entertain and have fun with an audience, just to “Make ’em feel good!”
More Television Achievements
Whilst on tour in New Zealand another step forward occurred. A technical glitch stopped the recording of a popular TV program called ‘That’s Country’ which went on to have an American viewing audience of over 20 million people every Sunday during a seven year run.
Carter was on next and some of the restless audience began to leave, despite the glitch, the show’s Producer still had the video cameras running. He observed Carter clowning with that restless audience. He watched them eating out of his hand and saw how he had them rolling in the aisles with laughter within minutes. He also saw a potential in Carter that had previously gone unnoticed!
So Carters next venture was to write and star in a very successful one hour New Zealand television special entitled “Closer Entertainment Relationships”. This was a two man show in which he starred alongside the genius Maori entertainer, Billy T. James. The whole thing was backed up by a 17 piece orchestra.
A Royal command Performance Appearance
When Australian show business legend Bobby Limb first saw Carter work, he was so impressed he arranged for Carter to be booked for a Royal Command Performance at the Sydney Opera House. The success of that prestigious appearance before Royalty brought Carter a deluge of other engagements.
In fact it forced the late Mr Bobby Limb to take a very serious look at Carter’s unique talents. Bobby was amazed to discover Carter’s incredible skills, versatility and excellence across so many facets of the entertainment industry. It was then that Bobby publicly asked that famous rhetorical question…. “How can one man have so much talent?”
Setting Records in NSW Clubs
Many years ago Carter shifted his home base from Sydney to Newcastle, where he set-up his daytime club show at Cardiff Workers Club. The Show was a great success and ran with full houses every Friday, for seven years.
Way back in 1985 Carter started his weekly day show, “Hey Hey, It’s Thursday” at Toukley RSL Club on the Central Coast NSW. That show ran for 27 years.
Another surprising event occurred in 1986 when Carter Edwards was thrown into the deep end on Radio Station 2HD Newcastle. In all the years that have passed since then, Ratings Surveys revealed that the ‘Carter Edwards Country’ programme consistently out rated all four other Newcastle stations combined!!
In 2004 ‘Carter Edwards Country’ was replaced by a syndicated programme. Carter thought his radio career was over. But the reaction from his loyal listeners was amazing. The overwhelming unsolicited positive support he received and the resulting multitude of complaints resulted in him being reinstated the following Sunday night.
Since then he has won several radio awards! In 2005 he was inducted into The ACMA Broadcasters Hall Of Fame. Won The peoples Choice Most Popular DJ Award twice, and the ICMA Award for Most Popular Commercial Radio DJ
In 2006 Carter was told as he was about to finish his Sunday evening show that the midnight ’til dawn ‘talk back’ announcer was ill and couldn’t make it! Carter became plan B, he did an 11 hour shift that night! From that, he was eventually offered Saturday and Sunday nights broadcasting across ‘The Super Radio Network’ to a possible 6 million listeners! ‘The Carter Edwards Show’, is live on air from 6 until midnight featuring six hours of TALK-BACK with tunes chats and chuckles and any topic any time, as he communicates with his many listeners who ring in on 131269 from across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
Carter The Author
Carter and his business partner Wayne Sampey recently signed a publishing contract to release their 12 month interactive course, entitled ‘How To Play The Sporting Fame Game Successfully’. Designed to teach all major high profile professional sports stars, both established and up and coming, everything they need to know on and off the field to enable them to fulfill their career dreams and Play The Sporting Fame Game Successfully. Several other books are already well advanced so watch this space for more news as it all moves from dream to reality!
Carter holds online workshops on How To Be Successful In Show Business
Now you have the basic story of an amazing journey that was never meant to be. It started at the bottom, went to the top and has been to all stops in between. And it’s still moving forward and upwards at an amazingly rapid rate!