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Billy Carrier papers

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Billy Carrier:

A Guide to His Papers at Georgia State University Library

Georgia State University
Georgia State University Library
Special Collections and Archives
100 Decatur St., SE
Atlanta, GA 30303-3202
Fax: 404-413-2881

October 1987

Profile Description

Creation: EAD version 2002 finding aid created in XMetaL 4.5 from HTML source, June 27, 2008.
Language: English

Collection Summary

Repository: Georgia State University Library, Special Collections and Archives, Atlanta
Creator:Carrier, Billy
Title:Billy Carrier papers
Dates: circa 1935-1957
Quantity: .2 linear ft. (in 1 box)
Abstract:A guitarist, William S. Carrier ("Billy") was a guitarist and member of the popular Swanee River Boys, playing white southern gospel as well as traditional folk songs and Negro spirituals. In 1941, the group joined WSB Radio's "Barn Dance," broadcast from Atlanta. In 1952, Carrier left the Swanee River Boys, but he continued to perform in the Landmark Church Quartet until May 1956. His papers contain fifty-seven photographs and a photocopy of a datebook recording Swanee River Boys engagements, and scrapbooks on microfilm.
Identification: M032

Scope and Content of the Papers

The Billy Carrier papers contain fifty-seven photographs, including numerous images of the Swanee River Boys, as well as several of the cast members of the WSB "Barn Dance" program, The Vaughan Four, and The Landmark Quartet, another group of which Carrier was a member. These photographs are copies made from the originals. In the single folder of printed materials is a photocopy of a datebook in which the engagements of the Swanee River Boys from Thursday, March 7 [1935?] to Saturday, April 12 [1936?] are recorded. Carrier's scrapbooks, which chronicle his career in photographs, news clippings, magazine articles, and handbills, are on microfilm. A photocopy of a shapenote songbook, Favorites of the Swanee River Boys (Dallas: Stamps-Baxter Music, undated), has been transferred to the Songbook Collection. Two audio cassettes of the Swanee River Boys and one LP featuring Billy, Willene, and Larry Carrier make up the sound portion of this collection.

Biography of Billy Carrier

Born June 16, 1913, near Arthur, Kentucky, William S. Carrier ("Billy") was a guitarist, later attending the James D. Vaughan School of Music in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Graduating in 1936, he performed in a quartet, the Vaughan Four, that later changed names, becoming the Swanee River Boys. The popular Swanee River Boys, playing white southern gospel as well as traditional folk songs and Negro spirituals, were featured on a variety of radio programs around the southeast. In 1941, the group was added to the already-large roster of acts on the WSB "Barn Dance," broadcast from Atlanta. Carrier and the Swanee River Boys also broadcast on WBT in Charlotte, North Carolina, WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio, Purina Feed Company's "Checkerboard Time," and Western Auto's "Circle Arrow Show." In 1947, the Swanee River Boys took second place on the NBC Radio talent show "The Big Break." In 1952, Carrier left the Swanee River Boys, but he continued to perform in the Landmark Church Quartet until May 1956.

Billy Carrier and his wife Willene Daniel Carrier were married in 1941. The couple has five children. Carrier's brother Joseph, known as Cotton (ca. 1919-1994), also became a well-known country musician and emcee for WSB Radio's "Barn Dance."

Further information on William S. Carrier can be found in: Wayne Daniel, "'We Had to be Different to Survive': Billy Carrier Remembers the Swanee River Boys," JEMF Quarterly 65-66 (in the Ephemera file, Popular Music Collection).

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Carrier, Cotton.
Carrier, Billy--Archives
WSB (Radio station : Atlanta, Ga.)
Swanee River Boys (Musical group)
Country music--Georgia--Atlanta--20th century
Country musicians--Georgia
Atlanta (Ga.)


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Administrative Information


[item], [folder title], [series title], Billy Carrier Papers, M032, Popular Music Collection. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Acquisition Information

Donated by William S. ("Billy") Carrier, August 1984 (M1984-18).

Processing Information

Processed by Christopher Ann Paton and Christine de Catanzaro, October 1987 (revised August 1998). EAD finding aid created by William Hardesty, June 2008.

Related Material

Related materials in this repository:

WSB Radio Records, M003, Popular Music Collection

Cotton Carrier Papers, M029, Popular Music Collection

Wayne W. Daniel Papers, M108, Popular Music Collection

Also see the Atlanta Country Music Research Guide page on the Popular Music Collection website.

Separated Material

Separated material: During processing, a songbook and sound recordings were separated to other Popular Music Collections. See List of Separated Material following Detailed Description of the Collection.

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