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Country Music Star Wilf Carter Dead at 91

December 6, 1996 GMT

TORONTO (AP) _ Wilf Carter, a Canadian country music legend whose career spanned six decades, has died at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 91.

Carter, best known to U.S. country music fans as Montana Slim, died Thursday night. He was diagnosed with a stomach tumor two months ago.

Carter, the son of a Baptist minister, was born in Port Hilford, Nova Scotia, on Dec. 18, 1904. As a child, he was inspired by a touring Swiss yodeler and developed a distinctive yodel that became a trademark of his performances.

In 1923 he went west, working first in the Alberta grain fields. He sang at local dances, bunkhouses and parties and was hired by a Calgary radio station to sing on their weekly hoedowns.

In the early ’30s, Carter recorded an audition demo of ``Swiss Moonlight Lullaby″ and ``The Capture of Albert Johnson,″ which RCA Victor released in 1933.

When Carter went to New York after landing his own radio show, a woman who was typing out his songs gave him the name Montana Slim and it stuck.

In the 1940s, Carter returned to Calgary, where he hurt his back in a car accident, sidelining him from touring for much of the decade. In the ’50s, he resumed touring, playing his songs about cowboy life, fur trappers and other bits of Canadiana.

Carter was inducted into the Canadian music hall of fame in 1985 and recorded his last album, ``Whatever Happened to All Those Years,″ in 1988.

Carter is survived by two daughters. His wife died in 1989.