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Cotton Carrier papers

Identifier: M029

Scope and Content of the Papers

These papers consist of two folders and one oversize folder of photocopied printed materials, part of one reel of microfilm, and twenty-three photographs. The first folder of printed materials contains three pages of typewritten biographical material on Cotton Carrier, including information on his professional activities for WSB Radio, WAGA-TV, and the Lowery Music Group, and some details on his army service during World War II. One additional page lists Carrier's memberships, offices, and honors obtained from various professional and social organizations. The second folder contains two handbills advertising Jane and Cotton Carrier's appearances in Georgia festivals, and an issue of Mason Mint, a periodical published by the Mason Candy Company (a sponsor of WSB's "Barn Dance"), which includes an article titled "Mason Sponsors a Barn Dance." On microfilm are two scrapbooks relating to Carrier's professional activities. Included in the oversize folder is a 1980 issue of Marquee and a photocopy of an undated issue of Country Song Roundup.

The photographs, which are copies made from the originals, mainly document Carrier's career during the 1940s and 1950s, with images of him, his wife, his brother Billy with the other Swanee River Boys, and other musicians with whom he performed at WSB Radio and WAGA-TV. Also among the photographs are two pictures of the awards ceremony of the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame in 1983.


  • circa 1940-1950, 1984


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

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.

Biography of Cotton Carrier

Born near Arthur, Kentucky, Joseph "Cotton" Carrier proved himself proficient on the mandolin, guitar, and fiddle at an early age. As a member of such early country music groups as Goober and His Kentuckians and later, The Plantation Gang, Carrier presented himself as a talented musician. It was reportedly his personality, however, that landed him the position of emcee on WSB Radio's popular "Barn Dance" program in 1941. After a hiatus between 1942 and 1946, when Carrier served in the army, he returned to Atlanta and WSB to become a well-known broadcaster. During his time with WSB, Carrier maintained a high profile, appearing on "Barn Dance," "The Dixie Farm And Home Hour," "Cracker Barrel," and "Georgia Jubilee." In the 1950s, Carrier continued performing as a vocalist and guitarist for Boots Woodall and the TV Cowboys on Atlanta's WAGA-TV.

Later in his career, Cotton Carrier worked alternately as a songwriter and promoter. In 1953, The Smith Brothers, an Atlanta gospel quartet, scored a hit with Carrier's song "I Have But One Goal." As a promoter, Carrier was equally successful, booking Elvis Presley's first Atlanta appearance in 1955. In 1957, he joined the Lowery Music Group as a record promoter and in 1980 he was named General Professional Manager for Lowery Music Group. He died in 1994 at the age of 75.

Carrier was married to the former Jane Logan, who performed on various country music shows on WSB during the 1940s. Carrier's brother Billy also became a well-known country musician as a member of the Swanee River Boys.

For photographs of Cotton Carrier, see Georgia State University Library Digital Collections


0.2 Linear Feet (in 1 box)

Language of Materials



A talented musician, Joseph "Cotton" Carrier become a well-known broadcaster on Atlanta radio and television, beginning on WSB's "Barn Dance" in 1942. Later in his career, he worked alternately as a songwriter and promoter. His papers consist of photocopied printed materials, part of one reel of microfilm, and twenty-three photographs, and contain biographical material, including information on his professional activities for WSB Radio, WAGA-TV, and the Lowery Music Group, and some details on his army service during World War II.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Joseph W. ("Cotton") Carrier, July 1984 (M1984-14).

Processing Information

Processed by Christopher Ann Paton and Christine de Catanzaro at the item level, November 1988.
Cotton Carrier:
A Guide to His Papers at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
November 1988
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • June 2008: EAD finding aid created by William Hardesty.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)