Former convict and amateur bluegrass singer James Carter died in Chicago on 26 November (03) of complications from a stroke, aged 77.

One of Carter's 1959 field recordings was a key part of the award-winning soundtrack to the Coen Brothers' 2000 film O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?.

Carter was a member of a Mississippi chain gang when American musicologist ALAN LOMAX recorded him leading other convicts in a rendition of the folk song PO LAZARUS.

The Coens' producer T BONE BURNETT, who discovered the track in the Lomax archives and used it on the soundtrack, later tracked down Carter in Chicago, flying him to Los Angeles for the 2002 GRAMMY Awards, where O Brother was named album of the year.

03/12/2003 21:16