Clarence Carter & The Golden West

by Tim Stelloh, November 27, 2009

I was at the geedub the other night, as that fine
Fort Bragg drinking establishment is known, when I first
heard Clarene Carter.
It was odd, as the West's musical selections are fairly
predictable: Patsy Cline and Roy Oribison on a typical night,
Bad Company when the dubbers feel like ragin'. But this
wasn't an Americana Classic or second-tier cockrock.
This was more like Billy Ocean. Meets Cameo. This was
'80s synth-soul par excellence--with lyrics from your
perv little cousin who's just memorized his first
skinflute joke.
This was Clarence Carter. This was Strokin'.
I stroke it to the east
And I stroke it to the west
And I stroke it to the woman that I love the best
I be strokin'
As if the song wasn't strange enough, turns out
Clarence Carter--a blind soul singer from Alabama--
gave the video's director absolute freedom to
channel the perv cuz. Think Mr. Potato Head, The Fly Girls
and amateur porn wrapped up in one four-and-a-half
minute slice of chintzy '80s music-video heaven.
Behold:

I first heard Clarence Carter a couple weeks back, while at the Gee-Dub, as that fine Fort Bragg drinking establishment is known.

It was odd, as the West's musical selections are fairly predictable:  Patsy Cline and Roy Oribison on a typical night, Bad Company when the dubbers feel like ragin'. But this wasn't an Americana Classic or second-tier cockrock. This was more like Billy Ocean. Meets Cameo. This was '80s synth-soul par excellence--written by your perv little cousin who just learned his first skinflute joke.

This was Clarence Carter. This was Strokin'.

I stroke it to the east

And I stroke it to the west

And I stroke it to the woman that I love the best

I be strokin'

Strokin' was apparently popular enough in its day that a line dance wasdevised to accompany it (or so a knowledgable Geedub patron told me). Might seem strange, as Carter--who's blind--started out as a soul singer in Alabama in the '60s. But that little factoid is nowhere near as strange as the song's music video. Turns out Carter gave the director absolute freedom to channel that perv cousin; think Mr. Potato Head, the Fly Girls and amateur porn wrapped up in one four-and-a-half minute slice of chintzy '80s music-video heaven.

Behold:

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