STARS like Ken Dodd and Ricky Tomlinson have paid tribute to one of Merseyside's greatest drummers, Red Carter.
Wirral born Red Carter died at the age of 92.
Red – real name Ernie Carter – took up the drums as a child and earned his nickname because of the colour of his hair.
He became one of the most prominent jazz and big band drummers of his generation, playing with his own band and also backing a host of household names at the city’s Cabaret Club in Duke Street.
He also taught his technique to up-and-coming drummers like Bebington-born Chris Sharrock, who played in both Robbie Williams’ band and with Oasis on tour.
Red began his career playing in a youth band in the 30s. After wartime service with the Royal Tank Regiment he formed his own band called The Playboys.
As a member of resident bands appearing at the city’s Cabaret Club and the BAT (British American Tobacco) Club he played with many of the country’s top artists including Vera Lynn, Lonnie Donegan, Matt Monro, Morecambe & Wise, Tommy Cooper, and Cleo Laine.
Ken Dodd, who appeared on stage with Red on many occasions, said: “He was a lovely man with a great sense of humour, and a fabulous drummer.
“He was held in very high esteem by other musicians, and was always a delight to work with.”
Actor and comedian Ricky Tomlinson, who co-owns The Greenroom club in the city centre, said: “Our resident drummer said Red was streets ahead of anybody. I’d seen him perform over the years and he was well-respected in the business. The Cabaret Club was the main club in Liverpool at the time.
“Anyone who was anyone appeared there, and Red would be part of a trio that backed them.”