ENT Partners of Texas Blog
A Famous Song About ENT
Today, I’d like to highlight one of the great Ear, Nose, and Throat songs of all time.
I first heard Lou Carter’s “If I had a Nose Full of Nickles” on a Saturday morning driving home from a night on call at Parkland Hospital in Dallas somewhere around 1989. It was playing on KPBC, an “oldies”station which at that time was found at 1040 on the AM dial. It would take me a long time before I was able to secure a copy of the song and now I have the chance to share it with you.
Louis Carter was a jazz pianist for many years He performed under the name of Lou Carter with several big bands, including Jimmy Dorsey and Glenn Gray. He also appeared on national television, including the Perry Como show as Louie the Cabbie.
Here is some information on the singer from his son:
I’m Lou Carter’s son and I’m delighted that people are still enjoying my father’s music. He did indeed make three “cabbie” albums: Louie’s Love Songs, Louie Writes Again, and How Deep is Which Ocean? During that time, he made several appearances on the Perry Como Show. We actually still have a couple of the original scripts.
He also co-wrote, with Johnny Frigo and Herb Ellis, the jazz standard, “Detour Ahead” and another song, “I Told You I Love You, Now Get Out.” The former was recorded by everyone from Billie Holiday to Bill Evans; the latter was sung by Cybill Sheperd in an old Moonlighting episode.
Shortly after the Como appearances, he settled down and began a successful career writing and producing radio jingles. He would spend part of the week in his New York office writing and arranging and the rest of the week in the studio producing, playing piano and singing on the commercials. On occasion, my brother and I would accompany him to the studio. We’d see a parade of A-list musicians and singers — such as Ron Carter and Marlene Ver Planck — come through the door.
Throughout the years, he also regularly played jazz piano at local venues and was very much in demand. He would often fulfill requests to do a “cabbie” tune or two. He continued to play professionally well into his 80s.
Despite his accomplishments, he was a very humble man who always maintained a great sense of humor. I remember once when he was probably about 84 years old, he returned from a gig for which the audience was made up of people bussed in from retirement homes. When I asked him how it went, he said, “I gotta tell you John, senior citizens are just the worst!”
Louis Carter died Sept. 25, 2005 in Mountainside Hospital, Glen Ridge, NJ at the age of 87.
Lou, here’s hoping you finally have that nose full of nickels you so long desired.