Although Carter's work was not the perfect companion to the soul music produced by others during his active artistic output, it is representative of the tenor of the genre/time in and of which he sung. Although he did record for Sam Cooke's SAR record label in the early 1960s, by the time he reached his commercial peak with Imperial Records in the middle of the decade, he was specializing in middle-of-the-road popballads. These actually charted considerably higher on the easy listening charts than the pop ones, his biggest smash being the Top TenBillboard Hot 100hit "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" (1965), an update of a composition that predated the rock era. He had his first hit in 1962 at the age of 19 with "When a Boy Falls in Love", which was co-written by Sam Cooke. He had a couple of other Top 40 entries over the next year, "Band of Gold" and "All of a Sudden My Heart Sings", as well as a few other big easy listening sellers, sounding at times like a more nervous and slightly up-tempo Johnny Mathis.
"Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" is the song he will be remembered for, enduring as an oft-played radiooldie for decades after its release. Carter appears on the DVD of the PBS special "Doo Wop 51" recorded in 2001 (the follow-up to 1999's Doo Wop 50) performing his classic hit.
Hold me, hold me,
Never let me go until youve told me, told me,
What I want to know and then just hold me, hold me
Make me tell you Im in love with you.
Thrill me, thrill me,
Walk me down the lane where shadows will be, will be
Hiding lovers just the same as well be, well be,
When you make me tell you I love you.
They told me be sensible with your new love,
Dont be fooled thinking this is the last youll find.
But they never stood in the dark with you love,
When you take me in your arms and drive me slowly out of my mind
Kiss me, kiss me,
And when you do Ill know you that you will miss me, miss me,
If we ever say adieu so kiss me, kiss me,
Make me tell you Im in love with you