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.