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Lebanon's Carter named to Tennessee State Fair board

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Bill Carter

Lebanon resident Bill Carter, a longtime Nashville entertainment producer and artist manager, was recently elected to a three-year term on the Tennessee State Fair Association (TSFA) Board of Directors.

Carter joins 13 other board members from across the state that serve in a volunteer capacity to help produce the Tennessee State Fair in Nashville each year.

"We're pleased and grateful that Mr. Carter has accepted a position on our board," said TSFA Board Chairman John Rose.

Rose added that Carter's experience and reputation as one of the music industry's most prominent executives will be of significant value as the state fair sets its vision for the future and makes plans to expand venues within the fair designated for entertainment.

Several years before he began a multi-decade career in the music industry, Carter was an influential attorney, a Washington lobbyist, Secret Service agent assigned to the White House during the Kennedy years and a confidant to a number of powerful political leaders.

His introduction to the music industry came in the 1970s when the Rolling Stones became a client due to certain immigration issues the popular rock group was facing as a result of allegations by the U.S. State Department. The Stones hired Carter to represent them during this period as they toured the U.S. His business relationship with Keith Richards and the group lasted almost 20 years, and he still maintains a friendship with Richards and members of the band.

Throughout his career, Carter has managed some of the industry's most popular personalities, including Reba McEntire, Waylon Jennings, Lari White, Rodney Crowell, Carlene Carter, Shenandoah, Jo-El Sonnier, Rick Vincent, Philip Claypool, J.P. Pennington, Tim Ryan and TV/radio personality Ralph Emery.

In 1995, Carter was responsible for establishing the Gaither Gospel Hour on TNN, and he continues to serve as executive producer on the majority of the multi-award-winning Gaither Homecoming specials on more than a dozen commercial networks and PBS. Gaither Television Productions has produced more than six dozen Homecoming videos as well as seven country music Homecoming-style specials, an Elvis Presley gospel collection, a Billy Graham Music Homecoming and a Gospel Bluegrass Homecoming special.

Carter and his wife Marlow live on a horse farm in Lebanon.

Joe Gaines, a former assistant commissioner of agriculture for the State of Tennessee, was also elected to a three-year term on the board.

Gaines, who recently retired from his service with the state, had served in an ex-officio role with the state fair board for some five years before his election to the board. Others reelected to three-year terms on the board include William T. Cheek III, Justin Crowe, Allie Ellis, State Rep. Andy Holt, Debra Kenerson and Deborah Varallo. Also serving as directors on the board are Emily Pitcock, Sen. Joe Haynes, Dr. Sam Jackson, Tom Lane and Bill Mullins.

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