"I'm making modern American culture right here in Wellington. It's my hometown. It's why I'm here.”
Carter Green tells his story of working in the world of film, television, and music with clients coming to him from all over the world...right here in Wellington.
Walking down Washington Street in Wellington and looking up at the tall, old buildings with so much history, one never knows what they might discover. Not far from the Wellington Daily News office is one of the most pleasant and surprising discoveries one could make exploring this fine city. Walking up the steep staircase to the second floor of the historic building not far from the Regent Theater, one is shocked to find out that a recording studio is located there. It is owned and operated by one man.
His name is Carter Green, and he has a fantastic story to tell.
He is a well-known composer and sound mixer with credits in movies, television, and the music world. He has been in the business for the past eighteen years. He could be regarded as one of Wellington’s best kept secrets.
He says he was born into a family where “everyone was musical, but I am the only one who plays professionally.” He grew up in a trailer park where his parents encouraged his musical interests. His first record he bought was the Star Wars soundtrack in 1977 where he listened to the double LP over and over again. To this day, he regards John Williams as his favorite composer, with Hans Zimmer in the second spot.
He graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude in Music Theory and Composition. Still, even with the college degree, he says “experience is the best education of all.”
He says providing his services to clients all over the world is “a lot cheaper and faster” for them to have done in Wellington. “They get exactly what they want for quality and price. They save tons of money,” he says, referring to his clients who come anywhere from such places as Australia, Vermont, or Seattle, and places in between. He goes on to add that “the low cost of doing business” is one of the reasons he stays in Wellington. If he were to do this up in Wichita, in the Delano District, for example, it would cost four times that due to real estate prices. “We can compete here.”
Carter was the Director of the Chamber of Commerce for a two-year period during which it was asked of the group ‘what can we do to get people to do business here?’
It turned out Carter was exactly one of those people the Chamber of Commerce wanted. During the past eighteen years, he has worked on post-production and sound for five episodes of NBC's "Chicago Fire”; music, recording and mastering for the season finale of AMC's "Better Call Saul”; mixing and mastering the L.A. band "Letters and Radio", featuring Jason Orme (guitarist - Alanis Morisette Band) and John Gregory (keys - Sarah McLachlan Band); recording, mixing and mastering international classical guitar virtuoso Matthew Fagan of Melbourne, Australia (one of the world's top classical guitarists); produced, recorded and mixed Nuke Bushner, who shortly thereafter appeared on ABC's "American Idol”, and countless local and national artists.
After close to twenty years in the business, he sometimes thinks of retirement, “but, what would I do? I don’t ever see myself not doing this.” He smiled as he adds, “It’s nice having your business in your hometown. No way am I ever moving to Los Angeles or Nashville. No, thank you. This is the place for me,” he said with great firmness.
Walking around and seeing his place was awe-inspiring, as he told that the building he lives in is over a hundred years old. The equipment he uses for his work, he said proudly, is “the same that is used in Nashville and at Skywalker Sound.”
“The right place and the right time,” was how he came to be able to purchase the building, which was where Virginia Glascow had her drugstore at one time. “I was immediately attracted to it.” When it was sold to him eighteen years ago, Carter says the building also used to house a law office and had an original Southwestern Bell switchboard. He said that the door leading into his most-used work area reminded him of a door leading into a 1940s-era private detective’s office.
He said that the architects managed to preserve as much of it as possible, at his urging, with the only updates needed for HVAC and to the wiring so it could support the equipment. With all of this established, he says he is “making modern American culture right here in Wellington. It’s my hometown. It’s why I’m here.”
Carter’s wife, Jaime, works for the Wichita Eagle as a photo editor. Her photos have been awarded and recognized by the Associated Press. “She is a drummer in the my group, Mudbugs Cajun & Zydeco Band. She can do anything. She’s amazing. She is a documentary filmmaker whose work has been shown at the Tallgrass Film Festival.”
The Mudbugs Cajun & Zydeco Band, for which Carter learned to play the fiddle, “has taken us all over.” One of his proudest moments was their performing on the Prairie Home Companion radio show It has also taken them to such places as Las Vegas, Shreveport, and Illinois, among others. Still, he asks, “How cool was that when my band director heard us on the radio? That was our moment in the sun.”
Having had several moments in the sun over the past eighteen years, Carter asked his father what was the one thing he wanted to do in his lifetime. When his father expressed his wish to go to Ireland and visit the ancestral home, Carter made that happen. It was a trip that brought them to Galway where there were lots of pleasant memories and “lots of Guinness.” He hopes to do the same type of thing for his mom.
He says "I often get asked, 'where does your musical ability come from?' I suppose that question gets answered right here. My mom,Susan Green, just released her debut album at age 80." He goes on to say, "There's no excuses for not causing your dreams to become reality at any time."
Her video 'Ragtime Cowboy Joe' is available to view on You Tube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwU1V00Vhf8&feature=share. It also features two-year old Cameron Green.
"But" he was quick to add, "let's also give credit where it's due...it was my dear dad Bob Green, who put that first 6-string in my hands and taught me to play the essential chords that all guitarists need, if they are to make any decent music whatsoever."
In the end, as for his own dreams, Carter believes he will be known for “producing all of this music.”
Carter Green is truly one of Wellington’s best kept secrets and one of its very best success stories.