During the month of February it has been observed as Black History Month.

Created by American historian Carter G. Woodson, Black History week was established on February 12th, 1926 and as part of the bicentennial the week was expanded into Black History Month in 1976.

As we pay tribute to notable African Americans who made contributions we are honoring men and women who have ties to East Texas.

Today we shine a spotlight on Carl Gardner.

Carl Gardner was born in Tyler, Texas on April 29th, 1928 to Rebecca and Robert Gardner.

Gardner’s first major success started with the R&B group “The Robins” and had a big hit in 1955 “Smokey Joe’s Café.”

In 1956, Gardner formed “The Coasters” with members Bobby Nunn, Leon Hughes, and Billy Guy.

Their catalogue of  hits include “Charlie Brown”, “Poison Ivy”, and “Yakety Yak.”

The Coasters were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Shawn Knight | TSM
Shawn Knight | TSM

Carl Gardner passed away on June 12th, 2011 and the City of Tyler declared June 10th, 2017 as “Carl Gardner Day.”


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