Carl J. Turner (Slim) died Monday July 31st, 2017, in his home in Camp Verde, Arizona. He was 92 years old. He is survived by his wife, Angie, his only son, Carl Turner Jr as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren (and one great-great grandson).
Slim grew up in Fork Mountain, Tennessee. A veteran of World War II, he joined the army at 19 and earned the Purple Heart Citation.
After leaving the service, he played country music and toured with his band, eventually landing in Holbrook, Arizona, where he held several jobs (restaurant ownership, upholstery, silversmith). Slim later retired and moved to Camp Verde, Arizona, where he continued his silversmith activities and his passion for country music, singing and playing his Gibson guitars to entertain family and friends throughout his entire life.
Slim at Senator Wash
From around 1991, Slim and his wife Angie could be found in their travel trailer at Skunk Hollow where they came down from Camp Verde to spend their winters. Some of their camper neighbors at that time were Jim and Virginia Tague (Wild Canary and Little Dove) from Missouri and Lee and Betty Swatman (Rock Crusher and Betty Boop) from Idaho. When the waste water treatment ponds were built a few years later, Slim and some others moved up to East Florida Flats, part of which is now known as Music Row.
On Music Row, Slim got to know Buster, a talented and familiar performer at the Sunday jams down in the Gravel Pit. (Buster’s background as a guitar player was mostly in rock and roll, but under Slim’s influence, he readily adopted country music. This opened up a whole new world for Buster, particularly as it pertained to country music in its original, classic, authentic form).
After a few years on Music Row, Slim’s health issues (COPD) caused him to move his travel trailer over to the Yuma Proving Ground RV Park, where his status as a veteran allowed him access. However, he continued to visit his guitar-playing pals on Music Row on a regular basis, jamming here and there in the neighborhood and bringing his musical talent and humor to the weekly Sunday music jams. About three years ago, Slim and Angie decided to remain in Camp Verde and they no longer spent their winters at YPG. During these last years, Slim was able to occasionally visit Music Row and play music with his old friends. He could do this thanks to his son, Carl Jr, who always accompanied him and handled Slim’s breathing apparatus. Carl Jr is also an accomplished guitarist who always brought high-quality playing to various music events in the Senator Wash area where he played along with his father.
Slim will be greatly missed on Music Row and wherever he brought his music.
Allow me to conclude by expressing deep gratitude to Slim, Buster and Carl Jr for their vast contribution to my modest musical world.