Carter Family

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Carter Family,

group of singers that specialized in traditional music of the Southern Appalachian Mountains; it consisted of A(lvin) P(leasant) Carter, 1891–1960, b. Maces Spring, Va.; his wife, Sara (Dougherty) Carter, 1898–1979, b. Flatwoods, Va.; and his sister-in-law, Maybelle (Addington) Carter, 1909–1978, b. Nickelsville, Va. Perhaps the most influential group in the history of country music, they helped to bring folk and country into America's cultural mainstream. The group sang locally until 1927 when they responded to a talent scout's ad, were "discovered," and became recording artists. During their career they recorded more than 300 songs, sometimes joined by Sara or Maybelle's children.

The Carters' style was marked by close harmonies, by Sara's autoharp, and by "Mother" Maybelle's distinctive guitar-picking style, later adopted by many folk and country artists. Among their best-known songs are Wildwood Flower, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, and Wabash Cannonball. While the so-called Original Carter Family disbanded in 1943 (seven years after Sara divorced A. P.), later Carters followed in their tradition; Maybelle continued to perform into the 1960s along with her daughters Helen (1927–98), Anita (1933–99), and June (1929–2003), who was married to and often sang with Johnny CashCash, Johnny,
1932–2003, American singer and songwriter, b. Kingsland, Ark. Born to a farm family, he went to Memphis in 1955 and recorded such hits as "I Walk the Line" (1956) and "Ring of Fire" (1963); the latter was written with his second wife, singer June Carter Cash
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. Today, A. P. and Sara's children Janette and Joe both sing country music, notably at the Carter Family Memorial Music Center in Hiltons, Va. (est. 1979). The Carter Family was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970.


See study by M. Zwonitzer (2002),

Carter Family

country music singers, songwriters. After A. P. Carter married Sara Dougherty in 1915, they often sang for friends and relatives; when Maybelle Addington married A. P.'s brother Ezra in 1926, she joined in and proved to be especially good on the guitar, banjo, and autoharp. They made their first records for Victor Company in 1927 (at the same session where Jimmie Rodgers debuted) and soon they were becoming known to a broader audience with their recordings, live radio broadcasts, and personal appearances. With a repertoire of both traditional folksongs, gospel music, and their own compositions ("Wildwood Flowers," "Will the Circle Be Unbroken"), they embodied the authentic mood and style of southern folk music. The original trio broke up in 1943 (A. P. and Sara had separated in 1933) and Maybelle began to perform with her daughters Helen, June, and Anita as Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters; they were a popular fixture on Grand Ole Opry (1950–67). When June married Johnny Cash in 1968, the group toured with his show until 1973. A. P. and Sara had pretty much retired in 1943 but they joined their children, Joe and Janette, to make recordings in 1952 and 1956. Maybelle and Sara made an album, An Historic Reunion, in 1967. The abiding influence of the original Carter Family trio on several generations is now recognized by all who perform and enjoy American country and folk music.
References in periodicals archive ?
1 -- color) Lancaster city officials and Carter family members break ground Thursday on Whit Carter Park, on the family's homestead site.
Many never-before-seen photographs from the Carter family photo album
With this soap banking on the Carter family being one of the key elements in reviving their fortunes, let's hope they have a plan B.
It focuses on yodeler Jimmie Rodgers - who, despite virtually defining a sound for the genre, suffered the ignominy of having his name misspelled in his New York Times obituary - and the Carter Family, whose radio shows were sponsored by a quack doctor who peddled goats' glands to cure impotence.
Concerts scheduled for performance in a temporary amphitheater near Grand Casino Hinckley prior to the new amphitheater's opening include those by Johnny Cash, featuring June Carter and the Carter Family, with John Carter Cash (June 5); Ricky Skaggs, with special guest stars, The Kentucky Headhunters (June 16); Chubby Checker and The Wildcats, The Platters, Charlie Brown Tribute to The Coasters and The Original Drifters (July 10) and ShaNaNa, The Turtles -- featuring Flo & Eddie, Jan & Dean, The Kingsmen and Danny & The Juniors featuring Joe Terry (July 17).
Joining him on the float will be his twin sister, fashion model Angel Carter, followed by the Carter family in their tour bus.
Established in 1830, the Willenhall company is still owned and managed by the Carter family.
The black sheep of the Carter family is Taylor who wants to be a lawyer.
Carter was a wonderful teacher and mother who didn't deserve to die and shouldn't have died," says Jeff Rasansky, lead counsel for the Carter family.
1)'' (Dualtone) The first installment of songs handpicked by the editors of No Depression magazine features Johnny Cash, Kasey Chambers, the Carter Family, Allison Moorer, Whiskeytown, Alejandro Escovedo and more.
I ATTENDED a sell-out concert at the Birmingham Odeon in the late 1960s when Johnny Cash appeared with the Carter Family and Carl Perkins.
Feature Documentaries Include Pics on the Carter Family and Border Radio