The Carter Family is a traditional American folk music group that recorded between 1927 and 1956. Their music had a profound impact on bluegrass, country, Southern Gospel, pop and rock musicians as well as on the U.S. folk revival of the 1960s. They were the first vocal group to become country music stars, and were among the first groups to record commercially produced country music in recorded history. Their first recordings were made in Bristol, Tennessee under producer Ralph Peer on August 1, 1927, the day before country singer Jimmie Rodgers also made his initial recordings under Peer. Their recordings of songs such as "Wabash Cannonball", "Can the Circle Be Unbroken", "Wildwood Flower", "Keep On the Sunny Side" and "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes" made these songs country standards. The tune of the last was used for Roy Acuff's "The Great Speckled Bird", Hank Thompson's "The Wild Side of Life" and Kitty Wells' "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels", making the song a hit all over again in other incarnations.
The original group consisted of A.P. Carter, his wife Sara Carter, and his sister-in-law Maybelle Carter. Maybelle was married to A.P.'s brother Ezra Carter (Eck), and was also Sara's first cousin. All three were born and raised in Southwest Virginia, where they were immersed in the tight harmonies of mountain gospel music and shape note singing.
Throughout the group's career, Sara Carter sang lead vocals and played rhythm guitar or autoharp, and Maybelle sang harmony and played lead guitar. On some songs A.P. did not perform at all; on some songs he sang harmony and background vocals and occasionally he sang lead. Maybelle's distinctive guitar playing style became a hallmark of the group and her Carter Scratch (a method for playing both lead and rhythm on the guitar) has become one of the most copied styles of guitar playing. The group (in all its incarnations, see below) recorded for a number of companies including Victor, RCA, ARC group, Columbia, Okeh and various imprint labels.
Birth and Death Data: Born July 31st, 1927, Died 1943
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1927 - 1941
Roles Represented in DAHR: Vocal group
Recordings (Results 51-75 of 223 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BS-59025||10-in.||10/13/1932||The winding stream||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-59026||10-in.||10/13/1932||I wouldn't mind dying||Carter Family||Female-male vocal duet, with 2 guitars||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-59027||10-in.||10/13/1932||The spirit of love watches over me||Carter Family||Female vocal duet, with guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-59028||10-in.||10/13/1932||The church in the wildwood||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-59979||10-in.||5/24/1930||The Cannon-ball||Carter Family||Male vocal solo, with guitar and auto-harp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-59980||10-in.||5/24/1930||The lovers' farewell||Carter Family||Female-male vocal duet, with guitar and auto-harp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-59981||10-in.||5/24/1930||There's someone awaiting for me||Carter Family||Female-male vocal duet, with yodeling, guitar, and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-59982||10-in.||5/24/1930||The little log hut in the lane||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-59983||10-in.||5/24/1930||When the springtime comes again||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with yodeling, steel guitar, and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-59984||10-in.||5/24/1930||When the world's on fire||Carter Family||Female-male vocal duet, with steel guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-59985||10-in.||5/24/1930||I have an aged mother||Carter Family||Female-male vocal duet, with steel guitar and auto-harp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-59986||10-in.||5/24/1930||The dying soldier||Carter Family||Female-male vocal duet, with steel guitar and auto-harp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-59987||10-in.||5/24/1930||Worried man blues||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-64705||10-in.||11/24/1930||Lonesome valley||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-64706||10-in.||11/24/1930||On the rock where Moses stood||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-64707||10-in.||11/24/1930||Room in heaven for me||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-64714||10-in.||11/25/1930||Lonesome Pine special||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars, and yodeling||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-64715||10-in.||11/25/1930||No more the moon shines on Lorena||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-64716||10-in.||11/25/1930||On my way to Canaan's land||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-64717||10-in.||11/25/1930||Where shall I be?||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with steel guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-64718||10-in.||11/25/1930||Sow 'em on the mountain||Carter Family||Female-male vocal duet, with steel guitar, and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-64719||10-in.||11/25/1930||Darling Nellie across the sea||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-64720||10-in.||11/25/1930||The birds were singing of you||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-69345||10-in.||5/25/1931||Weary prodigal son||Carter Family||Female-male vocal duet, with 2 guitars||Vocal group|
|Victor||BVE-69346||10-in.||5/25/1931||My old cottage home||Carter Family||Female-male vocal duet, with 2 guitars||Vocal group|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Carter Family," accessed March 5, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103002.
Carter Family. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved March 5, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103002.
"Carter Family." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 5 March 2021.
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