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Carter Family

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 76-100 of 223 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-69347 10-in. 5/25/1931 When I'm gone Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp Vocal group  
Victor BVE-69348 10-in. 5/25/1931 Sunshine in the shadows Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp Vocal group  
Victor BVE-69349 10-in. 5/25/1931 Let the church roll on Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp Vocal group  
Victor BVE-69350 10-in. 5/26/1931 Lonesome for you Carter Family Female-male duet, with guitar Vocal group  
Victor BVE-69351 10-in. 5/26/1931 Can't feel at home Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and auto-harp Vocal group  
Victor BVE-69427 10-in. 6/11/1931 Jimmie Rodgers visits the Carter Family Carter Family ; Jimmie Rodgers Dialogue, female vocal duet, and mixed vocal trio, with guitar and mandolin Vocal group  
Victor BVE-69428 10-in. 6/11/1931 The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers in Texas Carter Family ; Jimmie Rodgers Dialogue and mixed vocal quartet, with 2 guitars Vocal group  
Victor BVE-71609 10-in. 2/23/1932 'Mid the green fields of Virginia Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp Vocal group  
Victor BVE-71610 10-in. 2/23/1932 Happiest days of all Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp Vocal group  
Victor BVE-71611 10-in. 2/23/1932 Picture on the wall Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars Vocal group  
Victor BVE-71612 10-in. 2/23/1932 Amber tresses Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars Vocal group  
Victor BVE-71613 10-in. 2/24/1932 I never loved but one Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars Vocal group  
Victor BVE-71614 10-in. 2/24/1932 Tell me that you love me Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars Vocal group  
Victor BVE-71615 10-in. 2/24/1932 Where we'll never grow old Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars Vocal group  
Victor BVE-71616 10-in. 2/24/1932 We will march through the streets of the city Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars Vocal group  
Victor BS-76278 10-in. 6/17/1933 Give me roses while I live Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars Vocal group  
Victor BS-76279 10-in. 6/17/1933 I never will marry Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars Vocal group  
Victor BS-76280 10-in. 6/17/1933 On the sea of Galilee Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars Vocal group  
Victor BS-76281 10-in. 6/17/1933 Home by the sea Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars and yodeling Vocal group  
Victor BS-76282 10-in. 6/17/1933 When the roses come again Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars and yodeling Vocal group  
Victor BS-76283 10-in. 6/17/1933 I loved you better than you knew Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars Vocal group  
Victor BS-76284 10-in. 6/17/1933 This is like heaven to me Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars Vocal group  
Victor BS-76285 10-in. 6/17/1933 See that my grave is kept green Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars Vocal group  
Victor BS-76286 10-in. 6/17/1933 Old rugged cross Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with autoharp Vocal group  
Victor BS-76287 10-in. 6/17/1933 Will the circle be unbroken? Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with autoharp Vocal group  
(Results 76-100 of 223 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Carter Family," accessed March 8, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103002.

Carter Family. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved March 8, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103002.

"Carter Family." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 8 March 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103002

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