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 151-175 of 223 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BS-87033||10-in.||12/11/1934||The evening bells are ringing||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-87034||10-in.||12/11/1934||The little dobe shack||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-87035||10-in.||12/11/1934||The mountains of Tennessee||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-87036||10-in.||12/11/1934||Texas girl||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-87037||10-in.||12/11/1934||I'll be home some day||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-87038||10-in.||12/11/1934||Faded coat of blue||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-87039||10-in.||12/11/1934||Sailor boy||Carter Family||Female vocal duet, with guitar and autoharp||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-067991||10-in.||10/14/1941||Dark and stormy weather||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with autoharp and guitar||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-067992||10-in.||10/14/1941||In the valley of the Shenandoah||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with autoharp and guitar||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-067993||10-in.||10/14/1941||The girl on the greenbrier shore||Carter Family||Female vocal duet, with autoharp and guitar||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-067994||10-in.||10/14/1941||Something got a hold of me||Carter Family||Male vocal solo, with autoharp and guitar||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-067995||10-in.||10/14/1941||Fifty miles of elbow room||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with autoharp and guitar||Vocal group|
|Victor||BS-067996||10-in.||10/14/1941||Keep on the firing line||Carter Family||Mixed vocal trio, with autoharp and guitar||Vocal group|
|Decca||61128||10-in.||6/8/1936||My Dixie darling||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61129||10-in.||6/8/1936||Give me your love and I'll give you mine||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61130||10-in.||6/8/1936||Are you lonesome tonight||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61131||10-in.||6/8/1936||The last move for me||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61132||10-in.||6/8/1936||The way worn traveler||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61133||10-in.||6/8/1936||Just another broken heart||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61134||10-in.||6/8/1936||When the silver threads are gold again||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61135||10-in.||6/8/1936||There's no one like mother to me||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61136||10-in.||6/8/1936||In a little village churchyard||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61137||10-in.||6/8/1936||Jealous hearted me||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61138||10-in.||6/8/1936||My native home||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61139||10-in.||6/8/1936||Sweet heaven in my view||Carter Family||Vocal group|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Carter Family," accessed February 25, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103002.
Carter Family. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved February 25, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103002.
"Carter Family." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 25 February 2021.
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