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 176-200 of 223 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Decca||61140||10-in.||6/9/1936||No depression||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61141||10-in.||6/9/1936||Bonnie blue eyes||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61142||10-in.||6/9/1936||My honey Lou||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61143||10-in.||6/9/1936||In the shadow of the pines||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61144||10-in.||6/9/1936||Answer to weeping willow||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61145||10-in.||6/9/1936||You've been a friend to me||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61146||10-in.||9/6/1936||Where the silvery Colorado wends its way||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||61147||10-in.||9/6/1936||Lay my head beneath the rose||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62280||10-in.||6/17/1937||The broken down tramp||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62281||10-in.||6/17/1937||Lover's lane||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62282||10-in.||6/17/1937||Hold fast to the right||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62283||10-in.||6/17/1937||Lord I'm in your care||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62288||10-in.||6/18/1937||The little girl that played on my knee||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62289||10-in.||6/18/1937||You better let that liar alone||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62290||10-in.||6/17/1937||Funny when you feel that way||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62291||10-in.||6/17/1937||In the shadow of the Clinch Mountain||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62292||10-in.||6/17/1937||Hello stranger||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62293||10-in.||6/17/1937||Never let the devil get the upper hand of you||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62294||10-in.||6/17/1937||When this evening sun goes down||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62295||10-in.||6/17/1937||Jim Blake's message||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62296||10-in.||6/17/1937||Honey in the rock||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62297||10-in.||6/17/1937||Look how this world has made a change||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62298||10-in.||6/18/1937||Farewell Nellie||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62299||10-in.||6/18/1937||The only girl (I ever cared for)||Carter Family||Vocal group|
|Decca||62300||10-in.||6/18/1937||Goodbye to the plains||Carter Family||Vocal group|
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.
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