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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 201-223 of 223 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 62301 10-in. 6/18/1937 My home's across the Blue Ridge mountains Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 62302 10-in. 6/18/1937 Dark haired true lover Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 62303 10-in. 6/18/1937 He never came back Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64086 10-in. 6/8/1938 Happy in prison Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64087 10-in. 6/8/1938 Walking in the King's highway Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64088 10-in. 6/8/1938 St. Regis girl Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64089 10-in. 6/8/1938 Just a few more days Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64090 10-in. 6/8/1938 Bring back my boy Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64091 10-in. 6/8/1938 It is better farther on Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64092 10-in. 6/8/1938 Charlie and Nellie Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64093 10-in. 6/8/1938 Cuban soldier Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64094 10-in. 6/8/1938 The heart that was broken for me Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64095 10-in. 6/8/1938 You're nothing more to me Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64096 10-in. 6/8/1938 Stern old bachelor Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64097 10-in. 6/8/1938 Little Joe Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64098 10-in. 6/8/1938 Reckless motorman Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64099 10-in. 6/8/1938 You denied your love Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64100 10-in. 6/8/1938 Oh take me back Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64101 10-in. 6/8/1938 You are my flower Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64102 10-in. 6/8/1938 Who's that knockin' on my window Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64103 10-in. 6/8/1938 They call her mother Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64104 10-in. 6/8/1938 Coal miner's blues Carter Family Vocal group  
Decca 64105 10-in. 6/8/1938 Young Freda Bolt Carter Family Vocal group  
(Results 201-223 of 223 records)

Citation

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.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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