The Carter Family
The Carter Family was 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.
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 them country standards.
The latter's tune 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 Alvin Pleasant "A.P." Delaney Carter (1891–1960), his wife Sara Dougherty Carter (1898–1979), and his sister-in-law Maybelle Addington Carter (1909–1978).
Maybelle was married to A.P.'s brother Ezra (Eck) Carter, and was also Sara's first cousin.
All three were born and raised in southwestern 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; Maybelle sang harmony and accompanied the group instrumentally; on some songs A.P.
did not perform at all but at times sang harmony and background vocals and, once in a while, lead vocal.
Maybelle's distinctive guitar playing style became a hallmark of the group.Extended familyThis family tree shows the extended Carter family through several generations.Selected 78 rpm recordsThe Carter Family's career predated any sort of best-selling chart of country music records.
(Billboard did not have a country best sellers chart until 1944.) Below is a select list of their 78 rpm releases.Bluebird Records"Anchored in Love""I'll Be All Smiles Tonight""Keep on the Sunny Side""Little Moses""Mid the Green Fields of Virginia""My Clinch Mountain Home""Picture on the Wall""Wabash Cannonball""Wildwood Flower""Worried Man Blues"Montgomery Ward Records"Lonesome Pine Special""Two Sweethearts""Where We'll Never Grow Old"Decca Records"Coal Miner Blues""Hello Stranger""My Dixie Darling""You Are My Flower"Victor Records"Bury Me Beneath the Weeping Willow""Foggy Mountain Top""Gold Watch and Chain""I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes""Keep on the Firing Line""My Old Cottage Home""On the Sea of Gallee""The Church in the Wildwood""The Storms Are on the Ocean"Vocalion Records"Broken Hearted Love""Can the Circle Be Unbroken"Rounder CD compilationsSinglesGuest singles
Can The Circle Be Unbroken