The Carter Family was a countryside-derived, country music group that recorded between 1927 and 1943. Their Hillbilly music was of great influence on both the later bluegrass, country, pop and rock music.
The original group was a trio consisting of A.P. Carter (vocals), his wife Sara Dougherty Carter (autoharp) and Maybelle Carter (guitar). Maybelle was married to A.P. 's brother Ezra (Eck) Carter and was a niece of Sara Carter. All three were born in the southwest of the u.s. State of Virginia, where she grew up with the tight harmonies of the church music. A.P., Sara and Maybelle sang bass alt soprano. Maybelles characteristic and innovative style of guitar playing (melody and accompaniment simultaneously) soon became a feature of the group.
On 2 August 1927 took the trio in the studio of plates pioneer Ralph Peer for the first time a number; Bury me under the weeping willow. The next day were six more songs, including Wildwood Flower. The recordings were part of the so-called Bristol Sessions, to which a large number of local artists took part. Per recorded song was paid $ 50. Except for the Carter Family also took part in the later country star Jimmie Rodgers recording sessions. In the autumn of 1927 brought record company Victor Records of Peer a two sided 78 rpm record with the songs Wandering Boy and Poor Orphan Child. A second album was released In 1928 with The Storms Are on the Ocean and Single Girl, Married Girl. These turned out to be very popular.
In may 1928 were led by Peer in a studio in Camden again a number of songs recorded. To do this, the Carters received $ 600 and a contract with which they claimed a small part of the royalties for sales of plates and sheet music. In February 1929 a new recording session took place. By the end of 1930 the Carter Family had sold 300,000 records.
A.P. realized that he could financially benefit from the songs he collected. He traveled a lot through the Southwest Virginia looking for new material. In the early 1930s, he became friends with Lesley Riddle, a black guitar player from Kingsport who accompanied him on his quests. Lesleys blues-guitar playing influenced the Carters, in particular taught him that new techniques of Maybelle. In June 1931 , the Carters participated in a recording session along with Jimmie Rodgers. The Group Later toured with The Cook Family Singers.
At the end of the 1930s traveled the Carters to the South of the State of Texas. A radio station that broadcast from a Mexican border town sent two times a day a performance out of the group. A year later, in the winter of 1938/1939, the Carter Family had settled in San Antonio. Meanwhile also made the ten year old June Carter, the daughter of Maybelle, part of the group. In San Antonio took the family radio programs on that by various radio stations just across the Mexican border were broadcast.
In the fall of 1942 the Carters moved their program to WBT radio in Charlotte that they had completed a one-year contract. Their program was broadcast in the morning between 5: 15 and 6: 15 pm. During this time the Carters also often performed live on in schools and churches. In 1943 , the Group was disbanded after Sara moved to California .
After the break-up of the Carter Family trad Maybelle Carter along with her daughters, Anita , June and Helenas Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters. Also Sara and A.P. names in the 1950s a number of plates on with their children Janette and Joe. After the death of A.P. came in 1960, Maybelle and Sara together for a short tour, which took place at the height of the popularity of folk music in the 1960s. Maybelle and Sara died in 1978 and 1979 respectively.
During the 1960s, much of their work was rediscovered and performed by a new generation of folkartists. A good example is that Joan Baez on her early Vanguardalbums recorded performances of Wildwood Flower,Little Moses, Engine 143, Pal of Mine and Gospel Ship.
In 1988 The Carter Family was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and got the group a high Award for the song Can the Circle Be Unbroken. In 1993 the U.s. postal service released a stamp to honor of A.P., Sara, and Maybelle Carter. In 2001 the Group was included in the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame (International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Honor).