THE CARTER FAMILY
The Carter Family made their first recordings for Ralph Peer on the Victor label in 1927, in Bristol, Tennessee. During the next 17 years they recorded some 300 old-time ballads, traditional tunes, country songs, and Gospel hymns, all representative of America's southeastern folklore and heritage.
By Ron McConnell
"...They did their last radio show together in 1942,..."
The Carter Family: A Chronology
Compiled from Billboard and Variety by Wayne W. Daniel
BB = Billboard, V = Variety.
By Carl P. McConnell
Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone? is the first major biography of the Carter Family, the musical pioneers who almost single-handedly established the sounds and traditions that grew into modern folk, country, and bluegrass music -- a style celebrated in O Brother, Where Art Thou? A.P. Carter was a restless man, seemingly in a constant state of motion. On one of his travels across the sparsely settled mountains and valleys that surrounded his home in southern Virginia, he met and married a young girl named Sara Dougherty. Orphaned as a child, Sara was remote by nature but seemed to find release in singing the typically melancholy ballads that were a part of her home tradition.
1946 July 20, BB, p. 118. Dorney Amusement Park, one of the largest in Eastern Pennsylvania, is now featuring hillbilly and Western names in shows for the sumer season. Jolly Joyce is booking the park. The line-up of talent includes Dick Thomas, the NBC Kadoodlers, Doc Hopkins and the WLS gang from Chicago, Denver Darling and the Carter Family. … .
1946 December 7, 1946, BB, p. 104. Maybelle Carter and her three daughters, who are known as the Carter Family, live in Richmond, Va., and broadcast over WRNL.
1947 March 22, BB, p. 106. A favorite with Virginia radio listeners is The Old Dominion Barn Dance which is broadcast daily over Station WRVA, Richmond, from 2 to 4 p.m. The group includes the Rangers Quartet, consisting of Sue; her husband, Johnnie; Sam Workman and Cousin Crazy Joe Maphis, guitar and fiddle; the Carter Sisters, June, Helen and Anita with Mother Maybelle; the Tobbaco Tags, Loony Luke, Roly Poly Reed and Luke’s girl friend, Delphinie, who were formerly heard over WPTF, Raleigh, N. C.; Curly Collins and Benny Kissinger, singers; Curly Bradshaw, singing and harmonica; Billy (the Kid) Wilshire, and his sister, Arlene, singers; Cousin Elmer, comedy and little Robert Van Winkle, singer, who is 39 inches tall and weighs 85 pounds.
1947 November 22, BB, p. 100. The Old Dominion Barn Dance, aired Saturdays over WRVA, Richmond, Va., has been filling local 1400-seat theater twice each Saturday since it started a year ago. Sunshine Sue, emsee, heads a cast which includes Cousin Joe Maphis, Astra record artist; the Carter Sisters with their mother, Maybelle, of the original Carter Family; Yodeling Benny Kissinger; Fiddlin’ Curley Collins, Slim Idaho, and the Tobacco Tags.
1948 November 13, BB, p. 38. The Carter Sisters are at WNOX, Knoxville.
1949 January 15, BB, p. 32. Victor has inked … the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle.
1949 February 5, BB, p. 20. New York, Jan. 29. -- RCA Victor’s country artists will be flockin’ to Atlanta this week for their first big post-ban waxing jamboree. … A Victor engineering corps also makes the trip to wax the following talent: The Blue Sky Boys, Charlie Monroe, Cecil Campbell, Ernie Lee, the Carter Sisters, Johnny and Jack, Kitty Wells, Slim Whitman and Chet Atkins. … .
1949 April 9, BB, p. 215. Record Review. The Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle (Victor 21-0020)
“My Darling’s Home at Last” The answer to how-maudlin-can-you-get-ballad about the return of serviceman’s body from abroad for burial. Group isn’t especially convincing with it. Rating 65 (Over-All), 65 (Disk Jockey), 65 (Dealer), 65 ([Jukebox] Operator)
“The Kneeling Drunkard’s Plea” Energy’s lacking from this performance, too. 62, 62, 62, 62. [
[Rating Values: 90-100 Tops, 80-89 Excellent, 70-79 Good, 40-69 Satisfactory, 0-39 Poor.]
1949 April 16, BB, p. 42. Maybelle Carter and the Carter Sisters, new Victor combo, are at WNOX, Knoxville, where they work daily on the noon time “Merry-Go-Round” show.
1949 May 7, BB, p. 32. The original Carter Family is holding a kind of reunion at WNOX, Knoxville. Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, who recently inked up with Victor, have been at WNOX and are currently united with A. P. Carter, originator of the Carter Family, for years a Victor feature. ... Carter is spending several weeks in Knoxville.
1949 August 13, BB, p. 97. During the second week of The Billboard’s August survey of the nation’s folk music disk jockeys, 80 jockeys reported that their top requested number continued to be Hank Williams’s “Lovesick Blues” (MGM). Following in order were Wayne Raney’s “Why Don’t You Haul Off and Love Me?” (King), Eddy Arnold’s “I’m Throwin’ Rice” (Victor), Floyd Tillman’s “Slippin’ Around” (Columbia), and Hank Williams’s “Wedding Bells” (MGM), Homer and Jethro and June Carter’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (Victor), George Morgan’s “Roomful of Roses” (Columbia), Dave Lander’s “Before You Call”(MGM), Jimmy Osborne’s “Death of Little Kathy Fiscus” (King), and Jimmy Dickens’s “Country Boy” (Columbia).
1949 September 10, BB, p. 33. In the first week of the September poling of the nation’s rustic music wax whirlers, 50 of the jockeys named Wayne Raney’s “Why Don’t You Haul Off and Love Me?” (King) as their top request. Following in order, the remaining top nine requests included … Homer and Jethro and June Carter’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (Victor), ninth.
1949 September 10, BB, p. 115. Record Review. The Carter Family (Coral 64019)
“The Broken Down Tramp” This moralizer, probably an old cutting by the famous family group, should still do business, especially in the hill country. 75, 76, 76, 74. “Honey in the Rock” Great sacred singing, solo and harmony. Material is rich too. For the Southern trade. 78, 78, 78, NS.
1949 September 24, BB, p. 112. Record Review. Carter Sisters & Mother Maybelle RCA Victor 21-01002
“A Picture, a Ring and a Curl” Part of the famous old Carter Family offers a hunk of hill country sentiment in fairly effective harmonic style. 71, 72, 70, 70.
“Walk a Little Closer” The ladies have chosen a familiar religious number for this side. Their harmony is competent, if not outstanding. 72, 74, 72, 70.
1949 October 22, BB, p. 69. The Carter sisters, Anita, Helen and June and Mother Maybelle (Victor), have joined Chet Atkins (Victor). The entire group is moving to KWTO, Springfield, Mo., from WNOX, Knoxville.
1949 October 22, BB, p. 72. A. P. Carter, leader of the Carter Family, once standard name on Victor and Bluebird, is running a general store at Maces Springs, Va.
1949 October 29, BB, p. 37. Homer and Jethro … together with the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle and Chet Atkins, are being booked by Arena Stars, Inc., the Ralph Wonders-Spike Jones firm.
1949 December 3, BB, p. 108. Record Review. Homer and Jethro- June Carter (Victor 21-0140)
“The Huckle Buckle” Amusing adaptation of the hit rhythm item for the country-style nonsense of Homer and Jethro. 77, 79, 75, 77.
“The Wedding of Hillbilly Lili Marlene” Intensely funny is this Homer and Jethro conception of a recent plug ballad. This could make pop area material. 84, 84, 84, 84.
1949 December 10, BB, p. 108. Ray Merriott, of KWTO, Springfield, Mo., reports that … Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters with Chet Atkins (Victor) [have joined the station].
1950 January 14, BB, p. 95. The Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle and Chet Atkins (Victor) have made a series of 39 open-end e. t.’s, which will be peddled by Radioazark’s Enterprises. Atkins and the Carters started a Tuesday weekly show over ABC early in January.
1950 April 22, BB, p. 39. Helen Carter, of the Carter Sisters (Victor) currently at KWTO, Springfield, Mo., and Glen Jones, nonpro, were married March 9. Chet Atkins (Victor), who does a single at the station, has purchased a new custom-made guitar. The Carters, along with Atkins, Eddy Arnold and a cast of h. b. celebs, will do a big jamboree April 15, in the new addition to the Milwaukee Auditorium.
1950 May 20, BB, p. 31. The Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle, with Chet Atkins (Victor), are leaving KWTO, Springfield, Mo., to join WSM, Nashville, June 1.
1950 May 20, BB, p. 125. Bill Brown, Monogram Radio Features, Nashville, set up the big h. b. jamboree at the new Milwaukee Arena April 16. Eddy Arnold, Smiley Burnette, the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle and the Willis Brothers worked to 12,500 persons at 30 cents per.
1950 June 3, BB, p. 33. The Brown brothers have opened a new branch of their agency in Springfield, Mo., which is headed by Charley Brown. They have a new open-end e. t. show, starring Charley Akerson, who is going with KMOX, St. Louis, and co-starring June Carter and the Carter Sisters with Chet Atkins.
1950 October 28, BB, p. 36. Bee Puffenberger is replacing Helen Carter with the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle at WSM, Nashville.
1950 November 4, BB, p. 35. Hank Snow, the Carter Sisters with Mother Maybelle and Chet Atkins head a rustic music show at the Hippodrome, Baltimore, opening October 28, for a week.
1950 November 11, BB, p. 35. Danny Shaver reports from WFLO, Farmville, Va., that A. P. Carter is back in the business, working with Bill and Mary Reid on the station.
1950 November 25, BB, p. 29. Steve Sholes, Victor, reports he and Bob Ross, of Hill & Range, did sound effects for the forthcoming June Carter h. b. disking of “The Thing.”
1951 March 24, BB, p. 30. Don Davis, WCKY, Cincinnati, has cut two new sides for Tennessee diskery, with vocals shared by Helen Carter of the Carter Sisters.
1951 August 4, BB, p. 28. Hank Williams (MGM) drew 9,000 people July 15 at the new Livestock Coliseum, Montgomery, Ala. … Hank and the Carter Sisters with Chet Atkins also worked the date.
1951 August 18, BB, p. 26. Helen Carter, of the Carter Sisters, with Mother Maybelle, WSM, Nashville, is recording on her own with Tennessee label.
1951 September 1, BB, p. 30. Chet Atkins (Victor) reports that he has successfully undergone surgery for a bone tumor in his mouth and will be back at work soon. He and the Carter Sisters are still at WSM, Nashville.
1951 October 27, BB, p. 110. June Carter, of the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle, WSM, Nashville, is sporting a diamond but won’t name her fiancée.
1951 November 10, BB, p. 40. A. P. Carter, now at his home in Virginia, reportedly is in ill health. He was founder of the original Carter family with Victor for years.
1952 April 5, BB, p. 108. Clarence Knowland, the Jewitt City, Conn., d. j. reports that A. P. Carter has inked with Acme company, selling records by Carter and his family. Carter, one of the pioneers in country wax with Victor is making his first records in eight years. His first release is “There’s a Bright Side Somewhere” and “Pretty Raindrops.” Records are sent from Campbellsville, Ky.
1952 April 12, BB, p. 34. The Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle have shifted from Victor to Columbia. … Chet Atkins is now working as a free-lance single at WSM, Nashville, and has a late hour pop show with Delores Watson.
1952 April 19, BB, p. 36. Cotton Carrier, veteran Atlanta entertainer … has leased the 2,200-seat Tower Theater for h. b. and Western promotions. … and has … the Carter Sisters … set for future dates.
1952 April 19, BB, p. 44. Lee Sutton, KMA, Shenandoah, Ia., writes that Becky Bowman has left the station to join the Carter Sisters, WSM, Nashville.
1952 May 7, V, p. 39. San Antonio, May 6. The Grand Ole Opry troupe which is touring the state [Texas] has been playing to sellout crowds at most stands. The group consists of [among others] Carter Sisters, Mother Maybelle … In Corpus Christi and in Beaumont, instead of the three shows originally scheduled, the group put on four shows. The Del Mar Auditorium at Corpus holds 1,800 and each time it was filled to capacity. At Beaumont, some 5,000 crowded into an auditorium which has a capacity of 2,500.
1952 May 24, BB, p. 36. Carl Story (Mercury) now doubling as d. j. and live singer at WAYS, Charlotte, N. C., will work with the Carter Sisters and Carl Smith after he finishes his tour with Bill Moore.
1952 July 12, BB, p. 36. June Carter, of the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle (Columbia) and Carl Smith will be married July 9 at Alcoa, Tenn.
1952 October 1, V, p. 118. Richmond, Va., Sept. 30. First of four Grand Ole Opry units scheduled here this season played the 4,865-seat Mosque for two performances on Sunday (21) to a satisfactory gross of $6,000. … the show [featured among others] The Carter Sisters … .
1952 October 11, BB, p. 40. Rich-R-Tone’s fall release will include the Old-Time Carter Family, with A. P. Carter … .
1952 November 22, BB, p. 40. Carl Smith and his wife, June Carter, have purchased a small farm in Madison, Tenn.
1953 February 14, BB, p. 41. Cowboy Dallas Turner, KWJJ, Portland, Ore., reports that he has started his own radio ad agency … He is associated with Harold Schwartz and Associates, who work the Mexican border stations. They are dealing for a new show by the original Carter Family.
1953 May 2, BB, p. 49. Practically all of WSM’s “Grand Ole Opry” troupe will be in Texas in the Houston, Beaumont and Corpus Christi areas during the week of April 26 … The Carter Sisters … Carl Smith … will be playing bills in these areas.
1953 May 16, BB, pp. 1, 16. Meridian, Miss., May 9. On May 26 the hillbilly music world will turn out here to honor the memory of Jimmie Rodgers, … In the evening a special hillbilly show is planned in the local stadium and will include such hillbilly singers as [among others] the Carter Family … .
1953 May 30, BB, p. 45. Columbia’s Don Law … in Nashville all past week with new sides cut by Carl Smith, Helen Carter and others … .
1953 May 30, BB, p. 50. “Hillbilly Homecoming,” set for Maryville, Tenn., June 29 thru July 4, assures plenty of entertainment from native artists. … Opry group Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle … already set to appear on evening shows.
1953 June 6, BB, pp. 1, 17, 44. Meridian Miss., May 30. … The Jimmie Rodgers and Railroadman Memorial Day was a sparkling tribute to both Jimmie Rodgers and the spirit of the hillbilly entertainers themselves who turned out in droves to assist in the event. … [among the performers were] The Original Carter Family [and] June Carter … .
1953 June 13, BB, p. 36. WSM’s artist bureau … setting nightly shows at Gatlinburg, Tenn.’s Quonset Auditorium with George Morgan, the Carter Family, and Duke of Paducah opening June 7. … Don Law in Nashville past week with new Columbia sides done by Helen Carter.
1953 June 20, BB, p. 50. A new Decca name, Ricky Riddle, will lead the June 27 [WSM/NBC Prince Albert “Grand Ole Opry”] show, with Columbia’s Anita Carter guesting.
1953 June 27, BB, p. 39. Ricky Riddle stars on “Grand Ole Opry’s”, Prince Albert show June 27, with Anita Carter as featured guest.
1953 July 4, BB, p. 45. The Maryville, Tenn., “Hillbilly Homecoming” … the week of June 29 -- July 4 will [feature, among others] the Carter Sisters of WSM … .
1953 June 27, BB, p. 39. Decca’s new name, Ricky Riddle, is doing the June 27 [WSM/NBC Prince Albert “Grand Ole Opry”] spot, with Anita Carter guesting.
1953 December 5, BB, p. 72. Cliff Rogers, WHKK, Akron, emseed the “Opry” at the Akron Armory with the Carter Family [and others] featured.
1954 March 13, BB, p. 45. Brother Tommy [DJ?], WXGI, Richmond, Va., had June Carter, Carl Smith, Kitty Wells, and Johnnie and Jack as guests on his show recently.
1954 March 13, BB, p. 46. Carl Smith and the Carter Sisters working dates with Mack Sanders and His Ranch Boys, of KFBI, thru Kansas starting March 14.
1954 April 3, BB, p. 30-32. “Grand Ole Opry” unit, including Webb Pierce, Carl Smith, Roy Acuff, the Carter Sisters, Marty Robbins and the Duke of Paducah, return to Houston for their annual affair in benefit of the Houston firemen. … Show is slated for April 27-29.
1954 May 15, BB, p. 31. “Grand Ole Opry” package, with Roy Acuff … Carl Smith, Webb Pierce, the Carter Sisters, Mother Maybelle and the Duke of Paducah, drew nearly 10,000 persons at the Dallas Sportatorium recently.
1954 May 29, BB, p. 60. Carl Smith’s wife, June Carter, joins him on their first record release together, in “Love, Oh, Crazy Love,” out this week.
1954 July 10, BB, p. 31. “Grand Ole Opry,” featuring Carl Smith, June Carter, Ray Price and Marty Robbins, played to a jammed house at the Portland, Ore., auditorium recently.
1954 September, V, p. 44. Montgomery, Ala., Sept. 14. The late Hank Williams, hillbilly singer-composer who died almost two years ago will be saluted in a special tribute here in his hometown in a two-day affair, Sept. 20-21 … skedded to appear are [among others] Carter Family … .
1954 November 13, BB, p. 102. Bob Billingsley, of KVET, Austin, Tex., has Carl Smith, the Carter Sisters, and the Duke of Paducah coming in for a show November 14, with the proceeds going to the local firemen’s pension and widow funds.
1954 December 11, BB, p. 44. June Carter, of Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, has quit the unit to team with “Grand Ole Opry’s” Carl Smith.
1954 December 11, BB, p. 49. … “Grand Ole Opry” show … attract[ed] 3,500 ticket buyers in three performances at Blair Jr. High School Auditorium, Norfolk. On the bill were Carl Smith and the Tunesmiths, Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, Cowboy Copas, Johnnie and Jack, Benny Martin and Kitty Wells. … .
1954 December 18, BB, p. 36. “Tennessee Mambo,” … June Carter has it on Columbia, backed with “Let Me Go, Lover,” … .
1955 January 8, BB, p. 26. Carl Smith and band, with June Carter, plus [local talent] pulled a full house to the Sports Arena, Atlanta, December 17.
1955 January 15, BB, p. 36. The recent report that June Carter was quitting Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters to team with Carl Smith was a bum steer, says Hal Smith [Carl Smith’s manager].
1955 February 12, BB, p. 30. Flamingo Films shot its second group of TV films of the “Grand Ole Opry” stars in Nashville last week. Featured [among others] were June Carter … the Carter Family … .
1955 February 12, BB, p. 54. Carl Smith and His Tunesmiths, working under the guidance of Hal Smith, are back at Nashville headquarters after a successful swing through Kansas and Nebraska, including stop offs in Kansas City, Kan.; Topeka, Kan.; Omaha; Salina, Kan.; and Wichita, Kan., in the order named. Cowboy Copas, George Morgan and June Carter appeared on the same shows.
1955 February 26, BB, p. 32. Elvis Presley winds up a Southwestern tour at Bastrop, La., Thursday (24) on a package promotion featuring [among others] Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters. Tour was set by Tom Parker of Jamboree Attractions.
1955 March 12, BB, p. 45. Anita Carter, of the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle, and Don Davis, of George Morgan’s Candy Kids, celebrate their wedding anniversary March 31.
1955 March 12, BB, p. 49. … a jamboree, held in Hope [Arkansas] February 22 … included [among others] Mother Maybelle, the Carter Sisters, [and] Elvis Presley,
1955 April 23, BB, p. 32. A new country music vocal combination that’s reported paying off by RCA Victor is made up of Rita Robbins, Anita Carter and Ruby Wells. Their recent release on “Pledgin’ My Love” and “Rock Love” has proved so successful that RCA Victor called them in for another waxing session last weekend.
1955 May 7, BB, p. 44. R. Elmer Yates, former circus promoter, has made a deal with WSM, Nashville, for a series of shows using “Grand Ole Opry” talent. Yates will hopscotch the country, putting on shows once a month. His first, presented April 24 at Municipal Auditorium, Charleston, W. Va., under auspices of the local fire department, proved a winner. Talent line-up included [among others] the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle.
1955 May 7, BB, p. 48. … Evansville, Ind., … “Grand Ole Opry” unit at the Coliseum … recently … headlined by [among others] the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle … .
1955 May 14, BB, p. 16. Hank Snow’s All-Star Jamboree, underwritten by Hank Snow and Col. Tom Parker, kicked off a three-week tour of Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee at New Orleans May 1. Trek ends up in Chattanooga May 20. Headlined by Snow, the unit includes [among others] Mother Maybelle Carter and the Carter Sisters … .
1955 May 21, BB, p. 38. … Russwood Ball Park, Memphis, July 4 … bill [included among others] the Carter Sisters … .
1955 May 28, BB, p. 62. Featured at the Georgia Poultry Festival held in Gainesville, Ga., May 14, were [among others] the Carter Sisters … in the City Park … .
1955 June 15, V, p. 31. Review of Grand Ole Opry, NBC-TV. Among the performers were Anita Carter.
1955 June 18, BB, p. 39. A July tour thru the Midwest is being set up for Hank Snow … Hank Snow Jamboree Attractions. Tentatively set for the tour are [among others] Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters. Eight to 10 towns will be played on the tour, set to get underway July 3.
1955 June 18, BB, p. 39. Headlining recent Arkansas broiler shows at Springdale and Russellville were [among others] Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters.
1955 June 25, BB, p. 42. Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters set for the Purina Show in Vineland, N. J., next Saturday (25).
1955 July 2, BB, p. 24. Hank Snow and His All[Star Jamboree with [among others] Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters … take the road again July 3, opening at Duluth, Minn., and following with Port Arthur, Ont., Moreland, Minn., Fargo, N. D.; Sioux Falls, S. D.; Scottsbluff, Neb.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; and Denver.
1955 July 2, BB, p. 24. … “Grand Ole Opry” package to be presented at Russwood Ball Park, Memphis, July 4, … will include [among others] the Carter Sisters … .
1955 July 16, BB, p. 44. Recent country artists making an appearance at Johnnie Rion’s Hillbilly Park, St. Louis, were [among others] the Carter Sisters.
1955 July 30, BB, p. 20. Despite oven-like temperatures, more than 4,000 c.&w. fans poured into Denver’s Auditorium Arena Sunday night, July 17, to pay homage to Hank Snow … and a troupe including [among others[ the Carter Sisters … Mother Maybelle Carter was unable to appear due to illness.
1955 October 1, BB, p. 64. Helen Carter, of the Carter Family, has just presented hubby Glenn Jones with a new heir – their third son.
1955 October 15, BB, p. 47. June Carter and hubby Carl Smith are celebrating the arrival of a spankin’ brand new daughter, Rebecca Carlene, born September 26.
1955 December 10, BB, p. 55. The Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle make a personal in Milton, Fla., next Wednesday (14), and do a guest shot with country deejay Doyle Cook on WEBY there that night.
1955 December 10, BB, p. 55. Eddy Arnold headlines the third Grand Ole Opry ABC-TV show from Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Saturday (10), … other features will include [among others] Nita [Anita Carter], Rita and Ruby. … .
1955 December 17, BB, p. 61. Grand Ole Opry … ABC-TV network … last Saturday (10) … highlighted [among others] Nita, Rita and Ruby … .
1955 December 31, BB, p. 8. Review of Grand Ole Opry ABC-TV broadcast on December 10 which featured, among other performers, Nita, Rita and Ruby.
1955 December 31, BB, p. 32. The Grand Ole Opry show on the ABC-TV network, January 7, will feature [among others] June Carter … .
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