Ralph Peer was immediately impressed with Sara’s voice. As he put it, "As soon as I heard her voice, I began to build around it, and all those first recordings were on that basis. "Peer had indeed found something special in Sara Carter. She had fine control, ingenuity, and she was a natural artist. With her background she could sing mountain blues, old parlor songs, ballads and love songs, and newer gospel songs, and religious material. Paired with Sara’s fine lead was A.P. singing the bass line and the accomplished Maybelle on the tenor harmony, but Maybelle was mainly filling up all the of holes and laying down a bottom with unique guitar style. Among the songs recorded that first day. August 1, 1927 in Bristol, were (BURY ME UNDER THE WEEPING WILLOW), ( SINGLE GIRL ) ( STORMS ON THE OCEAN ) ( MARRIED GIRL ) and ( THE WANDERING BOY ). Ralph Peer stated that all of the artist were paid $50.00 per song.

WholeCarterFamily web24.jpg (8983 bytes)

The Carter Family had always been in demand for personal appearances, but now, with the release of a phonograph record that was being played on the radio, their fame spread like wildfire and they were in demand all over Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and south Carolina. More recording followed. The recording sold very well, so in May 1928, the Carter Family was asked to come to Camden, New Jersey, the recording center for Victor Company at the time. They recorded eleven songs and again in February of the following year, 1929, they return to Camden for another recording session and recorded twelve more songs. Those sessions in Camden in 1928 and 1929 were probably their strongest sessions, because in those sessions they recorded songs such as (DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH ) ( WILDWOOD FLOWER ) and ( THE FOGGY MOUNTAIN TOP).

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Church In The Wildwood,
The Brown Church In The Vail

As the children of the Carters were born and reached childhood, they were added to the live performances. Never fewer than three Carters performed, but sometimes the number reached eight, including the very talented but little recorded Janette A.P. and Sara’s daughter. A Carter family concert was usually a model of informality, the two women sitting in chairs with their instruments and A.P. standing. He would introduce the numbers after they sang their opening number, which was a simple little homemade song that went

Howdy do, everybody, Howdy do, Howdy do, everybody , how are you we are here we must confess just to bring you happiness we hope to please you more or less Howdy do

A.P. was a man of few words. He introduced the songs and offered comments upon them, but very few at that. After the performance, the Carters would sell their songs folios and would usually spend the night with newly made friends, who had come to the concerts. Hardly a concert passed that the Carters didn’t make new friends, friends that they kept for their lives and in whose homes they would stay whenever they returned to that area. Doors in many homes were unlocked to the Carter.

Throughout the depression, the Carters continued to record prolifically, certainly a test of their selling power since most of the artist of the twenties were swept away with the lack of a record buying public.

A.P. and Sara were separated in 1933 yet continued to work together with Maybelle. In 1938 the Carters went to Del Rio, Texas to begin a series of broadcasts that lasted for three seasons over XERA, XEG, and XENT, Mexican border stations that broadcast 500,00 watts. A.P. and Sara were finally divorced in 1939

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In 1939, Helen and June joined Maybelle, A.P. Sara, Anita, and Janette who all preformed on these broadcasts from time to time. At the beginning of their careers, the individual Carters led fairly routine private lives while each went his own way. Both of the Carter women had become mothers, each with three children, but the group got together to practice whenever they could, and whenever the recording sessions might be as far away as Camden, Charlotte, Louisville, Memphis, or Atlanta.

On The Border Radio - 1939

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Arhoolie CD- 412 Vol #2

Track List

  1. Theme / Why Theres a Tear In My Eyes
  2. Sleep Baby Sleep / Just Another Broken Heart  ( Janette )
  3. Corina ( Carter Sister's )
  4. I Can Not Be Your Sweetheart  / Red Wing  ( A.P. ) Sara & Maybelle
  5. A Broken Down Saint
  6. Weeping Willow
  7. You Are My Flower / Gathering Flowers From The Hillside ( June Carter )
  8. The Last Letter ( Janette ) / I won't Mind Dying
  9. Who's That Knocking At My Window ( Sara & Maybelle )
  10. Diamonds In The Rough ( A.P. ) / The Fatal Wedding
  11. It's Hard To lease Your Mind ( Carter Sister's ) / Death Is Only A Dream
  12. Theme/ XET Station Break
  13. Theme / The Church In The Wildwood
  14. Are You Tired Of Me Darling / Sourwood Mountain ( Carter Sister's )
  15. Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie ( Janette ) / My Boonie Blue Eyes
  16. Yankee Doodle ( Helen ) / Storms On The Ocean
  17. Sugar Hill
  18. Hello Stranger
  19. Cowboy Jack ( Sara & Maybelle )
  20. Nobody's Darling ( June Carter ) / Funny When You Feel That Way ( Sara & Maybelle )
  21. Dixie Darling
  22. Shorting Bread / Solder And His Sweetheart ( Sara & Maybelle
  23. Polly Wolly Doodle All The Day / My Gold Watch Chain ( June & Helen Carter )
  24. River Of Jordan
  25. I Will Never Marry ( Janette ) / God Gave Noah The Rainbow Sign
  26. Time Out & XET Station Break

Revised: September 02, 2007

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